New iPhone increases students’ detrimental reliance on technology

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New iPhone increases students’ detrimental reliance on technology

By Minju Park, Columnist

Apple has just released its newest iPhone, causing a frenzy from consumers rushing to own the “best iPhone yet” before it sells out in stores.

With the iPhone 7’s crisp camera quality, improved zoom features, louder speaker systems, longer battery life and brighter displays, the new generation of smartphones is comparable to carrying around a high-tech computer in your hand.

But with new smartphone apps being developed every day for every purpose you could possibly need or imagine, the phone has become more than just a computer.

Your wallet, plane ticket, insurance cards, medical information, home temperature control and a plethora of additional functions now coexist on one device.

These developments have made life exceedingly more convenient for smartphone users. However, it’s important to realize how being overly dependent on technological devices may impact interpersonal relationships, and recognize the possible risks that may develop from allowing a software company to have so much power.

Having access to such advanced technology and software allows us to not put as much importance on actual physical interaction with other people.

There’s no need to go on an actual date to get to know someone when you can swipe left or right on Tinder. Making a call to catch up with a family member on their life is pointless when you can simply scroll through their newsfeed on Facebook to see their most recent updates. You don’t need to waste time making dinner plans when you can just have GrubHub deliver your favorite restaurant’s food right to your front door.

Not only this, but our dependence on technology blurs the line between personal information and information contained in company databases. Companies utilize their undisclosed power to manipulate consumers who are largely dependent on their products.

We observe this in the cases of certain apps that are designed to be downloaded with malicious software that allows it to spy on the user’s device for important information such as bank accounts or contact lists.

An example of this is the popular “Pokemon Go” app, a game that allows the user to “catch” Pokemon by finding them on a GPS-generated map.

There is some worry about the breach of privacy that may occur because of the app’s access to users’ locations in real-time, which may lead to crisis situations in the wrong hands.

In one case, robbers utilized “Pokemon Go” to “lure” players to a secluded location and threaten them. This is only one of the many ways that user information can become a dangerous weapon with the wrong intentions.

Others are concerned with companies handing over consumer information and data to advertising firms without permission, in order to target specific interest groups.

In any situation, an over-dependence on technology will allow companies to have access to an abundance of information that may be utilized for unethical purposes.

While the development of shinier, faster technology entices us to become more attached to our devices, it’s important to consider the underlying negative consequences to these decisions.

Minju is a sophomore in Media.

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