Opinion: Technology, tool or trap?
Where is everyone? Everywhere I went today I noticed a saddening trend. Everyone is either engrossed in their cell phones or just absent in general. Driving by parks and playgrounds, I noticed they were completely empty. People no longer engage in the activities we all once enjoyed in the not so distant past. I remember a time where having to stay inside was a punishment! I would feel left out being stuck in my room while all of the other kids were outside playing and having fun. Now the punishment is when a child is unplugged from electronics and forced to go outdoors.
What other avenues of the human psyche have been altered since the introduction to so much electronic and technological development? What dangers are involved? How will these changes affect future generations in areas such as the work place, family life, and relationships? What benefits come with such progression? These are questions that we as a society must ask ourselves.
Many would agree the largest contributing factor to the acceleration in technological advancement was the introduction of the internet. This amazing achievement allows us to be in contact almost instantaneously with any person from nearly any place on the planet. Thanks to advancements in cellphone technology, we now have access to the internet on the go without wires. At this point in mankind’s history there is nearly no excuse as to why we are so divided as humans. We can research almost any information we need on every subject one can fathom. We can contact whoever we need to, whenever we need to.
Considering all of this it seems difficult to understand why all of earth’s inhabitants seem to create more divisions every day. Families have no sense of closeness. Parents and children have no idea about each other’s lives outside of what they post on Facebook for everyone to see. This struggle can even affect some of the most important relationships in our lives. It can cause an emotional rift that can extend beyond repair. It can rob us of our security. It can expose us to temptation that can ruin everything. The internet, and more specifically the misuse of social media, destroy unimaginable amounts of relationships every single day.
“Learning has become more interesting. Younger generations have more tools available and avenues of learning that can be more interesting to them now. It helps them want to learn. Although teachers may be old school they need to embrace progressing technology,” said senior student Katelyn Ross.
While some see it as a very convenient and powerful tool others fear the dangers involved. Online, one may unknowingly expose themselves to several different types of dangers. A few examples would include things such as sexual predators, identity theft, hackers, spyware, viruses, and other serious threats. The scary part is not every threat is so obvious. Some threats can be as subtle as a “friend” crossing boundaries through personal messages or comments that they would not normally cross in person. Situations such as these can put unnecessary strain on a relationship. Temptation can be easily pursued and tracks covered up through applications such as Snapchat, a program where picture, video, or text messages can be sent and after an allotted time automatically delete themselves. The danger is obvious. Statistics show that more than one in five relationships end due to something related to social media.
So what is the wise decision regarding technology? Many would agree that it is vital to keep up with technology otherwise we will fall behind, but with caution. Avoid excessive use or reliance on technology. Respect it for what it can accomplish. Technology’s role in our lives is inevitable, so one would do well to tread softly and respect its power.