Technology in 2013 – Hurtful or Helpful?

Not as Simple a Question as it Seems




In English class our teacher asked us one simple question, “Is technology in 2013 a positive thing or a negative one?” Your first response is probably, “Of course technological progress is positive. What could possibly be negative about improvements in technology?” Technology has changed the way we communicate, travel, learn and live our everyday lives. At a global level, the communication and educational tools available now allow for nearly every society to progress. This progress develops the economy and the status of countries and globally increases the wealth of nations. On a personal level, technology has improved both the speed and accuracy of how we gain information. No longer do people need to go to the library and look up information in encyclopedias because just about everything you need to know is right in your hands with an iPhone or iPad. Technology has simply made life just more convenient; you can book a trip in just a few minutes, no more travel agents. You can play a game at anytime and anywhere, no more relying on Playstations hooked up to your home TV. You can watch anything at any time, no more having to be home when your favorite TV show is on. Most importantly – you can find anything out you want at any time of the day or night. When you really think about it though, there are some negative effects that technology has on society in 2013. Technology has caused a decrease in the health of people because of the lack of physical activity. It has caused a decline in the writing skills of the younger generation because of the speed in which things are communicated to one another. It has created a new way of bullying (cyber bulling). And it has caused a huge decrease in the face to face communication that was central to socialization before the times of texting and Skyping came around.  In fact, a study done in May of 2013 by PEW Internet group found that 91% of Americans have a cell phone, and of that 56% of them have a smart phone and use texting as their primary method of communication.  And if what you want to say is going to be met with anger, it also is a way to deliver bad news without fear of the reply. Technology has become something that is ‘needed’ rather than something that is ‘wanted’ and this can cause stress and addiction that people 10 years ago did not have to deal with. On the global level, technology has proven to be a great aide to those counties in need. At a personal level though, technology has the potential to be very helpful or very harmful; it is really up to the user to determine the lasting effects of technology on their own lives. So, fellow users of technology – be careful out there!