Technology has become so prevalent that sometimes we use technology without knowing it. In about everything we do, some form of technology is used. We utilize technology in transport, communication, cooking, cleaning, basically, in every facet of life. Due to this prevalence, it is very easy for technology to take over our lives.
It is unfathomable to live without technology in today’s world. The issue, however, is how dependent we are becoming on technology. If we take the case of cell phones, for example, the statistics elucidate the trend. 60 percent of the world’s population own cell phones. Of these, 7 percent have been classified as ‘smartphone-dependent.’ 67 percent of owners find themselves checking their devices for alerts, calls, and texts, even when they have not noticed the phone vibrating. 29 percent of owners opine that they cannot fathom the world without smartphones (Lewis, Ritu and Vallabh). This percentage pays homage to the concept that technology is taking over our lives.
Technology has the capability of bringing advancement to society, as well as being its downfall. Technologies have the capacity to overcome the impediments of space and time, and therefore, if used wisely can enable people to garner a comprehension of other people, meet individuals from all over the globe communicate effectively with others, and maintain and strengthen familial relationships. Creating meaningful social relations often entails sharing one’s life with others, and technology assists in this endeavor through photos, music, and videos. The features of online communities and virtual worlds provide an opportunity for people to overcome isolation and become socially adept. In this instance, technology aids social interactions. However, Technology can hurt social interactions. Technology provides a passive medium for meaningful interaction, and requires little skill and thought on people’s part. There are many features to social interaction such as body language, features that cannot be exhibited through non-personal social interaction. Sometimes, the exposure to technological aspects such as pornography can have adverse impacts on people’s social lives. As such, technology can either hurt or advance social interaction.
Since the advent of technology, humans have neglected each other and themselves, spending less time in face to face conversation with family, colleagues, and neighbors. Humans spend most of their time working, consuming, driving, watching TV, being online, sending emails and texting. The rapid advances in technology have occasioned a generation who need always to do things quick. As such, people are easily distracted and unable to create a balance between the time utilizing technology and that spent in conversation and social interaction with others. Despite the proliferated online interactions, people often feel socially isolated because interactions are by machine and not close, warm living human contacts.
Despite the detrimental effects to social interactions, technological advances have led to the betterment of society. In transport, for example, goods and people can now be moved at rapid paces and over longer distances, essentially creating a global village. Technology has also made work easier. Advances in medical technology has seen the eradication of diseases and epidemics, and an improvement in the overall societal wellness. In education, the invention of technological gadgets and mobile apps enables students learn virtually and have access to vast online databases. Machines have also replaced human labor with machines or are being used in conjunction with human labor to upsurge productivity.
Lewis, William, Agarwal Ritu and Sambamurthy Vallabh. “Sources of influence on beliefs about information technology use: an empirical study of knowledge workers.” MIS quarterly (2003): 657-678. Document.