Do you think the new Technologies are a Boon or a Disservice?

  1. profile image0
    Deb Welchposted 5 years ago
    There was an Opinion article in yesterday's newspaper mentioning
    about back in the day when there were Rotary Telephones where
    you would only talk to one person,Typewriters - that rang a bell,
    and you kept your family photos in your wallet.  We are in
    the i generation - maybe our eyesight, mindsight, foresight or
    hindsight are being deceived into thinking these new
    technologies are for the betterment of humanity? Maybe some are and
    maybe not all,( i)  think.

    1. Greekgeek profile image96
      Greekgeekposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      We've been debating this as long as technology has existed. Socrates worried that writing was sapping people's ability to remember -- people used to be able to memorize long speeches, convesations, and huge amounts of spoken material verbatim, and we have records of this from the time when societies transition from oral to literate culture. That transformation changed society in huge, profound ways.

      Before, cultural history and identity tended to be passed on: myths, farming lore, wise sayings, genealogical histories, and other things that could easily be preserved in rhyme. But people didn't "remember" individual lives, individuals as much, as there was no easy way to preserve everyone's names, likenesses, and personal experiences -- not unless they were so memorable or so universally applicable that everyone who heard the story felt a connection to it and passed it on (some urban legends and "this happened to a friend of a friend" stories are a modern version of that.)

      Writing also allowed much more complex science, knowledge, and research, and ushered in mathematics and geometry: stuff you just can't DO in your head, without writing things down in multiple steps, working it out, and building on things figured out by previous scholars, engineers, and mathematicians. The quality of life went up as a result of innovations in math, science, engineering, even laws (a law code with standardized penalties, procedures, and forms of redress.)

      Modern mobile technology is causing a similar transition. Kids are learning/retaining less knowledge because they can look it up, and much more about individuals can be preserved and shared. People can find out much more but know and remember less. The way we think has to change to keep up with this -- critical thinking, the ability to evaluate the trustworthiness of an information source and discern someone else's biases or unspoken agenda -- has never been more important.

      These technologies are changing lives in good ways and bad, just as when people figured out how to forge iron into a plough ... Or a sword. (And the plough caused problems too, as it does to this day when migratory and hunting societies find game and resources removed from an an area for the planting of one crop, and they're no longer allowed to roam but required to live on reservations or in designated areas.) It helps a lot if we can remember that nearly EVERYTHING in our lives is artificial, arbitrary, and a product of technological changes: the 9 to 5 work week, the surprisingly modern concept of "job" (going outside the home to work for money, then coming home, as opposed to workplace and home being the same), the size of our families and who lives under the same roof, where and how we get our food. If we understand that a lot of things are not necessarily how it has to be, we can take more control of our lives and choose to reshape rather than only be shaped by our changing technologies. Or at least we can sift through a lot of BS that comes of people assuming that how things are right now is the way things SHOULD be, and  ALWAYS are, and anything different is bad and suspicious.

  2. jacharless profile image80
    jacharlessposted 5 years ago

    I liked that Socrates notation, GG. And in fact was true. Volumes of information were retained in the human mind. Such feats today are called marvelous or special, but they were natural to the human ability. To a huge degree he was correct. Writing made humans short sighted and limited to only what was in front of them. Mass media and marketing have since perfected this craft.

    Writing is such a beautiful thing though. And regardless of a no-type, no-hand written society today, as children are being conditioned to use Siri or programmed tablets {touch technology} and abandoning writing as a form of communication, I will always prefer it to technology. Apart from writing is interpersonal communication. I very much enjoy long conversations over a bottle of wine {maybe two} versus video conferencing or endless SMS messaging or email.

    Oddly, when I was @university, hand wrote me thesis before typing it. This was in the late 80s. Twelve years later I was sitting in front of a personal computer. Two years ago in front of a touch screen tablet. Technology is advancing at record speeds. In a decade, PC's are going to be obsolete, replaced by hand-held SUR-40 devices.