Today we consider ourselves to be living in the ‘modern age of technology.’ Mankind has been developing technology and trying to make things simpler since many centuries. But has this struggle to be technologically civilized done just the opposite? The role of technology on today’s society is that instead of making life simpler, it has made it dependant. Life s now completely dependent on technology and our youth cannot even think of life without technology.
Internet is considered to be one of the biggest technological developments in the 21st century. With the intention of providing free information to all, it has also paved way for many negative consequences. The unanticipated consequences of the internet include the lack of privacy, unethical practices like hacking, and spamming and inappropriate content. The content on the internet is not governed and monitored by a single entity and thus contains a lot of inexplicit content that is harmful for the society.
Internet has also seen to increase a condition called Neurosis in humans. This condition is can be described as having anxiety and being emotional disturbed. This is due to the overwhelming information in the internet like countless medical websites which lead people to wonder if they have the same disease or not.
The most drastic negative role of technology is that it has almost completely banished the idea of ‘personal.’ Technology was meant to bring mankind closer and keep it connected through faster communication. However, with the increase in these communication developments, we have seen people to become socially incapable. People are now finding it hard to talk face to face and communicate in person. While technology keeps you connected with the lives of your ‘friends’, relationships are falling apart due to it. Divorce rates are increasing to the lack of communication between the couple. Both the partners are so engrossed in technology that they forget how important it is to sit down for a while and just talk.
Technology has led to lack of social skills, lack of sexual boundaries, increase in violence and insecurity, depression and stress. The use of machines and artificial intelligence was designed to help humans relax and enjoy life while the machines do the work. But this has seen to increase the stress levels due to increase in unemployment.
Another way that the technology has negatively affected the society is that it has increased the needs of the people. Even though people already make a lot, we have become demanding and unthankful for what we have. The more we have, the more we want. We no longer know the difference between sufficient and complete. We have forgotten to stop and take a deep breath. We no longer have the ability to ‘wait.’ With faster communication and increased technology we need to get answers immediately. Our attention span has been reduced drastically. Even though we have learned to say what’s on our mind in 140 characters, we have difficulty in remembering the names of our neighbors, or important dates like birthdays and anniversaries.
Technology has also changed how we consume food. Through modern packing and preservation techniques, it is now possible to store food for months. However this excessive use of preservatives and ‘eating out of a can’ attitude has affected human health and the family structure. Families no longer sit down to enjoy a meal together. They no longer have table talks and discussion. These were simple values that people enjoyed before the technological boom in our societies.
Technology’s role has also played havoc with the human health. From the foods we eat, to the air we breathe; all are influenced by technology. The air we breathe is now completely contaminated from harmful emissions from hi-tech factories and cars. The water we drink is contaminated with several toxic chemicals and the foods we eat are either full of chemical based preservatives or grown artificially in the lab. All these factors contribute to the increase in disease and illnesses. We see from research that technology has played a negative role in increasing obesity, diabetes, asthma and many such problems.
Technology even plays a role on how we think. With every person having a cell phone or tablet in his hand, people have instant access to thousands of resources. Technology has made it easier for people to get answers. This however has reduced their thinking and processing skills. The calculator for example was developed for faster calculations and processing. However this has led the common person to use it for even making simple calculations like adding two figures together. The concept of mental math is diminishing fast and it will really affect the thinking and processing skills of our youth. We have started the use of artificial intelligence and robotics in all fields and this is resulting in a lock down of the human brain. If the brain is not used constructively, then this leads to increase in crime.
The world today is completely caught up in the web of technology. We have become too dependent. From washing dishes, to going to the super market and to even sleep, we require technology. There were times when people did not have televisions, there were no nuclear weapons for the safety of your country, and they did not have ‘branded’ clothing on their backs. Yet, those times were much happier. People used to have values and emotions. Technology has detached all traces of human nature and made everything digital. The small simple things do not matter anymore. What we have failed to grasp is that true happiness can only be achieved with a combination of pain and effort. With technology providing us everything on our fingertips, we no longer know the value of things. Our youth does not know the feeling of achieving success after striving for it. They have access to all life’s luxuries without any effort.
Technology advancements are also not shared equally among the society. Richer and financially stable people have access to more options and advancements. With this they have more chances of acquiring even more money. This has created an economic and digital divide between the societies.
Technology has a huge impact on our society and world today. There are several contrasting opinions on the role of technology in our society today. Even though there are many good features about it, but as Einstein once stated, “technology has exceeded our humanity.” As much as we try to develop technology to help us and make life easier, it is making it more difficult and dependent. Initially technology was seen as a means to help keep our lives in control, however, now it is the other way round. Believe it or not, we are being controlled by technology.
Hosale, Sheri. "25 Negative Effects Of Technology." 8 June 2013. ROO Girl. 3 December 2013 <25 Negative Effects of Technology>.