Technology. The Good, the bad and the ugly, or is technology good or bad, a discussion.
Technology. The Good, the bad and the ugly
Technology has the ability not only to enrich our lives in ways many of us could not have imagined, but it also has the ability to irritate and even enrage. It is difficult to imagine life without computers, the internet, MP3 players etc. Our lives are now so dependant on technology I thought I would examine the question, is technology a good thing or a bad thing.
Has technology made our lives easier or just more complicated? Is life in our super connected online world where technological changes happen with whirlwind speed more or less stressful? Has technology made our lives richer and more fulfilled? Is it possible to state categorically that it is good or bad, or is it a combination of both?
Let us begin first with the case for the defence and examine the good that technology brings to our lives.
- Booking holidays, concerts, flights etc is much easier, quicker and more convenient
- Comparison websites allow you to easily save money when buying things on the internet covering everything from flights to insurance even to mortgages
- With the advent of Google maps and other similar websites, finding places is much easier
- The internet has placed a wealth of information at our fingertips
- Thanks to mobile phones, meeting up with people is much easier as you are able to advise them that the train you are on is running late etc. Plus locating people in a crowded place is much simpler
- Safety for people on their own is improved as they can ring for help (women on their own late at night etc)
- Mobile technology is great in emergencies enabling you to phone the police, breakdown services etc from almost anywhere
- The internet and website such as Facebook has enabled people to contact long lost friends
- Increased connectivity enables people to keep in contact with relatives and friends on the other side of the world much more easily and quickly
- Job hunting is easier
- Email is much quicker and more convenient than writing letters (not to mention email is free)
- Due to the wealth of information available and websites to enable you to easily book everything, holidays are much easier to book
- Technology has reduced a lot of repetitive and dangerous work (typing pools no longer exist, robots do work too dangerous for humans)
- MP3 players allow you to listen to your own music anytime anywhere
- Technology makes flights less boring with more variety of things to do
- Technology is wonderful for filling in time while waiting for things
- Mobile phone ring tones
- People shouting into their phones
- People playing games on their mobile devices with the volume turned up full
- Loss of silence or at least quiet on trains, buses etc
- Junk email, plus email you really didn’t want (adverts, chain emails, “joke” emails and so on)
- Being online and connected can cause pressure and anxiety. People with few Facebook friends or those who receive few emails and updates can feel lonely and be made to feel unimportant.
- The complexity of modern computers can lead to a lack of stability in programs
- Version changes can sometimes require people to re-learn applications
- Errors given by Operating Systems and applications are often cryptic and unhelpful
- Keeping up with new technology can be very expensive with peer pressure ensuring that people feel pressured into replacing phones for example, even when their “old” phone still works perfectly well
- Piracy of music and movies is changing the face of the music and movie industries
- New devices / versions often feel exploitative with small differences between versions and a pressure to upgrade
- Life of technology is short, especially with mobile technology, creating a throw away society
- People walk and type or walk and listen to music putting themselves and others in danger. This is not only dangerous it can also be highly irritating when people do not look where they are walking
- People often seem to not quite be with you when they constantly check their mobile phones etc when you are eating out at a restaurant for example.
- The impact of technology on driving, texting while driving as well as satellite navigation sending people into rivers
- Concerns over privacy, security and ownership of personal data on the internet
Technology is a tool. It is worthwhile remembering that as a tool, technology was created to make our lives simpler, better and easier. By looking at your life and the technology in it and simplifying your relationship with it you can ensure that you get the best that technology can offer you. You can make technology and your online “life” work for you rather than chaining you and enslaving you. I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. I must admit that before I wrote this article I thought I was more disposed to think of technology as a bad influence on our lives, but after writing this I changed my thinking. Please feel free to leave comments or suggestions on things I may have missed! Many thanks for reading.