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28 October 2014

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Digital distress
An Escape key
Are too dependent on technology today?
Last updated: 07 August 2004 1523 BST
line17-year-old Lou Parkinson wonders whether we are becoming too dependent on computer technology...
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I was sitting reading the newspaper when I came across an article concerning Digital Distress Syndrome. It's a form of stress caused by being unable to understand technology.

e-mails on a computer screen

It reminded me of a mate of mine; she'd rather hand write a 5,000 word essay than go through the trauma (as she'd put it) of typing it. As I read on I came to realise that this was a genuinely large problem for people.

We all know the feeling when an entire essay gets mysteriously deleted or corrupted beyond recognition but imagine having this feeling of bewilderment every time you turned on your machine.


The pressure there is on students (be they in primary, secondary, college or uni) to use technology becomes greater with every update of the respective syllabi.

There doesn't seem to be much consideration for people who either do not like using various technology or that find it makes their task more complicated than is necessary.

Kids being taught how to use a computer

We are 'strongly encouraged' to type almost all essays, projects and coursework. This can mean that students find it very difficult to write legibly at speed during exams as they simply haven't had the practice.

In the worst cases, students may find writing a logical exam essay difficult as they cannot cut and paste like you can on a PC or laptop and so have to plan more thoroughly before they start writing - a skill which does not come naturally.

Student loans

Upon turning the page of my newspaper I discovered an article concerning student loans. Due to software problems about 400,000 students could start uni in the autumn without their student loans.

This means that either a family member will have to bail them out or they will have to live on the breadline until their loans come through. Not an ideal start to your first year!

Laptop - part of the computer age we now live in

As you may remember, this has not been the only major problem in Britain concerning technology. Some of you may have been unfortunate enough to get caught up in the havoc that ensued after Heathrow's air traffic control software failed.

There have also been problems related to the Child Support Agency and some of the recent mishaps over exam grades have also been blamed on poor technology.

Is this really an ideal way for the country to operate?

Final thought

My final thought I put to you is this: an IT teacher once told me that "the computer will only do what you tell it; despite appearances they can't think for themselves". This can be applied to all technological devices. Going by this logic, we rule over technology.

Whether you love it, hate it or like me just use it, don't let it rule over you. It is not human, you are, let's keep it that way.

Article by Lou Parkinson

This article contains user-generated content (i.e. external contribution) expressing a personal opinion, not the views of BBC Gloucestershire.

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