Technology: An Alternate View

January 10, 2010
In this day and age, society is built on the foundation of technology. Businesses, schools, and everyday life revolve around the comfort and luxury of modern technology. Though it provides an efficient, effective means of communication, stimulation, entertainment, and production, technology is compromising social networking and relationships. The integration in classrooms is causing children to rely on the computer and the Internet, not only as their ultimate source of education but also entertainment and relationships. Slowly but surely, technology is destroying relationships and social skills of the future generation, leading to an unbalanced, unsynchronized society.

The goal of schooling is to create a civilized and disciplined future generation. Through the structure and boundaries that conduct the classroom, children are learning obedience, discretion and poise (Source A). Technology plays no part in the development of youth (Source A). Rather, it distracts and manipulates students from the ultimate goal- learning. Source A describes, “The god of technology does not appear interested in [the] function of schools. At least, it does not come up much when technology’s virtues are enumerated.” While technology appears efficient and worthwhile, its presence in classrooms is rather hindering. Schools do not provide the optimal venue for technology at its most advantageous usage, and more often lead to misuse and disruption. Such misuse is seen, not only in classrooms, but also in everyday society (Source E). In Source E, An example of this becomes obvious when some use technology to “[preoccupy themselves] so [they] are no longer obligated to interact with the uncontrollable factors of everyday life.” The white ear bunds of an iPod refuse sociability (Source E). Little boys zoned into their video games are oblivious to the world spinning around them. These effects of technology are obviously unhealthy, not only to the development of society and culture, but also to a person as an individual.

The seclusion and privacy technology promotes is causing the decline of what is now known as a “society”. Specifically through the Internet, users that seek online relationships are being removed from their physical relations (Source B). The Internet creates superficial relationships that are unstable, and cause more social negatives than solution. “Source B” explains, “A recent study… concludes that Internet use leads to small but statistically significant increases in misery and loneliness and a decline in overall psychological well-being.” In other words, not only is technology leading to lacking social skills, but also depriving individuals of critical relationships that emotionally stabilize them. According to “Source F,” it has been proven that Internet users spend less time involved in social activities than non-Internet users. On average, non-Internet users spend 287.4 minutes per day with their family, while Internet users spend only 185 minutes per day (Source F). This is a whole 102.4 minute difference per day (Source F). Obviously, Internet users heavily rely on online relationships for support, and do not strengthen their family roots- a crucial part in maintaining stability in any life. Meanwhile, non-Internet users have extra time devoted to their families, ultimately leading to a more upbeat, stable, and satisfying life.

On the positive side, technology and the Internet can expand “one’s ‘social circle’ considerably” through a “virtually unlimited number of people through chat rooms, bulletin boards, and other services” (Source C). By simply logging online, anyone can make his or her profile accessible to the general public. While options like this can be beneficial under certain circumstances, posting personal information publically can be a very risky undertaking. Online predators can easily access information allowing them scam, harm, or take advantage of innocent users. The counter argument to the dangers of posting online information states that “electronically mediated communication… hides or camouflages physical appearance and social identify (Source C). Users are able to adjust their profile information, allowing them to be more or less accessible to the general public. This feature also has a drawback. Anyone can create such vague profiles that other users can be easily deceived. This has lead to dangerous conversations in which users have unintentionally given predators valuable information, all because they were unaware of whom they were communication with. Users hide their information, and, in doing so, lose credibility, and create mistrust and suspicion. Either way it is looked at, the Internet is an extremely risky and dangerous place to form relationships.

Overall, technology is affecting society in the negative. While efficient and enjoyable to use, most schools and businesses do not provide the proper venue in which technology is most effective. Technology has negative connotations because society has not developed enough to accurately take advantage of its uses. Though the fault truly falls on the users, people are tricked into believing technology itself is the root of the problem. Either way, one of the main reasons for life is being unintentionally overlooked. Unaware victims are evolving into selfish hermits. Technology, the application of scientific knowledge, through hope of a more efficient and organized world, is slowly dehumanizing society as we know it.

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