How Computer Technology Advances May Help and Hurt Society

As my phone takes me from bus stop to train stop, while playing a podcast, and allowing me to text my girlfriend, it can be hard to see the cons with such glaring pros. My grandfather who is blown away by an iPhone’s ability to hold 5000 songs may not recognize the social divide these screens are creating—but he will when my son naturally sees no need to look up from the device during dinner time. From phones to super computers and advanced AI, technology is growing at a fast (and somewhat frightening rate). In fact, many great minds believe it will one day be the death of all humanity. Still, doomsday predictions aside, it is a marvel that we are able to create and innovate so rapidly. Tech companies are perhaps a great indicator of this, as you can see just by looking at some of the services offered on one of their sites (scarlettculture.com for example) how much everyone relies on tech.

But is it doing more harm than good?

Learning one fact vs reading one hundred

Hard work and research are being replaced with Google searches and DIY YouTube videos. Future generations are given a broader spectrum of hobbies and projects to learn about, but we cannot forget the study and dedication that created these techniques. 

You can find anything on the internet. Growing up if I did not know the definition of a word, my mother had me go find the dictionary or encyclopedia and look it up. It was annoying because she always knew the answer and could just tell me; but the process ended up being more meaningful, and I can still tell you that couscous is made with durum wheat semolina. That definition stuck in my head and I still order it whenever I go to a tex mex restaurant—the food so nice they named it twice. 

Today I read about a law that benefited the president’s daughter, that Highlander was narrated by Sean Connery, and that there is a breed of wolf dog that has all of a wolf’s mannerisms bred out of it, while retaining that ferocious wolf-like look. Will they stick with me? Well, yesterday’s random facts certainly did not.

Our Reliance can be our downfall – as technology is constantly evolving

As businesses create better methods and practices in advancing their industries, innovation looms around the corner ready to put themselves out of a job. Look at Uber—a company booming with the prevalence of smartphones and credit cards. However Uber’s entire business model is aimed toward self-driving cars ready to put hundreds of thousands of drivers out of a job. 

Facebook is a great way to keep in touch, but what if Mark Zuckerberg decided to begin charging us to use this service. Those who could afford it would prosper while others would lose the ability to communicate with friends and family. The question of how computer technology advances may help and hurt society is nothing new. From electricity to the atomic bomb, nothing comes without a price.