We live in a time dominated by technological advancements, from travel, to communication, to entertainment and much more. Technology moves so quickly that many people find it hard to keep up! While society continues to evolve with these advancements, some have expressed their dismay with how these technological changes are impacting society.
I hear it from time to time from friends and family. They believe this technology is causing more harm than good. They see young people with their eyes glued to their phones. Self driving cars, drones, 2-hour shipping, smart homes––they are extremely concerned with it all. In some ways, they’re correct. Any reasonable person can admit that there are some inherent flaws in some of these new technologies and how we, as humans, are capable of coping with them. But for all of the flaws, a lot of good is derived from this technology. In this piece, I’m going to explore the pros and the cons of modern technology.
One of the biggest adverse effects of technology is how easy it is to be abused by human nature. Whether it’s used to ignore more pressing matters, steal or commit other crimes, hurt others or our loved ones, there are many ways in which it can be harmful. Tech addiction is a real thing, and it’s becoming a huge problem. Like a slot machine at the casino, our phones and the apps we use can trigger intense emotional responses, pumping us with dopamine and causing us to go back for it again. Some studies have even shown that some people become depressed by using social media, as seeing the curated lives of others makes them feel as if their life isn’t as fun, rich or exciting as everyone else’s.
Technology is also used to purposely cause harm to others. The rise of cyberbullying has been buoyed by the rapid growth of social media, especially among adolescents who haven’t had the chance to mature enough to understand the potential consequences of their actions.
One of the most prominent complaints I hear about technology is how kids today always have their faces buried in their phones. This might seem like a big problem, and as noted above in some cases it is, but in many cases they’re simply using the technology for the exact purpose that it was built––to stay connected, to learn, to communicate, et al. When we see a young person looking at their phones at a bus stop, it’s easy to assume they’re just playing games or browsing social media, but what if they’re making plans to visit their family? What if they’re sending a positive text to a friend before their big interview? Or what if they’re getting the address to the hospital to meet their new niece?
See it’s easy to assume the worst, but in reality, people are more connected now than ever before. We use technology to connect us with loved ones thousands of miles away. It helps us to be there for the moments we would have missed 20 years ago. It has helped people find friends, their true loves, their passions, their favorite books, artists and more. It has provided opportunities to learn new things, to expand one’s horizons in ways like never before.
Technology has provided us with greater access to knowledge, art, music and other things that make life rich and beautiful.
The Bottom Line
It is not my intention to change anyone’s mind or lifestyle with my thoughts, but to look at all the facts as find a common understanding with one another. We should heed the concerns of the skeptics, while basking in the glory and wonder that technology provides. This balance will allow us to continue evolving with technology––just like we always have!
What are your thoughts? How has technology impacted your life, for better or worse? Did anything I shared here change your perspective on technology?