Is technology hurting or helping us?
We oft hear that technology is hurting us more than it’s helping us. There’s countless opinions and columns on the topic, and many of them resonate that, yes, it’s technology that’s hurting us and causing division. Well, that’s not exactly the case — technology is actually helping us in a lot of ways. Follow along and we’ll show you just a couple of those ways.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2006, but we’ve updated with new information for January 2017.
I think the big factor that starts this debate is social media. Let’s face it: there’s a lot of crude, nasty and hurtful flung around all over social media. You read them and, in most cases, wonder how we’ve gotten to such a place where we have an insane amount of disrespect for someone we may have never even met.
But yes, I truly think this is the core of the debate — social media, not technology itself. It’s really a “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water” type of thing, despite how cliche it sounds. However, even social media has its benefits, such as connecting with old friends, and friends and family being able to see that you’re OK and safe in the event of an emergency or disaster with Facebook’s Safety Check.
Of course, the choice is up to you whether to use social media or not — I personally keep away from it — but it’s important to not take social media, lump everything together and say “technology is hurting us.” Here’s just a few ways it has been a huge benefit and even a life saver.
There’s a wide range of gadgets out there that are a huge help in our daily lives. One that we interact with the most is our phones — it makes it easy to stay connected with others, take work on the go, and reach someone in the case of an emergency in just moments. In automotive repair, technology has made it easier and safer to diagnose and fix vehicles all the way down to changing tires on the rim. In our homes, TVs (and Smart TVs) have made it easier to relax and watch a movie or TV series with friends and family, electronic appliances have made it easier to store food, keep dishes clean, laundry washed and so much more.
Personal computers and laptops have made things all that more helpful, too. The reliance on computers has created many new avenues for jobs, keeping business afloat and new ways for entertainment (i.e. video games). As an extension of that, the Internet has made so many other things possible — anyone who wants to learn something can usually do just a quick Google search and start learning about their topic of choice, whether that be Software Development, Business, Health Sciences, Agriculture, Electricity, Welding and so much more.
In business, technology has automated a lot of things, cutting down both on the time and cost it would take to produce certain products or services. Technology in manufacturing allows us to mass produce thousands upon thousands of goods in a short amount of time. And, technology in transportation can get you items on your doorstep the same day you put in your order!
What truly might be the most stunning parts of technology is when it comes to the health sector. Technology is literally saving lives here. For instance, the defibrillator and pacemaker have literally been keeping people alive for years. Some technology will even allow amputees to walk and enjoy a small piece of life again. Not only that, but technology is even allowing us to efficiently bring other pieces of life-saving technology to under privileged countries, potentially saving even more lives.
Technology is what you make it
There’s so many good thing about technology — we’re just scratching the surface here. Really, technology is what you make it, as the change starts with you. You might perceive social media as a bad thing, but really, it’s not social media that’s bad — it’s the people that makes it or breaks it.
Technology isn’t going where — the benefits substantially outweigh the drawbacks. Of course, there are some discouraging and frustrating aspects to it, too. To name just a few, we’re concerned with personal information being a lot more easily accessible through hacking (e.g. banks, shopping information, etc), how much power technology gives governments, how we might rely too much (or too little) on technology and so on.
There are a lot of legitimate arguments and concerns on both sides of the spectrum, to say the least. But, for the most part, technology has done more for us than we could ever imagine. It’s important that we not blame technology on our problems, but instead, start changing things for the better in our circles of friends and family. Technology truly is a good thing — just look at the sheer amount of lives it’s saved — it just needs to be wielded in a proper manner.