Theoretical physicist Albert Einstein once quoted, “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity”. With the amount of technology and information at our fingertips, technology has been rapidly advancing to the point where only the creators can understand the advancements. In fact, according to statistics conducted on the Forbes website, technology spending is expected to reach a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13.2% by 2022. While technological advancements have led to profound results, there are numerous deficits that can pose a danger to society. Here are a few examples:
Technology Addiction: According to a poll conducted on the usatoday website, a shocking 50% of teenagers are addicted to technological devices, such as their Iphone or social media. A reason for this addiction is that since technology is advancing so rapidly, teenagers and parents alike are curious to learn the new features brought to them. This addiction can lead to a number of perilous physical and psychological impacts such as eye strain, obesity, poor executive functioning, low academic performance, lack of sleep, depression, and early death. It can also lead to a higher rate of car accidents if the driver is too addicted to their phone. Therefore, it is recommended to use technological devices sparingly, two hours per day at most.
Increased Expenditures: With technology practically dominating our lives, society has chosen to embrace the omnipresence by substituting Traditional business practices with technological business practices. One example is the use of self-checkout machines in local supermarkets. While a human cashier is able to checkout groceries, the use of automation in self-checkout machines is believed to be more efficient. What this means is that companies are spending a lump sum of money, almost $800,000, to keep these machines running. Not only this, but as technology becomes obsolete, even more money must be spent simply to update the software with current technology. Is efficiency really worth the cost?
Inadequate Education Techniques: As schools have embraced technological advancements as well, teaching techniques have become more insufficient and even invalid. One reason for this is that technology can present society with inaccurate information. Analysist Grace Pomers speculates that the reason for this phenomenon is that “The website owner urges to rank their websites higher in search engines, so they only concentrate on rankings instead of the content they are posting”. False information, in turn, has led to a sense of disconnection with the education material at hand. Because many teachers and professors are not properly trained with technology, it is more difficult to present lectures to students. Furthermore, the increase of technology in education has led to students cheating on exams, whether through texting the answers, or by looking up the answers on the Internet. As compared with Traditional education techniques, students are not properly learning material, and there must be a restriction on technology inside the classroom.
Cyber Bullying: In a general perspective, bullying has negative effects on a child’s mental health such as lack of confidence, lower academic performance, depression, and even suicide. However, the advancement of technology has permitted bullying to be conducted anywhere at anytime, even if the perpetrator is not in front of their face. This has led to an increase in the frequency of bullying reports and the number of harassments in the form of bullying. This lack of confidence for the victim is amplified by the use of fake usernames, which conceals the identity of the perpetrator. Because cyber bullying is so prevalent and difficult to prevent, it is another psychological danger brought to society by technology.
System malfunctions: Even if consistently tested, technology is far from perfect. Systems can have fatal malfunctions if used incorrectly. For example, a power plant explosion in 2018 had created harmful blue light rays which blinded hundreds of employees and other pedestrians walking around New York City. Other examples of malfunctions are battery explosions if the thermal temperature is too overheated. To prevent these dangerous malfunctions, it is best to handle these devices professionally and honestly.
With all the dangers that technology can bring us, is it correct to say that the positives outweigh the negatives? According to the Stamford American School, “It is best to model good technology use with tech-free family time.” That way, technology can be used sparingly without the risks brought to society. “A little extra planning goes a long way!”