Technology: Friend or Foe?

Technological advancements are inevitable in today’s world. Whether people like it or not, new information and advancements will keep technology moving forward. The question is, will technology be what saves humanity or destroy it. Author Jeff Douthwaite argues that technology is necessary for the world  to be “fixed.” Douthwaite claims that technology, paired with social understanding, is the key needed to fix current problems, “We need both kinds of understanding, technological and social-the type that is advanced can help us live with, enjoy, and improve the other.” Author Sean F. Johnson would argue a similar point, that the technological fix will solve social issues and will blend well the consumer culture we exist in. On the other hand, Michael and Joyce Huesemann argue that these technological solutions will be more harmful than helpful, “In summary, the negative and sometimes irreversible consequences brought about by the application of science and technology are not only inherently unavoidable but also intrinsically unpredictable.” With these words, the Huesemann’s conclude that while beneficial, the possible outcomes of technology are too risky. These articles, while very different, all provide insightful thought on the use of technology.

Technology can be very unpredictable. Relying on it as a solution to our problems is a risk in and of itself. The possible implications are just as unpredictable as the technology itself. If we rely too heavily on the technology, there may be unforeseen and irreversible consequences on our world and our environment. Unintended consequences should not stop technological advancement and problem solving but it should encourage caution.

1 thought on “Technology: Friend or Foe?”

  1. I found your perspective on technological fixes eerily truthful, as I agree that if we allow ourselves to become too reliant on technology to fix our every problem, it could ruin our moral judgement and destroy our basic sense of decision making. Being a Computer Science major, I can testify that technology is a wonderful tool that changes lives by solving problems every day, but with this power comes increasing consideration and demand for ethical decision making. I believe that technology is one of our greatest assets for solving our world’s most threatening social issues, but I also clearly see the dangers of deploying this technology without considering the social, cultural, and economical variables within that ecosystem. As you stated, caution should be of utmost importance, and we should frame our technological fixes around a mindset that includes the culture, the economy, and most importantly, the people involved with the social issue that is trying to be fixed.

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