A short essay about the consequences of technology.
|First I wish to bring to your attention that this essay is not about the "evils" of technology. I am aware of the
great capacity for good that technology posses and it would be foolish to dismiss this. My fear is that
technology is moving far too fast and in a direction that posses serious consequence. We should first
observe the function of technology, which is primarily convenience.
We can start with the humble origins of the plow. Before advanced mechanisms our species had an intimate
relationship with the earth using hand tools to grow crops in fertile soil. This simplistic life style taught our
species the importance of that relationship. But as our species grew we saw a greater demand for food. So
the plow came to be. This simple tool allowed us to turn the soil to reach nutrients that were under the top
soil. This allowed our species to grow at a much faster pace. Hunger acts as a natural population control
and with the advent of the plow came the consequence of gluttony. But even more dangerous was that it
instilled an idea, that man had dominance over the earth and all it's inhabitants. Soon we moved outward
taking more land to suit the needs of a growing populace. The animals to whom we had shown reverence for
helping us to turn the soil had now become beasts of burden, slaves to suit the needs of an ever growing
population. Any species that blindly ignores the relationship between the earth and itself dies.
Technology did not stop there, it blindly moved forward. We can move forward to the machines of industry.
What started as the convenience for food now moved us to produce other goods, clothes, carriages,
furniture, the list goes on. We no longer had to learn for ourselves how to build the goods we needed, we
simply needed to buy them. With convenience came the steady decline of personal labor, which taught us
patience, sacrifice and duty to the community. Soon a new paradigm was born from the rise of technology.
The embrace of the individual at the expense of the community. This selfish ideology now propels technology
today as it used for personal advancement and war.
Today things haven't changed technology still creates a gap between us and the environment and even
amongst ourselves. I do not disagree that technology has connected us in many ways, but no convenience
goes without consequence. We can look at cell phones, though they have a great ability to connect us, truly
I fear that they slowly decay the traditional relationships that allows us to remain open minded and
understanding of others. Cell phones allow us to have an impersonal relationship with people in our lives.
Traditional relationships required us to be in person with these individuals forcing us to get to know them and
learn about them. Experiences were shared that allowed us to better understand them and ourselves. It
created a dynamic. Cell phones slowly destroy that dynamic as we move forward into a ideology that
strangers or people we don't know are dangerous. If their not in our contact list then they are not worth our
time, or they are not to be trusted. It breeds a type of ignorance about others. Impersonal relationships are
pushed forward as the internet connects people around the globe. We can communicate with anyone in the
world and we can now assume to know them without ever having to meet them. It allowed us to naively
believe that we can know something without experiencing it. There is no greater teacher then experience.
Yes technology has seen advancements in medicine, a better understanding of physics, the world, anatomy,
and countless other fields. Yet we still have poverty, starvation and war. The direction of technology is taking
us into a dangerous future. We should stop and reflect on the things that we need and the things that we