Is technology helping us more than it hurts us?

United States
June 27, 2011 4:03pm CST
Remember the days when you knew most of the people in your neighborhood and the people that worked at the stores you went to? When you could go somewhere and talk to random people who were in the same place, or get something done without a phone? We have used to have communities that actually interacted with each other, now everything is internet and cell phones. Want a job, have to get online. Can't have any personal time because you always have a phone that is expected to be answered. No privacy because everything is on the internet. These things were helpful at first, but our dependency and constant use of them seems to be doing more harm than good. I used to be able to go to a few places near my house fill out a few job apps talk to a few managers and find a job. Now it's endless filling out apps online and waiting to hear back. I don't know my neighbors or anyone else who lives near me. I can't go borrow a cup of sugar. We no longer have to organize or make the best of anything because we can just get on our phone or internet whenever we want. There are apps for cheating, apps for doing anything, kids don't play outside any more, America is getting fatter an unhealthier at an alarming rate. We get online and complain about the dumbest things rather than go out and make a difference or do much more than needed for ourselves. Instead of people working locally and buying locally everything is online, people shop at stores then order what they want off the internet to save a few bucks, but at the cost of how many jobs in their area? The small business is struggling more than ever because of this. We now have a term called "information overload" but our schools our schools are failing and we are terribly misinformed and uneducated. A lot of things have been sped up and made a little easier. We have easier access to information. But in the big picture are we actually benefiting from it, or have we just become so reliant on having a screen in front of us that we're starting to turn into zombies who can't interact and function without it?
1 person likes this
9 responses
@peavey (15808)
• United States
27 Jun 11
You just made a very clear picture of where we are today and where we're headed. I remember those days when the store clerks remembered me and I came across friends on the street. No one walks anywhere any more, so you won't see them on the street. We don't talk to each other, except via email and texting and posting on places like MyLot. I don't know if you ever read the book "The Dumbing of America" but if you get a chance to, read it. It's working. People are becoming duller and less ambitious and critical in their thinking all the time. It's sad.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Jun 11
Never read it, but I'll keep it in mind. I miss reading from an actual book sometimes. I'm glad someone else agrees. I feel like I'm surrounded by mindless idiots because they can go to work, do whatever and go back to their technology enabled lives where they don't do anything. They're minds are full of bad and useless information they find on the internet. I know so many people who have killed their cars because they didn't know to change the oil. That almost never happened 10 years ago.
@peavey (15808)
• United States
28 Jun 11
I feel like a Luddite sometimes because I tend to shun some technology just because I can. When a grown woman asks me how to make mashed potatoes, I worry. My niece was getting WIC when her child was a baby and they gave her a lot of canned milk. The only thing she knew to do with it was to make fudge... I had to tell her that it was milk and could be used just like milk. It's scary as well as sad.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jun 11
Funny, but that's kind of my point. We no longer learn through socialization. The process has been cut out. There's no learning because we don't spend the time learning how anything is done when we're in front of a screen. Even something as simple as mashed potatoes, which most people my age know how to make because at one point we had to help our parents make them. Even though we could look it up online we don't. Simple things that we've known for 100s of years are longer being learned because we don't have real social interaction.
@choybel (5059)
• Philippines
28 Jun 11
I am with you on the downside of technology. You could also mention how much of nature is being used for the development and not even giving enough back, I mean if they could think about ways to make robots walk the street, why can't they do the same thinking level to keep Earth greener or at least, lessen pollution? Many movies now are about aliens, zombies, asteroids, all themed on the extinction of human race, but truth be told, there's really no need for all these things to actually happen because right now, it doesn't require a genius to see where mankind is heading with the way we are treating our resources and each other as well. We are heading downhill and most are just sitting in the internet and just reading about it. Sad but very true.
1 person likes this
@peavey (15808)
• United States
28 Jun 11
I was kind of surprised (but shouldn't have been) to know that there is now an official "Nature Deficient Disorder" that happens when people are so disconnected from the natural world.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jun 11
I don't know why I'm surprised at how much more there is to the topic. Lots of good points. I think I may have that disorder. No, I get out, but I feel like whatever job I get I'm stuck sitting in a box and it makes me crazy. I don't even know why we have day jobs anymore. It used to be that we needed the light because that was all we had. Now we work in a box all day and leave just before dusk. I'm also wondering how much land is wasted being covered in empty houses, stores, and factories. You have a good point. We do take a lot from the land without giving back. In old days farmers learned the hard way they had to rotate crops and leave plots empty for a season sometimes. Wonder what we'll learn... I think technology advanced us to the point we have so much free time we now need it to waste time.
@mantis36 (4238)
• Philippines
28 Jun 11
there are plenty of man-made machines (serves as robots) too that contributes to help humans to move positively in life which no harm to environment is like the Geo-thermal Power Plant.... Electric Jeepney but as of now is very expensive, so the poor people prefer the use of gasoline because it is easily conceivable... and no hassle when our of power... humans is the the reasons why the earth is near to destruction... that if the earth will die, the humans will die too... but if the humans will die, the earth lives...
1 person likes this
• Philippines
29 Jun 11
So far, technology has served me well. I was able to get a job using the internet and even while at work, we still use it. Technology really is useful if you think about it. Yeah, there are harmful effects but that won't do any harm if it's kept in moderation. A healthy lifestyle and a great amount of rest can combat all that.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jun 11
That's pretty much true. I got one job off the internet but I spent weeks putting in applications. To my surprise looking at a career book in 08 it said that less than 10% of people actually found jobs online. I wonder if that's gone up any.
• Philippines
30 Jun 11
Hmmm.. Maybe it depends on the job you're looking for. I searched for a customer service representative position and every company I applied at contacted me.
• Philippines
30 Jun 11
Hmmm.. Maybe it depends on the job you're looking for. I searched for a customer service representative position and every company I applied at contacted me.
• Indonesia
28 Jun 11
Wow... such a deep thought... I agree pretty much with your opinion. however... the only exact answer of the questions you asked, is actually based on yourself. If you think technology is bad, because one day it will make people suffer, okay it's bad. If you think technology is good because it helps people, okay it's good. Remember of the phrase "There is nothing perfect in this world". It applies to this question. Technology can neither be bad or good. It's how the people acts upon it. Technology is just a... technology. a word. it's a term to tell compilations of things which tells us how advanced things are. It does not have any conscience or self-awareness to tell which is good and which is bad. Only us living-beings have the power to do that. back to the case, technology can benefits us if we're using it correctly. or it's going to hurt us if we use it falsely. For me, the answer is both actually. Technology is helping us right now, speeding up all process that usually requires us to do it for hours. which will save us a plenty of time to do what we need to do next. But technologies has it's price though. as it may consume irreplaceable source of energy more than it can handle, or even common, limits us to how we communicate with our neighbors. Hopefully you can understand about what I'm trying to say. (I had quite a hard time describing my thought into words).
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jun 11
I think I understand what you're saying. Perhaps I should have asked if our use of technology is doing more than than good. But you make a good point, how much energy is wasted by all the computers and tvs that are left on while no one is using them. It's probably a lot. But I'll ask you, do you save time and do what you need to do, or do you save time and watch TV?
• Indonesia
28 Jun 11
Haha. well... I'm not the perfect person who always do good things though cause sometimes I DO save time and watch TV. The truth is, I don't really know. Cause when it saves time, I just do what I always do in my own activities. So... I'm pretty much clueless about what I've been doing. P.S: Hopefully you can forgive me if I'm just all talk and such.
1 person likes this
@barehugs (8992)
• Canada
27 Jun 11
Technology is, and always has been a Big Help! I can remember when we had no electricity at home, and Dad and Mom milked 15 cows by hand morning and night. We could only bath once a week (all in the same water) because my parents had to carry the water from the creek behind the house (through the snow banks) heat the water on a wood stove and we bathed in a tub on the kitchen floor. Need I say more? I for one will take the technology regardless of what I'm turning into!
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Jun 11
Wow, I don't remember those days but my dad does. That wasn't really the technology I'm referring to. Things like electricity and running water are good, even though they allow to be really wasteful. I mean cell phones, internet, video games. I'm not even saying they are intrinsically bad. But how we use and integrate them into our society is. I'm sure your parents felt a much greater sense of accomplishment milking cows by hand than they guy who spends 8 hours flipping burgers then goes home and watches TV and plays video games. Look at what happens when the power goes out in places. People go crazy because they've never been without it. It's one thing to use technology to better our lives, but something else to let it run our lives.
@mantis36 (4238)
• Philippines
28 Jun 11
that is what SCIENCE is all about....
@anklesmash (1417)
29 Jun 11
Technology has made the world better and has the potential to make it even better.The internet gives us the access to all of human knowledge from our homes but most people dont use it in a way that fulfills its potential they often waste the day on facebook or watching videos of things like dogs on skateboards instead of expanding their knowledge and they use it so much that it excludes more other more physical activites such as sport.However i don't think technology is the only culprit for example parents feel less safe allowing their children to play outside especially with the increased publicity murderers and paedophiles get.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jun 11
Good point. All this information available and all we use it for is fear mongering. If people actually went outside more and used it better they might realize that crime has changed little since the internet we just hear about it more. They might also know the people in their community and feel safer about their kids being outside. Now they can even use it to monitor their children, but they still don't let them outside. The only thing they see now is murderers and dogs on skateboards. Maybe it's deeper than just the technology and how people use it, but how the media uses it to portray the world. Must see tv, all these news stories about how dangerous the world is. Here's an computer use it to play inside where you'll be safe while mommy watches TV.
@GemmaR (8527)
28 Jun 11
I think that technology is a great help in our life, and we just need to realise that it is all about what we choose to use technology for, and how that impacts upon our life is largely up to us. If we choose to search for illegal content on the internet then it will cause us harm, however if we use it to expand our own general knowledge then the internet can be amazing. We can find almost anything online without even having to leave our home. Any piece of information that we need to find will be stored on the internet somewhere, so the world is open to us at just the touch of a button.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jun 11
I totally agree, the wealth of knowledge on the internet is amazing and can really help us. I use it all the time to learn new things. I also waste about as much time looking at funny pictures and videos or playing video games. Sometimes, I don't even feel like anyone wants to get away from the tv and hang out.
@sanjay91422 (2728)
• India
28 Jun 11
It is good that we have all these facilities with us. If I left one job then it looks good to have so many options on the internet but the process doesn't end there. After applying to the job you have to face the Interview and then you have to go for the job location. So the technology helped at the initial step but if you give more light then I will say that it is technology plus your personality. I am happy with what the technology is offering to us and if you make a good use of it then it is good for you also. I talk to friends and managers also. If technology is there then it doesn't mean that you have to rely fully on it.
• United States
28 Jun 11
I somewhat agree to a point. The internet makes getting a completed application to an employer easier by far. But it lacks in every other category. A very important part of the process is lost when the applicant never has to go into the business or talks to anyone there before getting to the interview. A law enforcement recruiter once told me. We have a ton of well qualified applicants. The problem is most of them show up and can't do the job because they've apparently never gone outside their parents house. It's pretty sad but true example of where technology is really taking us. For a big company with an HR department it's easier to go down the list until you find an applicant with the social and academic qualities. But for smaller businesses it's a real pain because they might need a certain type of person and all they have to work with is a sheet of what jobs they had and their education, and lot more than before. You can't hire a sheltered, suburbanite to work with the public in a poor, urban area. Doesn't matter how well you do your job if you can't interact with the clients.
@ebuscat (5949)
• Philippines
28 Jun 11
For me helping but more disadvantage to be in your life after all.