Perception Is Reality

What Technology Can Do For Us

Posted on: January 17, 2008

I was on Ayeshah’s blog where she posted the following video:

A Vision of Students Today

 It is indeed something to think about.

Too Much Information

As the video tells us, we ‘browse’ through so much information, it is almost impossible to keep up. So much information is created, modified, deleted or becomes obsolete everyday, that to keep up with it, we need to multi-task and, ofcourse, need more time. It is legitimate a thought that all this information can break us down, restricting us from thinking logically. Is all the information relevant? Is any of it relevant? Is any of it true? Define truth.

Problems Created By Technology

Here’s what I think: In a world where time has become money, in turn leading us to need more time, there is an element of technological determinism: but it is a reinforcing spiral. We want faster machines. We need to multitask (something only machines would do at one point). Have we become machines? We sleep lesser hours, work more, spend less time with family, more time studying, less time eating and more and more time keeping up. We have in a way, rescheduled our priorities due to technology, as a result, technology adapts, and as a result, we adapt. I hope this point is clear. If it’s not, think about it. Or ask.

The Good of Technology

What good comes of technology? Better learning environments, living conditions, better utilization of time and new jobs. There was once a misconception about digital technological gadgetry replacing the human labour force. Fortunately for us, these gadgets still need a human to operate, to make choices which are not defined in the preset scenario banks. New ways of looking at things: at society, at the world, at the pace at which it grows, and for that matter, the pace at which it thinks. Technology has enabled us to think at deeper intellectual levels about things like life, duties, priorities, and even mutually assured destruction.

Technology Can Save Us

Can technology save us? Or have we/are we becoming pawns of these technological instruments. With the advanced equipment used in homes, offices and classrooms, you’d think we would benefit more. Why then, with so much effort being put into making these aspects of life interesting, do we Facebook more, chat more, and for that matter, blog more? Who are we? Do we need to be saved?

What was missing in a previous technology, such as the chalkboard was that you could not show videos and photographs. With a combination of digital tools, we can now enhance the learning, working and living experience.

Can technology save us? Do we need to be saved?
Or is technology fooling us? Dumbing us down?

These are important questions to think about and the reactions will inevitably vary from continent to continent, country to country, region to region, even people to people. What is more important though, is that we ask these questions. We need to stop and ask ourselves (and others): “What is going on?” Do we need all of this?

Who Are You Amidst All Of This?


14 Responses to "What Technology Can Do For Us"

I was talking to a PhD in Microbiology who now worked in Pharma, who was telling me that PhDs coming out today are so highly specialized that they can’t function in a holistic environment doing basic research. They know too much to know enough.

That’s how I see technology. It makes our lives easier in many ways, but it also forces us to find new and innovative ways to maintain a capiitalist system of creative destruction. Technology widens the capacity gap within countries, but closes it amongst them.

The saddest part of technology to me is that it removes man’s impulse to be creative. He has a host of surrogates to be creative for him, or to entertain him.

Anyway, good food for thought. Thanks for the post.

Great post. Technology has undoubtedly changed our life, leading many to question just how far it can go. I often find myself wondering if we are well on our way to becoming machines. A number of scholars have already made that very assessment. We are so connected to our computers, cellphones, ipods and pda’s that they are essentially a part of us, without which we would be unable to function in the workplace or in the society.

Thanks for the input Jon. It is hard to refute what you have just said, which is something for concern. Addressing thte last statement you made, don’t you think technology allows man to play out his creative impulses even more? For example, we did not have the equivalents of digital film editing suites and Adobe Photoshop a few years ago. Don’t you think they have allowed us to think bigger, to create entire environments within a box that may go on forever? It has not only made it easier, but has redefined the boundaries of what can be achieved. What say you?

Ana, thanks for your input as well. It is true, and this is what the job of my blog is: to make people think about how they and society are affected by technological change. It seems funny to me sometimes how people will be so ‘hooked in’ yet not realize. How can people not realize?

Technology doesn’t have the power to save or damn individuals. Only people can do that to themselves, and with conscious effort.

To say that the Internet is dehumanizing or controlling is a rejection of common sense and individual responsibility. To say that the Internet has undue influence on people and the way they live their lives, moreover, emboldens its few inherent abilities.

It’s a tool best used artfully. It can alter life, it can improve life, but it does not act on its own.

In medicine, the closest comparison that comes to mind — and it is a poor comparison, but bear with me — was morphine. It was a tool, meant to ease life. It wasn’t the fault of the drug that individuals became, through their own actions, addicted to it — nonliving objects are incapable of fault.

Therefore, if fault is to be had, it was the fault of the individuals. It’s a shame personal responsibility is so sorely lacking, these days.

Eyeingtenure, thats EXACTLY what I’m talking about. What you said is what I want to hear people say. To discourse about whether or not technology acts independently, in a reified environment or does culture play a role, the main role, or one of the roles.

I have a question for you guys that I don’t seem to understand about technology. What rules or standards should we put in place to govern our use of technology?

that would be a massively huge question as it depends on the specific types of technology, as every technology has a different purpose with different potentials, through different intentions of different individuals.

That’s an interesting question, Bobbiiee. First we have to understand that technology doesn’t necessarily mean digital technology. Even a shoe lace or sticky notes are technologies. Which one are you referring to? Also, by govern, do you mean ethics?

Well it is my technology homework..and its kind of a broad topic I guess…by govern i mean what rules can we put in place to control our use of technology?

I understand. How about I answer your question later on tonight? I am actually in a discussion with some students about just this.

I have a answer for this question says ” What technology can do for us?” . My answer is, Technology is what makes us know where our lives are in. I do mean physically and mentally. Technology is us. If we lost it , we lost our lives as well.Imagine how people would live in the world if there is no technology? this question needs to be answered. its answer is to act like animal. We know, what we wear, eat , build and do to live happy is made by technology. Technology has its owm magic.

“we shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us” – Marshall McLuhen

it can damage our eyes

Modern technology can help us because we can use it in our assignments ,works,communicating with friends or love ones and other things that can help us.But if too much use of modern technology it can damage our eyes.

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About the Author…

Born in Karachi, Pakistan in an Adventist hospital, I grew up in a city where on one side I experienced poverty and oppression, while on the other I had the good fortune of Tabish Bhimani being a member of an upper middle-class business family...more...

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