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It is well known that technology serves a vital purpose in our everyday lives. But what happens when we become too dependent on technology? Dependence on technology leads to isolation, obesity, laziness and ignorance. The point is not to say that technology is ruining society, but rather that nations across the country are losing touch of reality because of their need for a simpler faster way of life. When we look at all the luxuries that have arose in the last fifty years we can’t help but be proud that we are able to do such great things. But we rarely look at how this rapid technological revolution has affected us. The obesity rate in children has sky-rocketed, the suicide rate has gone up, and personal time with our families is being replaced with things like the internet and video systems. Now, it is understood that in this day and age some technology is a necessity to making the world run smoothly. Without the telephone and internet international business would be nowhere near the magnitude it is today. But that leads to the question, “Would there be more jobs for Americans?” Of course there would be. We would not rely so much on goods imported from other countries. This is just one of the many problems that new technology has created for our society.
Cell phones are a fairly new technology that has benefited us a great deal. It is because of cell phones that we are able to communicate to a large network or people when need be. It is rare in today’s world to meet someone who does not have a cell phone. Many families in
America have decided that it would be cheaper to rid their homes of land lines and adopted cell phones as their family phone line. This is an example of a positive effect of cell phone use. There are a number of downsides to cell phones use. In some cities and states cell phone use while driving has been outlawed. There have been a number of fatal car accidents due to the use of cell phones by drivers. Motorists have a tendency to become distracted when talking on a cell phone while driving. Cell phones distract from families interacting with one another. The cell phone allows for mothers and fathers to conduct business twenty four hours a day. Sometimes this cuts into family vacations, dinners, and general nights out. This type of technology can take parenting time away from the children who need it. Medically, cell phones are rumored to cause tumors or cancers. This is not yet proven however the long term effects on the human body are yet to be tested. This is directly related to the amount of time cell phones have been on the market. Cell phones can cause problems in the schools as well. Some families give their children cell phones at young ages. This can cause jealousy among preteens and teenagers. The need for the latest and greatest cell phone model can cause tension and unneeded stress on a parent child relationship. Stress can also develop in the school and cause children to lose focus of what their job as children and students is.
Cars are another luxury technology that has had adverse effects on society. While it is important to get around and to transport supplies and goods, cars have become large burdens for families all over the world. The cost of owning and maintaining a vehicle has gotten outrageous. Car parts and mechanics fees are becoming increasingly more expensive. On top of the cost of operating a car they can be deadly in the wrong hands. Drunk driving is a tragedy that destroys families. Cars have the ability to smash through brick walls, flip other cars over and destroy other sorts of barricades. When these things take place livse can be lost. Cars are becoming increasingly more dangerous because they have more and more features in them. Some automotive companies have the ability to incorporate distracting media right in the view of the driver. DVD players can be fixed in the steering wheel of some cars. This is a completely unnecessary technology. There is no reason for the driver to be able to watch a movie while they are driving. Subwoofers are unnecessary too. When the driver is unable to hear sirens in the background because of the music in their car there is a real problem. This is dangerous and annoying.
Computers have become the biggest and most used technology. Computers are becoming critically important. They are now used in just about every piece of electronic equiptment. Even some telephones have computers in them. Cars have been incorporating computers for years now. These devises regulate the functions of industrial machinery and medical machinery. It is becoming very evident that computers are a technology that societies around the world need. Computers make everyday functions easier. Mailing a letter is almost instantaneous because of electronic mail. Instant messaging allows people who are miles apart speak to one another without the cost of long distance phone charges. Bills have the ability to be paid and sent in minutes from receiving them. Friendships and romantic relationships are developed because of computers.
Most people who own a computer are hooked up to the internet. The internet is the vital component that allows people to do most of these tasks. What happens when the computer and internet fail us as a society? In many cases it can cause real problems. Communication is the basis for all relationships. When this type of communication fails relationships also will begin to deteriorate. The concept of writing and mailing a letter has almost been stricken fro the American way of living. To receive a hand written letter is rare and almost a luxury now a days. The internet has become the largest provider of information for students and children. There are some things that parents do not want their children to view. Violent acts and pornography are just a click away for most minors. These images are ruining the innocence of children all over the country. The average age in which children lose their virginity has been plummeting. This may be due to the fact that children are able to view these acts so easily. Hackers are another danger that the internet has brought about. People with the know-how are able to sneak into our homes through a phone line. Once they are in they have the ability to look at any and all information that we have put on our computers. Sometimes that information is financial or personal. Hackers have the ability to steal social security numbers which allow them the chance to apply for credit cards and then ring up a debt. Even worse they are able to transfer the funds in our bank accounts into their own accounts. From there it becomes very difficult to retrieve the money lost. Sexual predators have stalked people using the internet as well. These people are able to due this because there is a mask of unknowing that the internet provides. Adults are able to pretend to be a sixteen year-old, then abduct the young person when they finally do meet. Police have arrested countless numbers of perpetrators for this particular crime. Some people say that the internet has become a way for the government to spy on what we are doing. This may be true as well. It is possible that our right to privacy has been cut down slightly because the internet allows government officials to view pages and sites that we have been looking at. Wars have become incredibly computerized. From the global positioning to the missiles themselves, computer components are the key to their success. The weapons used are more powerful and more accurate. All this pinpoint accuracy adds to the death count wars have.
The invention of the computer and internet has brought about many fads that children fall into. One that seems to have swept the world is My Space. My Space is an internet forum that allows people to communicate and trade music and images. This is great because it allows people to use their personal creativity when designing their pages. The problem is the friendships that are made. A lot of times these friendships are shallow and superficial. This means that these friendships are with people that the user has never met in the real world. These cyber friendships become peoples’ lives. The obsession with making “friends” causes people to lose touch of what is real around them. People can put more into their cyber relationships than into the real concrete relationships that they develop at school or work. When this happens the relationship with true friends, friends they can see face to face, fall apart. This creates social seclusion. In turn low self esteem occurs and these people do not know how to handle real relationships when they arise.
While it is true that the internet and computers have made communication and daily tasks a breeze it has also brought about some problems, some of which are dangerous. Technology that allows people to invade our personal information needs to be rethought. Our society also needs to create more backup ideas for when our computers fail us. Manual overrides should be taught and perfected. This will keep our dependence on computers down to a minimum. Banks are nearly useless if their computer system goes down. The same goes for companies that keep their records in an electronic data base. These companies would have serious problems should a major system meltdown occur.
Television and video games are two technologies that have hurt the youth of many nations as well. The invention of these systems have caused family time to dwindle down, obesity rates to go way up, and outside relationships to become awkward. Before this invention children would find active games to play to entertain themselves. This helped children to say in shape and healthy. The child obesity rate is at an all time high in the
United States and a lot of that has to due with the activities children engage in. On top of becoming inactive children are learning skewed values as the programming on television becomes more R rated. Many of the sitcoms that teens watch revolve around sex driven plots and violent acts. Shows like The OC, Friends, and Sex and the City, all shows teens watch, depict sex as a common occurrence between teenagers. In turn this causes an increase in teen pregnancy and the spread of STDs.
Programming like wrestling encourages young boys to fight. Sometimes these fights include household items used as weapons. While adults realize that these are trained individuals pulling their punches and acting hurt the children do not. When they engage in these activities they will pummel each other without knowing that what they are doing can seriously hurt their victim. One case revolved around a boy who killed a young girl after he attempted to perform a wrestling move he witnessed on television.
Socially television programming has created an image that is less than favorable. Young girls, not yet teenagers, are dressing more and more adult. They are showing their midriffs and backs, they are wearing short skirts, and low cut shirts. This can be directly connected to the images they see on television.
Television and video games have had more negative effects than positive effects on the youth of this nation. When children are over eating and getting little to no exercise there is a problem. When young men and women feel that sex is a necessary part of a healthy relationship there is a problem. Children unable to operate a motor vehicle should not be fornicating. On the same level young girls should not try to look sexy. There is no place in society for an eleven year old girl to be wearing skin tight clothing and make up. These are things that would never be seen in the 50’s and 60’s. They just didn’t happen.
Human identity is becoming a major part of the security industry. The finger and eye are the two most used body parts that help to keep rooms secure. This is a great idea in theory. While there is no noticeable problem with the removing of fingers and eyes yet, it is a very real danger. Criminals will have access to many files and accounts if they were willing to amputate a finger. Murders could soar. Some credit card companies have experimented with using the fingerprint to purchase items rather than carry a card around. Two potential problems come to mind. One is the fact that fingers will become very valuable. If a criminal is able to remove the fingerprint of an individual they have access to their funds. It is hard to cancel a fingerprint the way you cancel a credit card. Another problem is that this makes spending money easier to do. Some people may not realize that they are purchasing at a quicker rate because it is so easy to just let a machine scan their fingerprint. Bankruptcy and debt can potentially increase because of this technology.
Robotics and artificial intelligence seem to be the next big things to hit the market. As far as robotics goes this technology is already used in some fields. The automotive industry uses robots to assemble cars. Certain robots are being mass produced for individual use. One company makes a vacuum that senses dirt in the rug. It moves across the floor on its own looking for dirty spots. Similarly a lawn mower does the same thing. This is about as advanced as personal robots are right now.
What will happen when we figure out how to create a robot capable of learning and advancing? The idea has been speculated in literature and film. In most cases the robots that are created become so human like they begin to feel emotion. Movies like Terminator, Blade Runner, and I Robot are examples of this. In these movies the robots cause problems for humans. We as humans do not know what a technology like this is capable of. In the end will we still be in control? Is it our right to create what is basically life? These are all questions that need to be answered before something like this becomes a reality.
Say that the technology is a success. That is to say that there are no problems, or at least minor problems. Will this make us even lazier than we are now? Yes, it most certainly will. We are already too lazy to do the simplest of tasks. For instance we as humans will do anything to avoid doing the dishes. Instead we use dishwasher that work periodically. We have yet to invent a machine that will dust for us. This is a task that takes minimal effort and time. Is it necessary to create a machine to do this for us? No, it is complete laziness that drives us to create something like this. This is just one of the many different technologies that will eventually hit the market. Robotic technology is unexamined and will ultimately cause a complete lack of ambition to work.
That leads to the next point. Before the robot was used by the automotive industry assembly lines were the way a car was produced. When the robot came into the picture many jobs were lost. The same problem happened in the printing industry. This industry has been taken over by high technology presses that center the images, evaluate quality and run the job basically from start to finish. Before these presses were made many people were used to print just one job. The multicolor presses took at least three to four people to operate.
Technology has helped people on many different levels. Whether it is a medical procedure that has benefited from more precise instruments or a construction worker that is able to finish a project in half the time it has been good to us. For every argument for technology there is an argument against it. Technology is at fault for making
America the fattest nation in world. Technology is at fault for when it comes to outrageous gas prices. These two things alone are monumental as far as problems this country faces. We are a nation that is hooked on technology. It is up to humans to figure out how they can eliminate some of the dependence they have developed for technology. In the end we will all be healthier, happier, wealthier, and more satisfied. The days of doing a great job rebuilding out homes and cars is coming to an end. We as humans have to realize that technology is not the answer to every problem. Sometimes it is our own ambition that needs to be kick started. If things remain on the course they are on now we will breed the laziest, most obese children this world has ever seen.
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