Wednesday saw the introduction of this topic when I discussed how technology can be harmful to us, how it can make us lazy and dumb, and asked you whether or not you thought we had anything to fear from the advancements that happen at an alarming pace in this industry.
Today I’m here to tell you that’s a load of crap.
Okay, well, no, I’m not. BUT, I don’t actually think robots are going to take over the universe, and I don’t actually think we need to worry about becoming too dependent on technology for everything we do. Sure, there are issues regarding this topic – but there always have been. There always will be.
Instead, it’s important to focus on how technology can assist us. There’s a very strong argument to be made about technology limiting our experiences, but I think there’s an even stronger one to be made about how it can expand our knowledge.
About every other week I hop on Skype and talk to a girl from Australia about Teen Wolf (hey-ho, self promotion alert!). Some of the most remarkable people I know, the people that I talk to on a daily basis, don’t even live in New York. Some of them don’t even live in this country! I’ve never even met them, yet we share common interests that allow us to bypass the limits of physical boundaries and develop of strong relationship.
On Facebook I can talk to one of my best friends (a former exchange student) whenever I want – despite the fact that she lives in Argentina. When I’m doing research for my writing, the answers to all my questions are right at my fingertips. When I want to spread the love and tell people about a great new book I’ve read, all I have to do is take thirty seconds and tweet out a link.
Technology can divide us. It can keep us from having “real” conversations with each other. It can keep us holed up in our room, bent over our computers for hours at a time, instead of going outside and playing with the kids next door.
But it also connects us. The world is interdependent, and that’s a wonderful thing. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’ve learned about other countries and cultures since I started (virtually) hanging around people on Twitter. A simple e-mail can get me in touch with a friend in California, a friend in England, and a friend in India.
Without technology, that literally wouldn’t be possible.
So, sure. There are disadvantages to this technological boom. But let’s not forget there are advantages too. In a growing world, it’s important to stay culturally aware. It’s important to stay in touch. It’s important to stay conscious of what is going on around the world.
As with anything, this whole technology thing requires balance. I’ve been in plenty of situations where people side-eye me because I’m holding a smart phone in my hand. I’ve had people look down on me when I pull it out to check an e-mail. They’ve judged me based on a thirty second assessment of the type of person they think I am. And it isn’t fair. Not everyone is the type of person I described in Wednesday’s post.
So the important thing here is to maintain balance. As an individual, we must maintain balance. Take the phone out when you need to, when you want to. Put it away when you should. Technology is wonderful, but we must remember to stop and appreciate beauty when it’s staring us in the face.
As a people, we should continue to rely on and develop technology. There’s nothing wrong with using it to help us become smarter, faster, stronger, better people. Let’s just make sure that doesn’t get away from us. Technology has made us care more about updating our Facebook status than having meaningful relationships with other people. But it has also taken us out into the vastness that is space to discover new stars and new galaxies.
It’s up to us to decide which direction we want technology to take us in.
So, what do you think? Do you think the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to technology, or do you think we’re just one step away from Matrix-esque enslavement? Leave a comment, and let me know your thoughts!