By Remi Matza
What would life be like without technology? Without a refrigerator, without a car, without the internet, without Google Classroom, without FaceTime, or even without Waze? Can you even begin to conceptualize how vastly different life would be? I can. Life would be inconvenient, inefficient and challenging. The daily tasks that we can complete in a split second would require far more time and effort. We’d have to trudge to the library or ask a teacher every time we were confused about our classwork, instead of simply “looking it up”. We’d have to use a Spanish to English dictionary every time we didn’t know a translation. We’d have to read a map to get to a new destination. We’d have to write letters every time we wanted to contact someone from afar. It is impressive that, as a society, we have made such great strides in technology, making life less tedious and burdensome, but how does this impact us?
This new efficient lifestyle makes it easy to conclude that technology is good for us, that it is making us smarter. However, others argue that people are becoming far too reliant on technology and that, in this way,technology is not helping us but hurting us. According to freshman Samantha Gershuny, “technology is becoming an increasing necessity in society today and can be found at almost every corner you turn.” This ubiquitous nature of technology — although helpful — is slightly alarming. People are beginning to lose the skills we know as “common sense” and “street smarts” because the apps that are so easily accessible to them have become a crutch, more than a mere luxury. Even I can admit that if I got lost and my phone was dead, I would have no idea what to do!
On the other hand, technology allows people to learn more and do more in a short period of time. Freshman Ella Javorsky says that with technology, “we get to take charge of our learning and learn about a topic that interests us with just a few clicks.” Javorsky also says that technology allows us to “read about current events or watch trending videos easily and quickly.” So, although we may be reliant on technology, this reliance allows us to acquire a greater understanding of a plethora of topics almost instantaneously.
These very contrasting perspectives on the impacts of technology are creating a profoundly controversial debate; however, I don’t believe that there is simply one right conclusion. On the contrary, I believe that technology can have both a positive and a negative influence on society.
Thinking globally, technology has allowed humankind to advance and change the world in ways that were previously unimaginable. We have cured diseases, transformed the face of engineering, done groundbreaking research in a wide array of scientific fields, and so much more. Thinking individually, technology has made us “specialized” humans. We can now be skilled at one particular activity or job, but we rely on our apps and the internet to handle most of the other aspects of our lives.
Technology is evolving quickly. Every week, there is a new update available on your phone, a new app you can download to make your life easier, or a new article about how self driving cars will be taking over before you know it. Be aware of these changes occurring around you, and remember that technology is a tool. It is your choice whether you use it for better or for worse.