ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How Dependent upon Technology do you believe Human Beings to be?

Updated on April 14, 2011

Do You envision this dependence as foretelling a brighter future or a kind of self-destructive hell?

In approaching this question, we must remember that “the use of technology becomes the unique fashion by which humans relate to the world” (THC-625 Lecture 1, p 2) and this is the crux of the matter when we contemplate how and if humanity is “dependent” on technology. The range of societal civilizations in the present world is vast. Therefore, in answering this question, we must first determine whether we are speaking only of “Western” civilization which is unquestionably advanced in both technology and intention or the more primal “Third World” indigenous human societies and cultures of undeveloped nations who are still using primitive tools as they tend to the simple, sustainable subsistence of their communities or villages, expressing only basic “vital” needs and intentions.

Most present day indigenous people have avoided (or attempted to avoid) by their geographical isolation, the impending “progress” of industrialization. These people have successfully integrated their culture holistically with the natural world, so much so that their technology, their tools for existence, are easily produced, controlled and utilized. There does not seem to be much need to develop technology further. They have lived within nature in the same way for thousands of years passing their values, beliefs and practices along to subsequent generations who, no doubt, will live much the same way if allowed to live uninterrupted by more civilized man’s “progress.”

These niches of humanity do not seem to be dependent on technology. They have not become alienated from the natural world that nurtures them as are the people of more advanced industrialized societies. So then, narrowing our perspective to these advanced societies, the more poignant question becomes whether the most advanced societies, those of the Western World (Europe, North America) and some emerging eastern countries, are finding themselves dependent on their technology as it is the power of their technology “as a crucial agent of change, (that) has a prominent place in the culture of modernity” (Smith & Marx 1994). Perhaps it is the advanced industrialized societies, alienated and disenfranchised from the natural world, who now find themselves dependent on the “tools” they have developed over the progressive course of their evolution and intention.

As stated in this Course’s Lecture 1 notes (p 2) “How we employ technology expresses our intentions, projects and values.” Today, in the Twenty-First century, humanity as found in the highly industrialized, consumer-driven Western World, as well as emerging eastern countries, seems to be slave to the technologies it has developed particularly in the last two hundred years. According to Smith & Marx, “…a technical innovation suddenly appears and causes important things to happen” and “taken together, these before-and-after narratives give credence to the idea of ‘technology’ as an independent entity, a virtually autonomous agent of change.”

Given that most of the population of the industrialized world is connected to the internet, has a cell phone, uses some form of energy-consuming vehicle for transportation, is committed to a “modern” kitchen of leisure-lending, energy-consuming appliances, not to mention the seemingly ubiquitous supply of potable water and labyrinth of wastewater systems, we would be hard pressed to suddenly have to give up these luxuries and narrow our wants and desires to just “vital needs” as do our more primitive cousins around the globe. Yet those who have survived catastrophic disasters at the mercy of nature or even those created by man upon man, find themselves mired in the tragedy of lost luxuries and vanishing sensibilities.

It seems that we have alienated ourselves further and further from the natural world, becoming more and more dependent on technology and industry as an alternative source of nurturing, forcing us to partake more wholly in a synthetic world. The kind of future before us will no doubt reflect our inherent intentions towards our interdependent network of civilizations and towards ourselves as moralistic (or not) responsible individuals. Our long history of domination threatens of a foreboding future unless we question our collective wisdom and recognize our adolescent penchant for self-satisfying frivolous whimsy. Our situation is perilous but still we rocket upward, almost blindly tethered to the indescribable creations of our dreams, speculating on extinction yet hoping for our promised future.

Works Cited

Smith, M. R. and L. Marx (1994). Does Technology Drive History? The Dilemma of Technological Determinism. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Murphy, L. L. and Dominick A. Iorio, Technology and the Human Community Lecture Lesson 1, Module 1, (THC-625) Thomas Edison State College, Trenton, NJ

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Our next revolution in the industrial/technology age will include the challenge of the fork in the road - "frivolous whimsy" or real life changing mobile applications that are beyond entertainment and beyond convenience but things that change our health.

      This is exceptional - a real research paper - well done in every way.

      I wish Hub Pages had a scholarly section - this deserves recognition. Thank you!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)