The dawn of the 20th century has seen the advent of many advanced technologies that continuously evolve every day, some of the technology has helped mankind to evolve at a faster pace, enabling better health and living standards.

The information superhighway is a term that was coined by Vice President Albert Gore while giving his speech on January 11, 1994. It described the future of computers accessing and communicating over a worldwide network. Traditional technology, which is the old technology or way of doing things, has survived the test of time and has proved that despite being old, it still can be used anytime without any hassles. It has been proven that the more sophisticated the technology, the more you need a sophisticated support system. If you have no access to electricity, any mechanical device will be better than its electronic counterpart once the batteries run out. This same applies to a motor vehicle versus a bicycle or horse, the former is useless without fuel.

This has created a dilemma for the millennium generation, which has seen one side of the coin as the new technology faces a glitch. They cannot adapt to the traditional way of doing things. The older generation, alternatively, has lived the old system of doing things and the now.

The social interaction system of face-to-face has been obliterated. One thing that has come up is comparison of everything and less professional advice. The youth or new generation prefers advice from social media networks and other internet users whom they have never met and are spaced in time and geographical locations. This advice ranges from mechanical to social life issues. Although this has managed to make people travel to areas with a click of a button, this advice cannot be feasible in the part of the region of the person seeking the advice.

Marriages have been built on social media networks. Some have survived the turbulence of social media, and some have failed to see the light of day. Some have fallen victim after trusting people online they have not met in real life and had nasty experiences if they lived to see the light of day. Married couples admit to texting each other while at home. Thereby decreasing communication and intimacy as they spend more time on the phone, on the internet or playing online games. The old generation knows how to navigate the internet, spend time with the family and interact with relatives. Although the old generation had no motor vehicles to move to different locations, they would resort to walking on foot and staying fit. They kept their relations intact as they could visit each other. Thereby keeping relations in their lineage intact.

As we use aeroplanes to move from Africa to Antarctica in a few hours, our relations are distant in reality and face-to-face socialisation is non-existent.

Inactivity has caused many health issues such as obesity, and cancers from eating genetically modified foods. The use of air fryers, toasters and washing machines have rendered the youth lazy. They cannot survive by themselves if faced with life difficulties. They cannot do anything by themselves without the aid of a machine.

Much time is spent on social media platforms. This immersion in technology that most of us abhor, and advancement in technology is counterintuitive. It is an addiction or compulsion. It leads to low self-esteem. It is being suggested that an over-immersion in technology stunts the growth of the individual both emotionally and socially. This social platform which are alien to the traditional ways with many unspoken rules, is dangerous.

While this new technology connects us in different and much faster ways, these changes have a knock-on effect on how we interact. Depression and mental health problems abound as users compare their life with others of their ages who are far away from them as exaggerated expectations triggered by online reality and unrealistic social comparisons. According to social media experts, “When we get on social media we are looking for affirmation, and consciously or not we are comparing our life to the lives of others”. The zeal to work and learn new skills is lost in the young generation. They are less able to remember information because they know they can find it online and where to find it, rather than remembering the information itself. Similarly, deep fake content is becoming more pervasive and leading to the spread of misinformation. It has been proven that content on social media can vary from inflammatory to downright wrong. Privacy is compromised as information is easily accessed and shared online, leading to suicides and loss of self-esteem.

While benefits can be drawn from modern-day technology, the negative impacts outweighs the benefits. From cyber security issues, terrorism, environment, less lifestyle activity [couch potato], self-diagnoses which has dire consequences and many others, the list is exhaustive.

The adage that every generation is shaped by the technology introduced during their time cannot be far from the truth.