tel.: - fax: 1.204.415.8376

What's Happen'N With Francess Cowan

We Have Become Slaves to Technology

By Francess Cowan (pictured),
Toronto, Canada.

Nowadays we are constantly bombarded by technology. The creative exploitation of cell phones, tablets, laptops, smart watches, and an entire host of all these other smart tools forcing us to keep up with the trends. But why are we not worried about the immediate effect on our personal and social lives or the unknown yet potentially more severe long-term impact on our future? Are smart devices crippling our motivations, and abilities to do more and be more in society? Are smart devices enslaving or liberating us as a society? Better yet are smart devices making us dumber?

Our behaviors with these devices are comparable to that of drug addiction. We must get the latest tools or else we are missing out on something. We must keep up with the trends to enable us to be like the Joneses or to connect better with people. Are

these not all lies we tell ourselves. We are treating these smart devices like they are the masters of our lives and we are its slaves. It is surprising as to the level of our mental processing in this generation. We use to learn by making mistakes, but now we have apps that can display the facade of perfection for us. Most of us cannot do basic math without the help of calculators. Most of us lack proper spelling and grammar skills because we heavily rely on autocorrect and the many other apps provided on our smart devices, so we don't have to use our imagination and abilities. Our children know more about the lives of celebrities than they do about social studies or science. What is happening to our brains and how will that impact who we become in the future? Could these devices be the start of a regression of the mental evolution of our species?

I will not dismiss the fact that these domestic technological devices like cell phones, Tablets and Laptops are essential and impactful in our daily lives. My issue is that we get so wrapped up with them and are losing our traditional realities of living. Technology brings ease of accessibility. They are supposed to speed up the task to give us room to do more. But we get so engulfed with these devices that not only are we getting things done faster, but we are also using our free time to add more and more tasks. Students who should be using laptops for research purposes will spend more time being distracted by the traps set on these devices such as Instagram and Facebook. Adults will complain about children on their devices but are unaware of the traps set by marketers for them too. 

Must we respond to every texts, calls, and emails notification? No! Somethings can wait and should be dealt with at your convenience. Think about the many hours you spend trolling on social media; unspeakable time lost to click bait, following celebrities and playing candy crush. Imagine what you could have accomplished during that time if you were not using your device. Would you have paid more attention in class? Maybe you would have noticed the change in your child's behavior or your friend's need. Perhaps you would have put in an extra effort on that overdue task. Maybe you would have cared more and instead used that moment to talk to loved ones. Don’t allow your smart devices to take over your life. Use it for its purpose then put it down and make a physical connection with others. 


  • Set time limits for both you and your children for unessential device usage.
  • Keep devices away from the dinner table and schedule device free family time to connect with each other,
  • Place your phone on 'Do Not Disturb' at bedtime so that only designated notifications can come through.
  • Save your money. Honestly, you do not need the latest iPhone or Samsung. Why change your device if it is not broken?  Instead, take that extra cash to donate to a good cause. Treat yourself or invest in your children. 
  • Turn off notifications that will not require an urgent response. Those tempting red signals are a bait waiting to trap you in doing unnecessary things for hours to come. 
  • Only download apps that help you progress to make your work more manageable, and serves educational purposes. The rest are just distractions.
  • Set ringtones for essential calls and alerts,
  • You do not need to capture every moment with your devices. (this is a message for me too). Make good use of the time you get to spend with people by respecting their presence and allowing for proper conversations and fun without the distraction of a smart device. Learn to capture the moment with your heart instead it last longer.