Technology is everywhere. In our phones, laptops, cars, and even every cut made on our shirt’s button are the outcome. It’s almost impossible not to run into it unless they were naked and marooned on a lonely island. If we ask anyone, the majority will tell us that what we have now is a good thing.
In the past, when people get sick, they often die because of limited knowledge. Even a deadly disease such as measles can easily be remedied with the latest medical technology. We’re officially out of the Dark Ages, and that’s a good thing, or is it?
Let’s look at how technology benefits us as a whole and the dark side we rarely see.
The Bright Side of Things
Technology is beneficial for our survival. As a species that never developed fangs, claws, or muscles that can overpower any other animal, our wits are our greatest weapon. Through thousands of years, we have used tools to defend ourselves and to further civilizations. As different countries and cities became more open to trade, ideas were exchanged, planting a seed that would inspire many scientists for generations to come. Technology isn’t just something we use, but it is what represents us as a culture and as a civilization.
Agriculture was the first of many that enabled us to survive, and even now, it benefits us greatly. Today’s number of famines and droughts is incomparable to the olden days when we just had buckets to water our crops. Agricultural technology has come a long way as we can create crops as fast as we can consume.
Medical technology has also seen a sudden burst of growth as studies about the human body, and they made more inventions every year. Because of this, the human lifespan has increased dramatically. Life expectancy in the United States alone has increased from ~40 years in 1860 to 78 in the year 2020. Technology serves not only to make things convenient; it also saves lives.
From another point of view, it has aided in helping mental health patients. More and more facilities that can make an early diagnosis are now in place. Long gone are the inhumane shock therapies done in the past. Instead, medications (made in state-of-the-art labs) are prescribed, and therapy sessions can be scheduled with our psychiatrist.
These helped us survive 2020 during the pandemic, as both physical and mental health have been remedied by using the latest medical technologies. With vaccines now in production, we can only hope that the virus dwindles into non-existence.
Productivity and Entertainment
We have all heard of the phrase, “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy,” and it is true. Both work and hobbies are essential for us to have a healthy state of being. Work enables us to support ourselves and our families, whereas hobbies help us relax and be happy.
Perhaps the most recognizable effect of technology lies in these events of our lives. Smartphones are an outstanding example of how a single tool can be handy for business and entertainment. As the world moves to more digital pastures, many jobs rely on the existence of cyberspace, and more games are now geared towards multiplayer and VR technologies.
The Dark Side
Now that we’ve established the importance of technology through different points of view let’s now focus on the less good points.
Less Human Interaction
As the world becomes engrossed in the virtual, fewer and fewer people have become engaged with their acquaintances, friends, and loved ones. Because of increasing anonymity, people can now say anything without consequence. These things can perpetuate activities like cyber-bullying, stalking, doxing, and cybercrime.
In rare cases, it can escalate to real-life issues that can damage a person’s social life or physical well-being. These instances, which have become more prominent in the past years, contribute to the general increase in depression and anxiety among the younger generation.
Earlier, we mentioned a term that relates to this, and it’s the phenomenon called doxing. It can compromise individual privacy if someone disseminates information without the permission of the person.
Some people are accustomed to live in a technology bubble that offers them a promise of power, being heard, and security. But as stated above, it can also be hazardous, and too much immersion can be detrimental. One wrong move can turn the entire world against us as the internet can reduce a person to a single profile pic.
Technology has both bad and good sides, but there is no black and white. It exists in a grey space where what we do with it gives it meaning and purpose. Technology is a tool, and it is up to us to use it in positive ways. Always remember that the most excellent defender and threat to us isn’t technology but ourselves.