Technology is an impressive addition to human life. Google can answer any question we have. GPS means that anyone can navigate. And medical advancements are saving more and more lives. Technology is becoming more and more essential to everyday society. But the same question keeps arising… Is this helping or hindering?
Before we jump into the rabbit hole, let’s gain an understanding of what ‘technology’ actually is.
What do we mean by 'technology'?
Technology is something that can advance our skills or simplify our everyday lives. This can be machines in a factory, hi-tech medical equipment or even the watch on your wrist!
Technology is a big part of what advanced human society. And we’ve seen these ‘advancements’ keep going further. Look at the jump from the basic analogue watch to Apple’s smartwatch, for example!
The technology we imagine today likely involves a lot of big complex wires and parts. But technology can be anything, and it has been for centuries. This goes right back to when our ancestors first started using tools.
Take a look around your home. Chances are, there isn’t a single room that doesn’t have some kind of technology. Microfibres in your towels, to the rooms themselves.
But for this article, we’re going to have a look at some more recent technological additions to daily life. And deciding if their perks outweigh their consequences.
Increased Entertainment vs Binge Culture
We have a huge range of entertainment options at our fingertips. Streaming services and on-demand television grants us limitless access to pretty much anything. We don’t even have to leave the couch.
So, we don’t have to get dressed up and leave the house every time we want to see a new film. But there are also some potential problems…
The Good -
On-demand services can make finding what we want easier. And we can keep up to date on all the things our friends like to talk about. Having all our favourite shows in one place is definitely more convenient. And it could be more affordable, too.
But, it can get out of hand…
The Bad -
There’s nothing wrong with entertainment’s ease of access. But the arisal of the binge-watching trend has become a growing problem. Isolating yourself to watch TV can be detrimental. It has been said to affect your physical, social and mental health, if used for excessive periods of time. And we can all agree that watching hours of TV alone won’t give you the status of social butterfly.
The Ugly -
With the arrival of online streaming, there’s also the appearance of a new type of crime: piracy. This in itself has sparked controversy, so we won’t go too much into that… For now.
But this could mean that younger audiences gain access things they shouldn’t.
Convenient Online Shopping vs Inaccessibility
Online delivery services mean you can have items delivered straight to your door. Groceries, food, even electronics. Almost anything is a click away from being yours.
The Good -
There’s no doubt that online shopping is a lot easier. Trying to push your way through claustrophobic crowds of shoppers is nobody’s idea of a nice day out. Especially when you could sit at home with a nice cuppa and browse at your leisure. This saves a lot more time for other things that need doing, too.
The Bad -
Foregoing traditional stores also means you can’t get any help to find or buy specific products. If you have a question or problem, there’s no one to ask. Online shopping may have contributed to the increased closure of physical highstreet shops. This isn’t a problem for some, but for others it could make accessibility harder. This could be especially true for those less computer literate, such as the elderly.
Online shopping arguably takes away another aspect of physical stores. The Human aspect. It can be nice to take a break from the rest of the world. But are we foregoing venturing outside in favour of sitting alone and browsing?
The Ugly -
It’s the return of cyber crime! Buying online uses sensitive information such as credit card and bank details. This, of course, poses some risks. How do we know that the online store is genuine?
That’s not to say that online shopping will definitely make you a victim to fraud. The key here is to stay informed and stay aware.
Social Media vs ... Social Media?
The lifegiver to the concept of mindless scrolling. Social Media has arguably become one of our daily essentials. It lets us do many things. Share what’s going on in our lives. Stay in contact with friends and… spend hours watching funny animal videos?
The Good -
Social Media platforms make global communication easier than ever. You can see what your friends and family are doing and stay in contact with them. From almost anywhere in the world.
It can also help new startup businesses draw attention to themselves. And makes finding work much easier for freelancers.
The Bad -
This improved communication is great! But it shouldn’t be a substitute for face-to-face interaction. Sticking to Social Media could negatively affect your mental health. And also impact your social skills.
The Ugly -
Talking with people online is a fun way to spend time. As long as we know it’s actually them. The internet and Social media sites are full of people pretending to be someone they’re not. At best, this can mean an uncomfortable date, or blocking and unfriending. At worst? Well, a lot of things. As with all issues, the key here is being careful and being aware.
So, What's the Verdict?
Society and the way we live our lives isn’t the same as what it used to be, and that’s neither good nor bad. Humans are constantly making technological advancements. It’s natural.
Technology isn't the demon here. It's all in how it's used.
Our advancements have paved the way for some remarkable things. Smart watches such as the FitBit can encourage healthier lifestyles. The internet itself allows us to access an almost limitless expanse of information. We can instantly know what’s happening anywhere in the world.
Of course, letting go of old traditions and ways of life is hard. But it also helps to pave the way into the future.
When tech is abused...
Technology can create a lot of good. But usage can get out of hand. Social media addictions and issues from general overuse are rife in the new era of tech. As the old saying goes, too much of a good thing…
So, technology doesn’t inherently cause laziness, it’s mostly down to the user. The running theme here seems to be ‘moderation’.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments section!
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