Technology: Friend or Foe

By Ryan Stephens

It plays a massive role in everyday life, found in every nook and cranny, and even saves millions of lives every day. Technology spreads like a virus but ends up being an invaluable tool for practically every single person. With such a prominent role technology creeps into every facet of daily life, especially with how people live, interact, and communicate. However, positive results rarely manage to come from greater integration of technology, simply because communication ends up being hindered, information may not be reliable and it throws a wrench into productivity.

Of course, the argument will be made that technology helps facilitate education for teenagers. However, this only works when heavily regulated. Now should regulation occur, an obvious breach of rights happens. Behind the thought of regulation for the sake of education lies a great deal of irony, simply because education should ultimately value freedom of choice when it comes to learning. Althrough, utilization of technology in education ends up happening in very sparse amounts so its benefits end up being not entirely in vain.

So what exactly are the consequences of a greater integration?  Well, let’s take a look at the classic novel 1984. Barring all images of Orwellian dystopia, one of the few concepts that came out of it that did not involve constant surveillance was the idea of newspeak. Simply, the degression of language progression to the point where only the most basic of words existed. Messages were concise but not necessarily for the better. There seems to be an odd parallel between this and text lingo. All the LOL’s, BRB’s, and LMAO’s contribute to a degradation of language. Everyday language ends up implementing this shorthand and ends up harming any stronger development of language. An obvious detriment comes out of this and all the blame can be placed upon technology.

Of course a broken clock ends up being right twice a day. If information found through technology ends up being right, what’s the harm? Well, counting on that small percentage of factual infomation brings massive consequences. More critical thinking could easily decipher and look past the falsehoods in information but such skills seem lost to the the average person (not that a lack of said skill is necessarily bad). With that in mind, wrongly educated people, no matter how you cut it, can never be interpreted as a good thing. This misinformation becomes increasingly stronger when on the Internet where quality control equates to hit-or-miss. Faith ends up being the guide for determining what information is right or wrong. As technology, specifically the internet, ends up becoming more and more influential in teen life, the chances of any worthwhile learning coming out of it plummet.

Finally, if something good manages to come out of this, will it end up being worth it? Obviously not, especially when taking a step back at seeing what technology does. Think about how many times when you or someone else tries to work but ends up getting sidetracked by Facebook, Twitter, or any other flavor of the month social networking site. Social networking and the internet in general ends up being a major time sink and the quintessential procrastination machine. Any sort of productivity society or schools could milk out of teenagers ends up going to waste when they too end up distracted by the rapid encroachment of technology.

In conclusion, technology presents itself as a detriment to society when looking at it from a perspective of efficiency. Of course, no one will want to put down their iPhone just because time is being wasted on someone else’s dime but in the long term, it will be question society will have to ask itself. With hinderance being placed upon language, education, and productivity, technology may be the death of us.

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