The Pros and Cons of Technology

Posted: September 30, 2015 in Opinion, Technology
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I know, I know, that sounds like a really simple question but I’m dead serious kidoutsideso shut it. And I also know that this may sound a bit disingenuous coming from me, who has been accused of being on the internet too much. Still, it’s something I think about a lot.

Probably too much.

You know, sometimes I miss the days when you could leave for Columbus with the knowledge that nobody could contact you until you came back home. Heck, I remember buying my first answering machine and that little thrill of excitement you’d get when you’d arrive home and see that little light flashing. Woohoo! I’ve got a message!

And to think it was only the beginning . . .

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of technology as I see them. Afterwards I’d love to hear your opinions on the subject.

PROS

Information

  • Der. Of course. I read somewhere once that kids have access to more information by 3rd Grade than we did in our entire school careers, so there’s that. I guess that’s good, right? Right?

Sharing of Ideas

  • At our fingertips we can gain instant access to almost anyone in the world, share ideas and information, the sky’s the limit. As you’ll read below, though, that may not be as great as it sounds.

Social Networking

  • This one is debatable and can go under either pro or con. Sure, the internet is an easy way to meet people. On the other hand, the internet is an easy way to meet people. You know exactly what I’m talkin’ ’bout.

Convenience When Traveling

  • Can’t argue with this one. Who remembers trying to read a giant map while driving down a back road somewhere in Tennessee? Then trying unsuccessfully to fold the damn thing back up? Yep, GPS does come in handy.

map222

Entertainment

  • Sure, we can now watch movies or TV shows and other stuff on our phones from anywhere we choose. Hey, I see people gazing at their cell phones while driving every day! And yes, the internet has done wonders for the porn industry. Yay?

Hospitals and Health

  • I guess you can’t put a price on the many ways technology has helped the health industry. Incalculable really. In fact this may trump them all. Then again . . .

Let’s get to the negatives:

CONS

Decline of Social Skills

  • As a teacher with over 30-years experience I have a unique insight into this, and I can tell you without a doubt that there’s a direct correlation between the decline in the social skills of students and the rise of the internet. Sadly, a lot of kids have a real problem simply looking people in the eye these days. Too much texting and messaging and not enough actual physical interaction in my opinion. For years I’ve actually had to stop kids in the hallway and force them to interact with me, even for just a minute. Just fighting the good fight, people.

text3

Unique Thought

  • Remember when I mentioned sharing ideas as a pro but said it might also be a con? Well, many think the internet poses a threat to the human mind’s creativity and the ability to innovate. It makes sense in that if everyone can communicate directly with each other, and we have no pockets of original thought, creativity could suffer. I mean, since we can all converse immediately with each other will we all end up thinking the same way? Makes sense, right? On a related note, if you read the Unabomber’s Manifesto* he basically says the same thing. He made a lot of sense right up to the, you know, part where he started killing people.

*Honestly, you should read it. It’s actually very interesting.

Art

  • What kid draws or paints anymore? The answer is not nearly as many as when I was a kid, and that’s the truth. Why create a birthday card for mom when you can print one off the computer? See? We’re back to the death of creativity again. Damn it technology!

Instant Gratification

  • Because everything today is at our fingertips, we now want instant gratification in every walk of life. Nobody wants to earn anything anymore, ya know? We want it and we want it now. I blame technology. It’s softened us up, man.

Honorable Mention in the “con” department:

Penmanship

  • Long story short, it’s gone to hell. Don’t believe me? Look at the way people wrote in the 1800’s and compare it to today. Yes, kids, people wrote like this:

penmanship

Exercise

  • Take a look out your window. Do it right now. See any kids out there playing? Didn’t think so. Hey, you know how I used to tell where all the fun was taking place? I’d look for the bicycles laying in the yard. Sadly, the days of neighborhood kids playing together outside are largely gone, folks. They’re all looking at their phones or laptops, just like you and I are doing right now.

Privacy

  • Here’s just one example. You ever notice how after you “like” a post on Facebook about, oh, let’s say macaroni, you suddenly begin getting ads for macaroni all up in your grillmix? It’s frightening, really.

And hey, I haven’t even mentioned the loss of jobs that technology has created.

So what do  you think? Am I being a fuddy-duddy to believe that the negatives outweigh the positives where technology is concerned? Listen, don’t get me wrong, I know there’s no going back, only forward. But I can still long for a simpler time, can’t I?

Thoughts?

Note: Here are some technology facts, for your perusal:

  • Over 90% of all adults have their mobile phone within arms reach of them at all times.
  • Out of the population of 7 billion people on the entire world, 4 billion of them have mobile phones.
  • The very first personally computer was released in 1950 and sold for $300.00.
  • Over a million new domain names are registered every single month.
  • Google search engines answer over 1 billion searches every single day.
  • The first computer mouse was invented in 1963 and was made of a wooden shell with two metal wheels. True story.
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