Technology has changed our lives
“Imagination іѕ more important thаn knowledge. Knowledge іѕ limited. Imagination encircles thе world.” – Albert Einstein
The fact that technology is changing our lives is obvious. Some like to pose it as a question as in “is technology changing our lives?” Of course it is. Can there be any doubt that is has impacted just about ever facet of our existence? Our imagination has given us the opportunity to walk on alien landscapes and now, closer to home, is giving us things like “10,000 songs in your pocket”. These technological advances have undoubtedly made our lives easier, but are they truly benefiting us? Is mankind better off today than 100 years ago? We don’t work as hard, obesity levels have risen to unforeseen levels and physical exertion of the average person is at an all time low. Are we better off?
How Has Technology Changed Our Society
“Thе real problem іѕ nоt whеthеr machines think but whеthеr men do”. – B. F. Skinner.
Society as a whole is seeing the same benefits and disadvantages that individuals are realizing. “Things” run better and smoother, but that means that society is struggling less…and maybe struggle is an inherent part of our makeup. Maybe we’re supposed to struggle. Without struggles, how do we compete, how do we grow, how do we get better, how do we recognize when there’s a problem? As technological advances lessen the amount of struggle society must undergo, society runs smoother but also becomes weaker and less able to handle dire situations when needed.
Currently, the biggest and most noticeable of all technological advances hinges around the computer arena and, specifically the Internet. Never before has the single person had so much power and knowledge at their fingertips. So much ability to create or destroy, to socialize or withdraw, to learn or fade away. Businesses of all sizes benefit from the Internet, there can be no question about this. A local business in Atlanta seeks to connect customers who need repair from water damage with local professionals who are trained and expert in the area of water damage repair and mold remediation. The searcher needs only pick do a quick search, pick up the phone and make a phone call. In the past, this was unimaginable. The ability to book flights online, book a vacation, read a book, research a topic, etc, etc. All thanks to the Internet
Banking has changed drastically as well. 20 years ago, everybody carried that green stuff called money. Now you can go a whole month, spend thousands of dollars and never actually see any money. It’s all bits and bytes flowing over the wire. Digital Banking is a drastic step for mankind and must certainly be thought of as one of the primary movers and shakers of the Internet age.
Education, like everything else, has felt the sting as well as the benefit of our growing technology. Classes can be taught remotely with the students nor the teacher ever stepping foot inside a classroom. In fact, often times, there isn’t even a classroom! Chalkboards have given way to PowerPoint presentations. Slide rules and calculators are being replaced by spreadsheets that allow the user to perform extremely complex calculations with the push of a single button or the entry of a macro. Once again, more productivity but far less actual thinking.
Lastly, communication. In the last 150 years or so, we’ve gone from the Pony Express to instantaneous world-wide communication. Email has just about put the United States Postal Service out of business. Text messaging via phone or computer has put letter writing out of fashion. Even phone calls are far less common these days as people text and IM each other as dialogue. It’s less intrusive, easier to answer, and makes a lot of sense…unless you feel that maybe people should – oh, I don’t know – actually talk to each other. Even the dating scene has been drastically changed (notice I didn’t say improved). 20 years ago, you had to work up the nerve to ask the girl to the date face to face, sometimes with her friends standing there. Today, a simple text message will suffice and if you get turned down you just send it to the next one in line. Easier? I guess. Better? I don’t think so. There’s something to be said for a young man to work up the nerve to face that lady…there’s a lot of learning that goes on in that little scenario.
So anyway, it’s not a question of “if” technology is changing how we live but rather a question of whether or not those changes are beneficial. Yes, they make everything easier but I believe that comes at a price that we, as mankind, will have to pay sometime in the future.