By: A. Hemnani
Is technology, something initially made to be used as a tool to improve day-to-day living, now taking over our lives and taking humanity away from us? The rivalry between technology and humans has evolved over time, remaining mostly unnoticed so far, as we always thought it enabled societies. However, has it reached a point where it is instead, destroying human nature?
When we think of technology, things like phones and electronics come to our minds, but that is not all it is. Technology is the application of scientific knowledge into something that can be used for any practical purpose. Technology has been present in our lives for centuries- in fact, the word itself was coined by the ancient Greeks. The impact of technology on humans is a concept studied in great detail around the world, especially now, when more advanced technologies, like smartphones and computers, have become such a major part of our lives.
Neuroscientists have been observing how the increasing amount of exposure to technology can be affecting the brain, and they have agreed that it is slowly, but surely, taking over the lives of most individuals. Technology addiction has become a concerning issue, one driven particularly by the constant use of smartphones.
Smartphones are widely available around the world, and many children have access to these devices from a noticeably young age. Research shows that these devices lower children's attention spans and increase their risk of depression. Even though this piece of technology comes with many negative risks, humans have not stopped using it, quite the opposite in fact, humans have gotten so attached to their devices that they now cannot let go of them.
In the past, when new things were invented, people could not wait to get their hands on them. Although, back then, the prices of evolving technology were unimaginably high, only the very wealthy could afford such things. Nowadays, we can see that almost anyone has access to new inventions, and this has done both good and bad things for humanity. For example, access to such modern devices has enhanced senior living over time, enabling senior citizens to do things such as stay in touch with their families, that has proven to have been mentally beneficial. But has it also paved the way to a new type of society that depends on phones and social media for survival? Has humanity been completely transformed by these devices?
There is no right way to define being human, or humanity itself, although it is possible to conclude that humans are individuals who, as they grow up and mature, create their sense of differentiating right from wrong and get increasingly independent. To be human is to be unique, and it is clear to see that the technological world is slowly taking over those distinctive values that define humanity.
Technology is something that classifies individuals and normally makes them feel pressured to do what society dictates. For example, now, with the constant use of social media, people base who they are on how many likes or comments they receive on their posts. Honestly, I think that is absurd, don’t you? For technology to have such a significant impact on the way people feel, the constant rivalry between it and humanity must be getting worse.
It is clear that technology has had an impact on human behavior over time but what about humans, what is our impact on technology? Even though we are the ones who give birth to it, we know that it drives our future, and only our ethics will determine if it is used for good or bad.
Tim Cook, current CEO of Apple once said that “Technology is capable of doing great things. But it doesn’t want to do great things. It doesn’t want anything. That part takes all of us. We are optimistic about technology’s awesome potential for good — but we know that it won’t happen on its own.” Essentially, he states that humans have the power to decide if technology is used as a tool or a weapon.
Technology and humanity: they each grant the other's survival, but they are far from being friends. They are enemies, rivals. Each have the power to end one another and have been constantly at war for decades. The question is, will humanity's kind heart and unique traits save us from the algorithmic technological world that we have given birth to?