There is little doubt that we are currently living in the age of technology. With ever evolving technology at our fingertips is should come as no surprise that every facet of ours lives is now becoming dependent on increasingly complex devices. There is no question that such devices have enriched our lives making them infinitely easier, but all to often we overlook the negative aspects of living in such a digital world. Let’s take some time to weigh out the pros and cons of living in this era of technology.
The Pros of Living A Digital Life
The benefits of technology are all around us and can be seen in everything from electricity to global communications. Our cars and cell phones have navigation systems to ensure that we do not get lost. We can pay our bills at the touch of a button on the internet. Our cellphones have evolved into tiny little computers in our pockets.
We can now communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world at any time not only by telephone, but also by video conference, instant messenger and email. With faster internet connections being introduced on a daily basis it seems like the only limit to what technology can do is our own imagination. All of these innovations have one goal in mind – to make our lives easier!
Let’s look at a couple of examples. First, consider that you are the parent of a teenager. It’s 10pm and your 14-year-old daughter has missed her curfew by 30 minutes. What goes through your mind? Did she get kidnapped? Hit by a car? Attacked? The possibilities are terrifying.
However, thanks to technology she has her mobile phone and you can give her a call (because your teenager will not think to call you first!) and establish that she is perfectly fine, but missed the bus home from the movies and had to wait for the next one. Some parents might then think, ‘wait, she could be lying! What if she is with that no good boy from a close by town?’
Thankfully, technology has your back and you can use the GPS tracker on the mobile phone monitoring app you installed on her phone and confirm that yes, she truly is at the bus stop by the movie theatre! You could even check her text messages to confirm that she really did go to the movie with Jill and not Jack!
Another scenario could be that you just left the office and are half way home when a colleague calls you in a panic because they need an urgent file from you. You would need to get off the subway and head back to the office, right? WRONG! Thanks to technology you can use your mobile device to log onto your cloud storage and email the file to the colleague and still make it home for dinner!
The Cons of Life in The Technology Era
It all sounds great, but there are still plenty of downsides. It seems like every other day the news is reporting cyber crimes as criminals begin to take advantage of our technology dependence. People have their credit card numbers stolen and businesses have their information hacked or computer systems disabled.
We are so dependant on technology that if for example, the bank’s computer network failed, it is likely that most day-to-day operations would grind to a halt! While global communications are a great innovation they are also a dangerous one as the internet affords everyone some degree of anonymity.
Let’s go back to the example where you are parenting a teenage girl. What if that cinema date was actually her meeting up with someone she got talking to online? Someone she thought was 14 years old like her, but in reality was a 50-year-old predator? Even although most parents try to teach kids about internet safety, teens believe that they are invincible and know best. ‘It will never happen to me’ is a phrase uttered by every teen at some point!
Thankfully, although technology created this dangerous situation, technology can also resolve it. If you have mobile phone spying software installed on her phone then you could have intercepted those plans to meet and put an end to it before anything bad had a chance to develop.
So is technology good or bad? The answer, quite simply is both! Technology is a great thing that makes our lives so much easier, but at the same time it must be treated with respect as it also has negative sides. It’s kind of like a hammer. You can use the hammer to build things or to harm others.
In theory, technology is neutral. At the end of the day it’s up to us to use it for good or evil.