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[Editorial] Do We Really Need Technology All The Time?
제 141 호    발행일 : 2013.06.03 
   Think about the last time you took a bus, or a subway, think about  what people were doing on the bus, or on the subway, and then you will be reminded of all the fingers moving around on the screen of technological devices like smartphones. What about people reading a book, or just looking outside? Not many indeed. You may easily find that people send messages, watch movies, browse the Internet, or talk through handheld devices everywhere you go.
   How have we come to be in contact with those kinds of technological devices all the time? At every moment, whether we are working, studying, or taking a break, we are always surrounded by technological devices. As a matter of fact, using technology has made our lives easier, and more convenient than ever. Therefore, we have been accustomed to it, easily and quickly. Now, we are unable to realize whether we control it, or whether it controls us. Anyway, it has become very important in our contemporary lives.
   An online survey by the University of Maryland's International Center and the Salzburg Academy was recently conducted (cf., http://www.icmpa.umd.edu). Researchers asked over 1000 college students in 10 countries all over the world including Argentina, Chile, China, Lebanon, Mexico, Slovakia, Uganda, the UK, and the US, to refrain from using any form of media such as Facebook, Twitter,  smartphones, TVs or instant messaging for one full day. Also, they asked the participants to record their experiences during the time of not using any electronic media. The research presented as a conclusive remark, "Most students could not complete 24 hours without those technological gadgets, so basically if you’re younger than 25, you seem to be addicted to some form of media wherever you live in the world." Judging from the findings of the study, it seems that the students' addiction to media should be seriously considered.
   You can easily see a student with a phone or a piece of technology in hand anywhere on campus whether it be the classroom, the copy center, or the cultural center. Thanks to those devices, the scope of how we communicate each other through the Internet and how we access information have been broadened. Also these technological gadgets have opened up a new learning environment in the classroom, too.
   However, at the same time, those devices have degraded the importance of meaningful personal relationships, have hindered human relationships, and have increased stress levels. In other words, you are more likely to spend time being pulled into the moving forces of the TV screen, or sitting in front of a computer screen by yourself. So, you are likely to end up feeling distant from others. That seems to dehumanize us. So shall we consider writing a letter to a friend instead of posting a greeting on Facebook?
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