With the advancement of technology the use of social media has become more common in our daily lives. An average person would have around five social media accounts and would at least spend 1 hour and 40 minutes going through these networks everyday (Davidson, 2015). Reflecting on this information, I began to ask myself: “was it always like this?” I started to recall my high school life. Back home in Malaysia I was not allowed to bring my phones to school at all. If you were caught using a phone, it would be confiscated and your parents would have to either personally come to collect it or have a written apology submitted in.
It was only in 2013 where amendments were made to the Education Act to allow students to bring their mobile phones and other IT gadgets to school. The reason for this amendment was to encourage students and teachers to embrace modern technology (Tan, 2012). Personally I believe that this is amendment was necessary, if people fail to adapt modern technology and adapt to current societal values, the country will become further regressive.
Although the amendment was made with good intention, students did not just use it for innovative learning. Social media platforms, such as Facebook could still be easily accessed on school networks and students freely check their other social media app such as Instagram, twitter and tumblr within class time. In order to solve this issue I recommend a few different methods. One was that the teacher makes the students place their phones in front of the class in a pocket like system before they sat down in class.
Image source: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/04/04/article-2596991-1CD3118B00000578-930_634x423.jpg
Not only does this help stop students from browsing the net, it allowed a mutual respect to be establish between student and teacher. The teacher gave them a chance to be honest. If they still wish to keep their phone during the class period and get caught, they deserve it.
From here my mind trailed off to how people uses their devices when they are meeting their friends. In many occasions I have seen a group of friends going out for lunch but none of them talk to each other. Instead they look on to their devices and continue to eat in silence. What’s the point of meeting up if they themselves don’t interact with one another. The internet does give us the privilege to connect many different people across the world. At the same time if we take that device away we are left alone. Sherry Turkle has been studying how technology affects what we do and who we are (Turkle, 2015).
She brings up the concept of “Alone Together”. As stated by Sherry, people want to be with each other but also elsewhere (Turkle, 2012). People want to be in control of what keeps their attention. I personally see this happening, friends that meet up but spend 70% of their time together on their phones. To counter this there are 2 methods I believe that is very useful. The first is to be upright with them. When my friends starts using their phones I confront them of what they are doing in a joking manner. This allows them to not only realize their actions but they are here with me to hangout, not so they can observe them in a phone chat.
The next method is to play a game call phone stack. Everyone puts their phone face down and stacks it together. If someone takes their phone out of the stack (maybe to answer a message or pick up a call) they would have to pay the bill for the night (Ha, 2012).
This method is good as it allows them to really interact with one another without getting distracted. As a conclusion we have rapidly become addicted to this new technology. People are taking notice of its effects and are trying new methods in order to combat this issue. Which comes to my final dilemma. Is technology really making us closer or is it creating a barrier that may one day make us all silence?
Davidson, L. (2015). Is your daily social media usage higher than average?. Telegraph.co.uk, viewed on October 4, 2015, <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/11610959/Is-your-daily-social-media-usage-higher-than-average.html>
Ha, A. (2012). The Phone Stacking Game: Let’s Make This A Thing. TechCrunch, viewed on October 4, 2015, <http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/04/the-phone-stacking-game-lets-make-this-a-thing/>
Tan, E. (2012). Students can take handphones, IT gadgets to school from 2013 – Nation | The Star Online. Thestar.com.my, viewed on October 4, 2015, <http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2012/07/16/Students-can-take-handphones-IT-gadgets-to-school-from-2013/>
Turkle, S. (2015). Sherry Turkle | Speaker | TED.com. Ted.com, viewed on October 4, 2015, <https://www.ted.com/speakers/sherry_turkle>
Turkle, S. (2012). Connected, but alone? Ted.com, viewed on October 4, 2015, <https://www.ted.com/talks/sherry_turkle_alone_together?language=en#t-330252>