The two sides of the coin called technology

There has been an enormous change in the tech world over the past few decades

November 29, 2022

That technology is increasingly taking over the whole world goes without saying. There has been an enormous change in the tech world over the past few decades — from desktops to laptops and from phones to virtual reality headsets. So what’s next for us?

Technological improvements have made our lives way easier; now we do the same jobs — that we use to do with loads of effort in the past — more easily and efficiently, thanks to technology, automation and innovation. However, we must acknowledge that technology is making us more and more reliant on devices and machines, rendering us humans sort of unproductive.

Artificial Intelligence is an aspect that reminds us of the world getting digitalised on a massive scale. Since the early 2000s, internet and cellphone usage has been rising and rising. As years go by, technology has become more personal and portable. This accessibility has led to technology slithering its way into everything we touch. Technology has always been fascinating, but paired with the health risks due to its excessive use, it threatens a sustainable future for people.

Children and teenagers who have been exposed to technology from a young age have found comfort in it. Technological interactive experiences have had a toll on our dopamine centres. At one point, we get so used to living in a digital bubble that nothing in the real world is ever thrilling ‘enough’, and this is damaging to humanity. Mindless scrolling and browsing can feel engaging, but it’s all fake and counterproductive. Nothing good comes out of it.

Bernie Hogan, a senior research fellow at Oxford Internet Institute, wrote: “Tech will make life better for individuals but not for societies.”

Technology limits creativity, memory, critical thinking, and the yearning to learn (not for all, but for many). Giving anyone limitless access to technology is detrimental if they can’t handle it. Rather than thinking of a solution, working through a math problem, or remembering a phone number, many just tap a screen. With Auto-Correct, you don’t learn how to spell, you actually get worse. Technology has come to the point where we have a machine telling us what turn to take; we have a device that helps us park a car. Some machines deliver our food, tell us the time, and tell us what to do. We have become incredibly desensitised and pamper ourselves to the point where our houses are filled with massage chairs and clap-on lights. This is what we need to steer clear of.

People also spend most of their time and energy connecting through social media. Your thoughts and ideas are most likely to be significantly influenced once you step into the boundless world of social media. Social media tech also gives way to comparing yourself with others and people who, whether inept or highly skilled, are caught in a bubble of inaccurate self-perception.

Ten years from now, we might make further technological advancements, like digital ID and centralised cryptocurrency. It isn’t surprising to think this is possible because our phones do the same thing. Moreover, AI is also likely to replace many jobs. This calls for the need to develop new ethical framework on how to use these technologies and redesign how our systems work. Companies should have humanity and safety in mind.

On the other hand, technology is also a prime source of information. Look around; most of the things we do have gone digital — be it shopping, banking, education, robotics, content creation, and a key example, communication. Today, technology can solve all the world’s biggest social problems. It is developing faster than we can adapt to it. It does not mean technology is good or bad; it’s what you intend to do with it. In a way it’s an outward expression of humanity. It can change portions of the planet when used as a tool. So, it’s not all bad, as there are two sides to every coin.


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