Technology: Can We Live Without It??

“You’ve got mail! “ Or nowadays people have the latest hit song as their messaging tone. Technology has come a long way over the past twenty years. The Internet and technology have advanced tremendously and with cell phones turning into “smartphones. ” It seems people today just have it made with the world at their fingertips. The question arises: are people really using technology and the new advances that come along almost everyday the right way? Also, what kind of impact does technology had on human nature? Is it for the better or can it lead to crippling social isolation?

Technology does not help human character. It separates people from nature and from themselves. Technology seems to take away people’s emotions. “As human beings we need direct, natural experiences; we require fully activated senses in order to feel fully alive” (Opposing Viewpoints in Context). Face to face contact is very limited with all the advances in technology and it is making people “artificial. ” Technology has made people lazy, impatient and maybe even depressed. The world depends on technology constantly. It is uncommon to see people pass by without their face in the phone or headphones and an iPod.

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Technology seems like it commands the world. It has brought on great things such as cars, microwaves, advances in medicine and even alarm clocks, but is society too dependent? Not many people can remember a simple seven digit phone number without scrolling through their contacts. Technology seems to have placed a damper on the common sense of people. Society relies on Google and YouTube if a problem needs to be fixed rather than finding out themselves or asking an actual person for assistance. It is like a child asking their parent for help on homework and the parent just doing the work for the child.

The child will never learn anything but, “I can just charm mommy with my cute dimples and I will never have to do homework again. ” It is nice to have a crutch every now and again, but people need to know they can stand on their own. Technology proceeds at an unimaginable speed. Everyday something new is on the market. The latest smartphone with even better speed than yesterday’s, an even better MP3 player that holds ten times the songs and movies than the one that was released six hours ago. Because technology moves so fast it may very well self-destruct.

It is no longer regulated by nature, or humans, and cannot control itself. Self-replicating technologies such as robotics and genetic engineering are self-accelerating at such a rate that they can become unmanageable at any moment. Very few civilizations, escape the self-destroying capacity of technology. Today’s college students have never known a time when personal computers did not exist. Most of their classrooms throughout grade school were equipped with computers, and more than likely they also had a computer at home with access to the Internet.

Their learning process has always included technology, not to mention the impact it has had on their development of friendships, communication, research and writing skills (Junco and Mastrodicasa). Texting and online chats are thought to be much easier means of communication today, especially for the younger generation. These forms of communication help people to better keep in touch. “Multitasking is an art refined to perfection by today’s college student and one of their most valued multitasking tools is instant messaging. Instant messaging (IM) technology allows real-time responses that might otherwise take hours or days if sent by e-mail.

Chatting online provides students the opportunity to stay connected with their friends and family and collaborate with classmates” (Salas and Alexander). Technology has greatly improved communication over the years, but are people using these improvements in the right way? It seems as though people rely on status updates, tweets and wall posts to communicate with others. Yes, sites such as facebook and Twitter allow people to “friend” one another all over the world and social networking is proven to be a speedy way of communication. Communication does feel easier this way but it has made life more impersonal.

It is as if people are too lazy or afraid of one on one or face to face conversations anymore. E-mailing one another or texting seems a lot more convenient than waiting for a phone call or letter in the mail. It seems nearly everything today is able to be accessed by cell phones or computers and people do not even have to get out of bed to go shopping, rent a movie or buy groceries. This all seems great knowing that all the answers are just a click away, but the Internet does have a side effect, it is making people extremely lazy (Bradley). Technology is an excellent way of advertising.

It does seem people are posting advertisement for events, new businesses and other information and this helps “spread the word” so to speak. A facebook group was created for Betty White to host Saturday Night Live. A couple months later, she is booked on the show. Artists such as Justin Beiber and Fitz and the Tantrums were made famous by sites such as YouTube and Twitter when other famous artists “discovered” them and put them out to the world, so to speak. But maybe “spreading the word” and exposing people to new things has become too personal?

Why must people post nearly every detail of their life on sites like facebook or Twitter? People appear to be more intrigued in “creeping” on other’s status and whereabouts, staring at a computer screen for hours and updating their own status rather than socialize with actual people. This is another way society is growing lazy. It is very easy to hop on the computer or log on a cell phone to see the upcoming and latest films, a new sell going on at Kohls or read a book all without leaving the comfort of the bed or couch. Jobs are created everyday with the many advances in technology.

People can make a living by sitting at home taking surveys all day by phone or on the computer. With such a poor economy jobs are lost or being taken and new ones can be difficult to come by today, but with such rapid growth in technology and creating new product, new jobs can arise. “The damage to America’s labor force is both deep and profound. The Great Recession has obliterated a decade’s worth of job growth. Economic prosperity is impossible without job growth. But in the decade just ended, we created less than half a million new jobs.

In each of the previous four decades, the economy generated at least 18 million jobs” (Mason) This is true, but what about robots and computer programs that can run themselves? Maybe one day technology will become so advanced that any kind of “human” workforce will be nonexistent. Think way back to the Industrial Revolution. Through tinkering and random discoveries people were creating factories, the cotton gin, railways. As time went on the machines and creations got larger and more advanced. Factory owners began to hire less and less and jobs dwindled because the machines could get the job done without being manually operated. These technological marvels have many means of destroying jobs, increasing the exploitation of human labor and amassing profits. Labor-displacing technology is becoming more evident even in our everyday lives. Self-service grocery checkout lanes are replacing clerks, ATM machines are replacing bank tellers and automated airline kiosks are replacing ticket agents. The driving force behind these technological advances is the elimination labor” (“Technology & Job Loss“). As many people and many companies are “going green,” jobs are becoming harder and harder to come by. Computers do not require a weekly pay check.

People are paid to create new software and computers, but once that job is done, their job is done except for the occasional “fixer-upper” if the software develops a glitch or the computer needs to be rewired. Technology has improved the lives of many and really society in general. It is wonderful to know that it may only take seconds to Google the answer for something rather than hours or even days to flip through books and newspapers. The question that remains, are people really understanding the purpose in technology and the new advances that come along almost everyday?

Or are people just excited to say they have the latest smartphone and just bought the number one most downloaded app or 700 plus friends on facebook? Works Cited Salas, Grace, and Julie S. Alexander. “Technology for institutional enrollment, communication, and student success. ” New Directions for Student Services 124 (2008): 103-116. Academic Search Premier. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. Junco, Reynol, and Dianne M. Timm. “Editors’ notes. ” New Directions for Student Services 124 (2008): 1-2. Academic Search Premier. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. Bradley, Erica. “Technology is making us lazy. March 10, 2009. Helium. com. Helium, Inc. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. “Technology & Job Loss. ” 2005. Slp. org. Socialist Labor Party of America. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. Mason, Anthony. “The Future of Jobs in America: Innovation, R&D, and Education are Keys to Job Creation. ” CBSNews. com. Jan 3, 2009. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. “Children’s Isolation from the Natural World Is a Threat to Their Health. ” What is the Impact of Cyberlife? Ed. Andrea Demott. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. At Issue. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 25 April. 2011.

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