Is technology harmful? (Or, will robots take over the universe?) – Part 1, YES!

Posted: January 23, 2013 in General
Tags: , , , , ,

There have been countless movies that have detailed the way in which the world will be overrun by robots. The Matrix. I, Robot. Terminator. They’re usually set in the not so distant future, and we have to wonder. Is this a possibility? Could robots really enslave us?

Maybe one day. Hey, I have an open mind. But right now? Not so much.

But it brings up and interesting topic doesn’t it? We live in a world run by technology. Maybe there aren’t robots that can take our clothes to the dry cleaners and walk the dog for us, but we’re inching our way toward that possibility. The growth in technology is exponential.

But I guess the real question is…is it dangerous?

Is technology harmful to us? Should we worry that it’s actually cutting us off from once in a life time experiences? Should we worry about the impact that it has on our daily lives? I’m not talking about inventions like machine guns and the atomic bomb that are obviously meant to kill people. I’m talking about simple things, like the internet and cell phones and cars and planes.

Today I’m going to argue that, yes, we do have something to worry about. On Friday I’m going to say the opposite. Then I’m opening up the floor to you to see if one side outweighs the other. It’s obvious that technology inherently has both pros and cons – but we need to determine whether the pros outweigh the cons, or vice versa.

Here’s the thing. I’m 24, and my generation gets criticized by those before us who think we’re dumb, lazy, arrogant, etc., etc. It’s never right to hold any group of people to a stereotype like that. But there’s a reason why stereotypes exist, and I can’t help but believe this of my own generation once in a while.

I go to restaurants and see two friends having lunch. Only, they’re not talking. They’re bent over their phones, completely absorbed by a non-existent, digital world. Kids these days (I just grew a gray hair as I typed that) don’t even know how to spell. The computer fixes it for them, and they never learn because they don’t need to. We rely on cars to get us from one place to the other. Less and less people walk. Less and less people exercise.

Technology has made us lazy. And I’m not just talking about the Millennials here, though I think a case can be made for us being one of the strongest offenders. Why go outside and play basketball when you can be talking to your friends on Facebook? Why walk around in the woods when you can be shooting down bad guys on a video game?

This is why I go on mushroom forays. I want to be able to survive the Zombie Apocalypse when it hits.

Technology has also put us inside our own little bubble. Why have a face to face conversation when you can just text? Why go out and socialize and interact with people when you can do the same thing from your computer and not have to get out of your pajamas?

It’s made us dumb. Who uses a dictionary anymore? It feels like our vocabulary is shrinking. Words like obvs and probs and def and totes are used not just on the internet anymore, but in real life conversations. Sure, it’s funny now. Until we start using it so much we forget what the real words are. We can’t count using just our brains. We have calculators for that. We can’t read maps anymore. We have GPS units for that. Our attention spans have become so short that a thirty second wait for an elevator seems like a lifetime.

I’m all for technological advancement. In fact, I thrive on it. I have a wii and a laptop and an iPhone. I love looking at all the sleek, new inventions in development. We should always strive to be great. We just have to be careful that greatness doesn’t come for a price we can’t pay.

The world is at our fingertips. But should it be? Should we have such immediate access to everything around us? Time will tell what the exact effects of this will be, but I can guarantee they’re not all going to be good. What do you think?

  1. ddog13 says:

    Funny, because stereotypes is tomorrow’s Think a Bit Thursday topic. Haha. Well yes, it’s abused for sure, but it’s mostly the younger crowd. (20ish and younger) By then, people grow up and realize that it’s not all about Facebook friends and whatnot. I have realized that my spelling skills aren’t as good as they used to be, as I type a lot, so the red squiggly line keeps me from thinking often. So there are some downsides, but ultimately, life is life. We still work. We still do things. Technology just assists us. Sometimes it cuts corners to do so, but I think that it’s been a true advancement. Totally ready for your next post! I like posts like this.

    • Karen Rought says:

      Awesome! I have a lot of thoughts on stereotypes, so I’m sure you’ll see me over there.

      It assists us now, but how long until it starts doing things FOR us? It reminds me of Wall-e where the people just motor around in their little hover board machines. They’ve forgotten how to walk. That’s an extreme example, but when the change happens slowly, you don’t notice how downhill things have become until you look back and see what things were like before.

      And I agree, obviously, that those who live like this are mostly in the younger crowd. But I know a bunch of adults who are more obsessed with Facebook than their kids. It’s disheartening.

  2. Dad says:

    I feel better now. Maybe I wasn’t such an ogre when you once asked to use my calculator for math and I said no. Hahaha.

  3. Julie Glover says:

    I think what drives me crazy is when the computers go down in a store, and they can’t check you out. I remember one 20-something being completely flummoxed that the cash register wasn’t working. I wanted to say, “The total is $3.13, here’s a fiver, now figure out in your head or on a calculator my change! IT’S NOT THAT HARD.”

    Commerce almost completely stops when the computers go out. That worries me a little.

  4. […] Is technology harmful? (Or, will robots take over the universe?) – Part 1, YES! […]

  5. As my experiments with cyberdyne systems have proven the chance of a robot apocalypse is very unlikely, My biggest concern now is that I cant get the T-800’s to stop speaking with an Austrian accent.

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