Is Technology an Entirely Positive Thing?

Based on my experience, it seems to me that many people  have a very positive view of technology, seeing it as an  avenue to less work and more fun. I feel that much of  technology today is made with the intention of helping  people, and succeeds in many ways, but also has negative side  effects or potential future consequences that are easy to  overlook or not consider.

The nuclear bomb development “helped” the United States win an arms race but also killed hundreds of thousands of people in Japan and has put very deadly weapons in the hands of unpredictable dictators. Televisions, gaming  consoles, and other home entertainment equipment have helped people to not be bored for decades but have also increased obesity and sedentary lifestyles, cut down on appreciation for nature, reduced actual human interaction, and most distressingly planted some very distorted world views in the minds of millions of American youth. The “new global perspective,” as you call it, is definitely helping people interact with and better understand other cultures, but at the same time gives hateful people a chance to spread racism and discrimination to a larger audience with no consequences or accountability. Specialization, as you mention, “helps” people contribute the most to society in one specialized area, that is if everything goes according to plan. It also often qualifies people for a short list of actual careers that they end up performing inadequately, hating, or never even finding. When this happens, people are either unhappy in their work or cut their losses, settling for a lower-skill job and realizing they sacrificed the better part of their 20s and a lot of money pursuing a degree.

Technology is the ultimate double-edged sword, in my opinion. I can  see the great benefits and good results that have come from the boom  of technology in the last 20 years. However, it is very easy for people  to allow themselves to automatically associate all of technology with  a better lifestyle and a more hip and modern society. This, I think, is a  very dangerous fallacy of reasoning, but I’m afraid that it is  surprisingly natural for many people. With all of the movies, TV  shows, magazines, newspapers, internet advertisements,  commercials, celebrity endorsements, and product labels depicting  smiling, happy people using cool-looking technology, it’s easy to  subconsciously give the word a very positive connotation and  develop the mindset that increasingly powerful, affordable, widely  available, and easy-to-use technology in all aspects of life is an  inherently good idea. Many people never stop to consider the consequences of letting their 7-year old boy kill people on a TV for 5 hours a day or allowing their 14-year old daughter to have a more emotional relationship with her phone than her sister.

In my life, I have come to see definite pros but also very real cons of the technology we now have in all facets of life. As I feel about most practices in life, exercising moderation is key. This is especially true of practices that are easy to abuse. The use of technology can certainly be taken too far, so I feel it is wise to proceed with caution. I humbly suggest that in practicing the use of technology, people would be wise to consider the motives of its advocates and distributer, as well as its positive and negative effects on the health and happiness of people before further integrating it into their everyday lives.


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