Insatiable Thirst for Technology

When I was a kid, I had a predilection for electronics. I had almost every electronic device known to a 12-year-old boy. These ranged from the Nintendo Gameboy to the Xbox 360, and much more recently, the iPad.

When young pre-teen boys hang out together, there is no controversy over what will be on the docket for the evening’s festivities. The first step was always to find something to eat. We rummaged through the snack cabinets around midnight in order to find whatever cookies, popcorn, or soda we could find. My parents would look at us disapprovingly-they knew that we should all be in bed, or doing something better with our time. But I think they understood that boys will be boys, as we all scurried down to the basement.

We poured each other a glass of Coke, stuck our hands into the bag of popcorn, and turned on the TV. We would then engage in as many different types of video games as possible until one of us fell asleep.

We were all so young. With no homework or college apps to think about, no parties to go to, and no girls to worry about, our biggest concerns were our stats in Xbox or computer games.

Although I have matured from my childish days of sitting in front of the television screen with my buddies until the wee hours of the morning, I still have not lost my love for technology.

In my senior year of high school, I was accepted into my school’s Advanced Math Research Program. My goal was to take my passion for helping disabled kids and incorporate it into my interest in technology and math. Throughout the year, I researched how the iPad could improve communication with autistic children. By the end of my research, I could see direct improvement with the children’s verbal skills. Most importantly, I was able to determine a few apps that were successful and recommend those to autistic families. The iPad worked wonders for these children, and it poses numerous opportunities for educational advancements for them in the future.

There’s no doubt that technology plays a huge role in our society. We see it everywhere we go. It has escalated to the point where people will stand in line for hours just to get their hands on the latest iPhone or iPad. The trend has spread across the world, and our obsession with technology looks like it will only continue to grow in the future.

According to a study by Forrester Research, there will be 82.1 million tablet users in the United States by 2015. Tablet computer users are also spending their money on millions of different apps. On average, each owner spends $34 on apps for his or her tablet.

The allure of such things? They are extremely useful.

This week, I had the opportunity to interview a Boston College alum who is the co-founder of a fitness app called BeActiveTogether.

Hannah Freilich graduated BC and then went on to become a teacher for Boston Public Schools. It wasn’t until this year that she made the transition into entrepreneurship. With the help of her co-founder Mai Tang, BC ’09, the two created BeActiveTogether-an app designed to pair fitness-minded users and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

What’s unique about this app is that it’s off to a miraculous start. Since opening on Jan. 1, BeActiveTogether already has 350 users, and it is looking to expand to college campuses and gyms across the state of Massachusetts.

People will take advantage of Freilich’s app because of our intrinsic nature as modern Americans. We all love our tech devices, and if we can combine them with something that we are also interested in-like exercise-this will create something that is both useful and entertaining.

It doesn’t matter if you are using your latest gadget for entertainment, tackling issues with autism, or pursuing your fitness goals for the new year. The numerous benefits of these devices prove they are crucial to almost every aspect of our daily lives. If there is a trend for our technology use in the future, it is clear:

We are not going to stop.


January 23, 2014