Back to the Present

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Jorim-Paul Phillips

Ever since the release of the major motion picture ‘Back to the Future’ on July 3 1985, we became conscious to the fact that we were entering into a new era of technology.

An era where our tools and methods would become less primitive and would be able to produce faster results, where long-distance communication was no less than a press of a button away, and where information could be found at the tip of your finger. 

It is true that technology has enabled us to achieve things that we only thought were possible in our wildest dreams; such as being able to soar thousands of miles above the Earth where not even the bravest of birds would dare to go, or being able to sink deep beneath the under-belly of the waves where the sun’s light hasn’t even been heard of.

Despite the wondrous grip that the technology of the 21st Century has on us, it is taking a heavy toll on us youth. 

Because Samoa is a developing nation, we are susceptible to the influence of other more ‘advanced’ countries. We have adopted a sort of reliance on electronic devices.

Although your phone is a very useful and productive tool and your TV a very informative medium too, they allow a gateway for a whole bunch of problems.

I purposefully want to shine a light on the dangers that technological devices such as mobile phones, laptops and televisions (amongst many other devices) have on people.

Before I begin, I want to state that the root of the problem is not technology itself, but the way in which people use it and that the solution to it all is using it right.

Our phones. 

Long gone are the days when people took the time to stop what they were doing, take a trip in the hot sun and spend quality face-to-face time with you to see how you were and to catch up with you.

Now we live our life and make new friends behind a barrier of plastic or metal alloy casing, inter-connecting wires and a glass screen.

A lot of people have made life an anti-social event instead of a memorable story.

We spend a large portion of our time scrolling for information (most of which is useless) and another large portion of it vigorously texting away in order to get the company and approval from our peers that we so desperately crave for. 

Laptops and televisions. 

We have so many important things to say and so many useful things to do that there are not enough hours in the day do it all. When we add excess movie-watching time to the equation, we are creating a recipe for disaster.

Everyone has those moments when we want to squeeze in one more episode before bed and even though I would much rather watch a good movie than study for an upcoming test, I understand that there are times when we can take a break and there are times when we can not.

So whether it is Teen Wolf, Doctor Who or your favorite Anime show, you need to prioritize your time and stop procrastinating.

All this time sitting around with our heads bent down and our eyes glued to the screen does have some health risks. Spending too much time looking at bright screens has a major effect on our eyes.

The light penetrates the corneas of your eyes burning the retinas of them over time, so if you stay up late with your phone held up to your face constantly, don’t be surprised if you need to wear glasses soon.

Also many kids spend all their free time playing on a phone or gaming console. This causes many kids to become lazy and creates a gateway to weight gain.

Every year new phones are released, better laptops are made and bigger TVs  get produced, but to what extent. We always want the newest and the best of things, despite the crazy prices that we have to pay in order to get them.

Like the latest IPhone 7 for example, it is “only $3099”, I am sure that there are a lot of more useful ways in which we could use that money and I guarantee you that next year there will be another IPhone that we all will start wanting.

Even though we still don’t have hover boards, like previously predicted in ‘Back to the future’, we still have other advanced tools like phones, laptops and televisions.

Like any good thing it must be used in moderation and it must be used wisely. Instead of spending ALL your time watching movies in bed or surfing on the internet, go study or finish assignments, catch up with friends and family and see the amazing world around you instead of hiding behind the comforts of your $200 rectangular box. 

Draw a fine line in the sand, separating the things that you want to do from the things you have to do and work on the important things first. There will always be a time for rest and relaxation, a time where you can watch movies and scroll for fun on social media, but until that time comes, I encourage you to have fun doing what is right.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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