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Opinion

Students becoming disconnected by being overly connected

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April 11, 2013

The Internet these days is like a way of life, it’s not just for the smart, tech savvy people anymore. The Internet is used by everyone and everywhere.

The fact that college students, teachers and millions of other people around the world who use a computer daily and for long periods of time is somewhat scary for me to think about, let alone just realize. We are so comfortable with communicating online via email, instant messenger and even our phones through text message. The days of talking over the phone are almost a past form of communication in meaning we only talk on the phone if it’s our parents, grandparents or to schedule an appointment be it for the doctor or a job. If it can be done online, then by golly we will do everything online.

What happened to the personalization or emotional connection you create when talking on the phone with someone or face to face conversation, or the letters? It’s almost like we have more of a relationship with our technology than the people around us, and that can sometimes have a negative effect on our lives. Negative because it could ruin a relationship because all you do is text and message each other online but never talk face to face. Negative because what happens when you get a call from a job offer and have to talk over the phone or meet in person? Will you be able to hold a comfortable connection if you are always on the Internet?

For me, my job on campus is looking at a screen, and in-between that screen I look at the screen on my iPhone. Then I go home to look at a TV screen or my computer screen to watch a show to settle down for a while. The Internet has effortlessly created the form of work, and recreation into one. Darn you Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Pinterest and gaming sites.

Not only my job on campus, but in being a student and a journalism major, I am always doing my homework on a computer to research, write and edit everything I do. Much like a lot of other students and faculty members on this campus.

Has the Internet become such an easy “necessity” in our lives that even though we take it for granted, we should be paying more attention to the affects it might have on our health?

Through a little research, and things I’ve noticed on my own, like I am sure much of you have as well, the over usage of the Internet on our brains can be both beneficial and non-beneficial. Beneficial in the way that we are obtaining lots more information which keep us updated on the latest news, understanding more about a subject, or learning something new. The negative affect it has is while looking at a computer screen all day makes us tired, it also prevents us from falling asleep longer if a screen is the last thing we see before we crawl into bed.

So my question is: how much Internet is too much for us? When should we stop for the day or take breaks in-between to better the health of our minds and body. Maybe we should try and get back into some of the old habits of talking on the phone and mailing in items rather than emailing them. It’s more personable and concrete in my humble opinion.

I can honestly say I am glad that I am almost free to look away from the screen because my eyes are already tired after an hour of typing, and I did get more than eight hours of sleep last night, I promise.

Miranda Hammel is a journalism major. She enjoys reading, writing, listening to music, and being active outdoors.