Technology Addiction?

October 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

Modern day society is addicted to technology. The thought of turning off our cell phone for a day makes many uneasy. Similarly, without facebook, ichat and email, few people would be able to maintain contact with friends. I have great respect for those who lived without the ease of modern day technology, as the author of Change or Perish stated, they “got by just the same”. Life back then is so drastically different from modern day life that while i respect those who “managed”, i do not envy them or wish to return to their time.

This article, although written elegantly, has a few flaws. It chastises only modern developments while praising technology of the past. The author discusses the value of returning to a time when movies were plain in black and white with out “hi-def or even 3-d”, suggesting these advancements have complicated the purpose and simplicity of movies in general. But what about the time when there were no movies at all, when entertainment was all in person. One could argue, using the exact same logic as the author of this article, that movies made entertainment impersonal and were unnecessary because “we did get by just the same” before them. So then what sets that advancement apart from bettering the quality of movies to be hi def or 3-d?

Also, the last statement is not well thought through in my opinion. It states “how strange to think we had to change everything or we would not be managing at all”. This is flawed in two ways. First is the use of the word “had.” We did not have to change, but if given the option to make something better, faster or easier, why turn it down? Secondly is the use of the word everything. Although the time thought of as “before” in this article shifts depending on what part of technology is being discussed, i can pin point it to be in the early to mid 1900s. Since then, there have been many new inventions, however, everything has not changed.

How far does the argument that new technology negatively impacts society go back? Society has always been and will always continue to change and make itself better. If the idea is that technology is bad then is the author suggesting that we should return to the days without any technology? I would hope this isnt the case because i doubt anyone would chose to lead the dangerous lives of hunter gatherers. How does the author know where the line of too much technology is drawn, is it a specific date of does it change depending on the topic? These imperfections with the argument leave me to question the validity of the claims. I can see the negatives in too much technology but i can also see the positives. Is there such a thing as too much technology and if so how is that determined?

Technology and Progress

October 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

In Roger Cohen’s beautiful piece, Change or Perish, the author eloquently discusses our addiction to technology and its role in corrupting our lives.  However he fails to recognize that technology has helped society advance and that before the internet and Avatar people still got caught up in things that the previous generation would deem insignificant.

I think that technology advances as society progresses. Before social media, when we were just social , we didn’t socialize with people of different races. When wars were cold people still died . If you think about how different is it to lock yourself in a room and pour your soul into a diary than to share these same ideas with the world in a blog?

I understand that we rely on technology more than we should, but technology has made our lives much more efficient. I understand what Cohen is saying and I agree with certain aspects of it but there has always been some version of Facebook. Before the MacBook Pro, when there were papyrus scrolls, did we really get by just the same? Moral of the story we didn’t and while technology may have negative aspects on our society in my opinion it has done more good than harm.

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