Technology: Friend or Foe?


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Technology: Friend or Foe?

 

I think that technology is amazing. The latest technological advances have so much possibilities and potential that it could change our lives drastically. It terms of social media, technology already has changed so much about the common forms of communication and interaction between human beings. Facebook, twitter, dating sites, and more are taking over our social lives, fast. Often times, I consider deleting my Facebook because I feel that it can be a huge waste of time. Today it seems like I am surrounded by people who update their status every hour of the day and although I can appreciate technology as much as any other person, I have to ask the question, am I the only one that sees the negative effects? After reading the article, "Technology Can Be Bad", it really got me thinking about how this modern technology is affecting us.

 

Technology has "sped up life". We can find answers to questions faster and we can get things done more efficiently. It is true that this is a great advancement in today's world, but can't it also be said that it is making us lazier too? We as humans are thinkers and dreamers and I understand that technology can be seen as humans being more efficient, but I can't help but see it as us using technology so it can think for us. The more that technology evolves, the less we have to do as humans. I see this making us lazier overall and I think it is really affecting our social lives.

 

Many people say that Facebook is a great tool to keep in touch with friends but is that really what we are using it for? To me, keeping in touch means asking someone how they've been and getting an actual response. Keeping in touch doesn't mean reading their Facebook page and looking through their pictures without them even knowing. I think it is actually scary how much we can know about a person without ever even speaking to them. Humans are nosey, and lets' be realistic, THAT is what we use Facebook for. To catch up on the drama, to see who's gained the freshman fifteen, to find out who their ex is dating now, and to see how the party was that they missed the other night.

 

I am not saying that everything about Facebook is bad. That is why I still have mine. It is a fun way to communicate with your friends, but all 784 of them? Most of the "friends" we have on Facebook aren't even our friends. Why can't we just pick up the phone and give someone a call that we haven't talked to in a while? I am sure the majority of us don't even have most of our Facebook friends numbers.

 

With all of today's new technology we can access the internet anywhere, any time. We pass people on the street and everyone is looking down at their phones instead of interacting with the people right beside them. Do we even need to physically talk to people anymore? It's almost easier to communicate online. People are more confident behind a computer screen and they can be whoever they want to be. That is why online dating is so popular now. Online you can meet someone who is confident and charming and once you see them in person they are really nervous and shy.

 

I worry that all of this technology that makes it so easy for us to communicate with one another is actually making us socially awkward. We are starting to get used to things coming easy to us and not having to do much ourselves including communicating. It is much easier to say hi to a stranger in a message than physically walking up to someone to introduce yourself. I worry for the younger generations because they are growing up in a world where this kind of technology is all they know. The article, "Young People Cop to It: Technology Is Bad for Us," talks about how life is for kids growing up with this technology and that kids even agree that it is bad for them! I think it is important for people to think for themselves and go out and see the world and physically meet and talk to new people in person. We shouldn't just experience life over the internet, we should be able to appreciate the simplicity of life and how enjoyable it is even without technology.

 

So what do you think? Is technology really just a helpful advancement in our lives or is it negatively affecting our lives? Here is another link to help us answer this question:

 

"Students Addicted to Technology: The Good and Bad News"

 

5 Comments

Great topic! I've contemplated myself whether technology has or hasn't hindered our society. I feel in a way it has. We've lost basic communications with ourselves. Instead of talking to each other in person for important situations, we just text or send messages far away and hidden so that we don't have to face unwanted emotional consequences. I observe people at lunch and dinner and almost everyone is on the phone not talking to the people they are beside. I find this just incredible and I fear that in the future humans won't even communicate verbally, or that we'll forget how to talk because we'll be too associated with technological communication. Hopefully this does not happen and science/communicators can find a way that helps with verbal communications getting back in style. But for now, we should all try a little harder to put the cellphones down during social times, turn off the computers when we're not working, and try to connect with others and better our personal relationships in our lives without technology.

As I was reading this, I kept saying "yes! that's exactly what I was thinking!" Your point about using Facebook to keep up with the drama is spot-on for me. I actually created my Facebook because I heard about drama involving me that I didn't have access to because I didn't have an account. As for your comment about Facebook's purpose, if you have ever seen "The Social Network" you would see that the social networking site was invented by a college student for the very purpose of snooping around the dating availability of girls and critiquing their pictures. Although Facebook has some great qualities and can be used for the right reasons by some, there are definitely some very alarming factors to it. I would be curious to discover how the increase in technology has affected depression rates throughout the country. It would probably be an alarming statistic...

As I was reading through your blog post, I continuously noticed that I was nodding along with everything that you were saying, this was such a great topic to discuss. Technology is just one of those things that can be considered a love and hate relationship. The advancements that we have had in our society is amazing, and I would be lying if I said that I did not look for the newest tweet on my timeline, or glance at what pictures were posted on Facebook from the latest football game, but I always think to myself that I am just wasting my time. It seems not so long ago that we as a society were not so attached to our cell phones or comparing who had more "friends" on social networking sites. You discussed in your post how lazy it seems we are becoming and I definitely agree with you, especially with the younger generation. When I was younger, I remember coming home from school and wanting to go play outside right away after being cooped up in a classroom all day, but now, the younger generation wants to run home and play the newest video game on all their different game consoles. I still find it mind blowing when I see a kid under the age of ten playing on an Ipad.To me, it is so fascinating in a positive and negative way as to how times have changed. It really makes you wonder how technology will advance even within the next ten years. Of course technology helps us in tremendous ways whether it be keeping in touch with family or friends that we do not always get to see or that we can understand what is going on in the world in just the palm of our hand, but it does seem to hinder personal interactions in some ways. Towards the end of your post, I liked how you made the point of how technology seems to deter our social relationships. I read a really interesting article from The New York Times that furthers divulges into the topic of technology and how it can corrupt our social skills. Do you think that as technology continues to grow, our social relationships and face to face contact will dramatically decrease?

I think that this is a great blog topic. I've heard this argument many times and I think that it is a great argument. I would have to say though that technology is both an advantage and impairment.

I agree that technology is causing people to talk to each other less and less. This of course is bad because everybody needs interpersonal skills. The ongoing trend of technology is in fact going to negatively affect the children who are growing up now the most. All they are going to know is texting, and social media websites as means of communication. That is not going to pay off when they are in a professional environment where they have to work with/ and talk to people.

I also believe that technology in today's world is a positive thing because like many others I find things like flat screen tvs, and smartsphones very cool. The recent trend of technology also gives hope to those who wish to pursue a career in fields involving technology.

There could be a variety of ways that you could interpret technology as being a foe. For instance one debate that has sparked a lot of talk and criticisms of technology is internet and social technology privacy. Often Facebook has more control over our profiles and settings within the site than we do. I also agree with Eric's comment above mine. He is right in the sense that technology such as social networking, the internet in general, and cell phones make us rely less on talking to each other face to face, and instead do it from a distance.

If you want to argue the other side of the argument i think that it is also very easy to do. The comments above mine did not really focus on this aspect so I will. Technology has been great for our society. Without modern day technology, many of our grandparents wouldn't be alive. You have to look at all of the medical advances, and just advances in general that make our lives easier on a daily basis. Also look at education. The site that we are using right now is a product of modern day technology and it is helping us all learn together about new topics. You can also relate this blog post to what we learned in class. Without technology most of the work Andrew and his colleagues do at the university would not be possible. Also without technology and modern day experiments/testing, hundreds of thousands of more people may still be dying from cigarettes every year because the inventions weren't made to help us experiment and show that smoking kills.

In the end it is easy to argue both sides here, and no matter what your stance is, every day you are going to end up using modern technology. Maybe as a follow up somebody could do another blog showing the consequences of modern technology, or how it has helped society.

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