We are all quite familiar with the advantages that computers and the internet bring in our lives. Its effect on our productivity, connectivity with our friends and family, improving our knowledge base and the quality of entertainment etc, are well documented and well articulated by technology marketers. A PC for every family and child is a reality that should be worked at and its importance is not questionable or debatable. If any kid wants a serious shot at success in the new millennium then being out of the technology revolution is not an option. But like my mother always said and I am sure yours did as well “Too much of anything is not good”. As technology marketers, are we doing enough to educate the consumers about the ill effects of its excessive use and over dependence on it? I know some technology companies have already started their campaigns around the environment and strong family values but I feel we are just beginning to scratch the surface. If I were to think through the top of my head a list of possible problems that excessive use of technology brings it would be as follows
– Social Isolation of children and adults who spend way too much time on their computers.
– Preliminary research supports that people who spend excessive time on computers show signs of loss of social etiquette and develop an inability to deal with real life situations.
– Illusion of a false personality that they may adopt in their virtual worlds. It’s amazing how strong this influence can be on young impressionable minds that they may actually believe it to be the real thing.
– High stress levels in the body at the joints and even emotional fatigue can set in.
– Deterioration of language skills as people get used to internet lingo.
– Last but not the least the proliferation of existing social problems like pornography, prostitution, white collar thefts, identity thefts etc.
Though the above points are based on my judgment and assumptions, I am quite sure that there is research out there that can back up these assumptions.
So then who should take the lead in educating and preempting the consumers of these issues? Does the responsibility lie only with the user and parents? Many may argue that people are mature enough to make the right choices. But are they really and should it be left at that? I think these problems bring up an excellent opportunity for technology companies to take leadership in. All technology companies can play a role in researching these potential social problems and then educating and spreading awareness about it. I am quite positive that consumers will appreciate, trust and look upon such companies that are willing to shoulder more social responsibility. What do you think?
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