Technology is a controversial topic. What are its benefits and consequences?
by Alice Alcaras
Technology is a big part of our lives nowadays, and it has become a very controversial topic
I cannot help but wonder how life was before the existence of technology, and if a world without technology was better than one with it. Especially now, during lockdown, technology seems to be our savior, but does it benefit us? More importantly, are children actually benefiting from it?
All the good technology does.
Technology as we know it helps us communicate with others over long distances - some who are even at opposite sides of the world. It allows us to keep in touch with long lost friends and family. Especially during this difficult time of lockdown due to COVID-19, technology is helping many of us remain in contact with loved ones. Because of technology, we are getting an insight into what others are doing, how their days go about, and what they spend their time on.
But communication is not all it does. Technology has helped us escape from reality during difficult times. It allows us to dream and keep hoping for a better future. Thanks to technology, we can now do everything we used to do outside at home. For example, most gyms were closed due to the pandemic, but we can now work out at home using online training programs like Peloton. Students and adults can do their work from home through online applications like Zoom or Google meets as most schools and offices are closed.
Technology has also proven to be a very effective way of learning for children. Nowadays, more and more schools are filled with tablets and interactive games. Through these applications, children are able to learn more content, more efficiently. They can assimilate the information very quickly using those gadgets as it allows them to remember the knowledge better. They always have the option to go back to check on their notes and other information whenever they want as well. Through interactive games, even the shyer of the children can gather courage to communicate with others and make friends.
Even before the pandemic, technology made our lives easier. Technology helps us make any kind of process more efficient, allowing us to save time and be less fatigued. It revolutionised the industries and the market, helping us with manual work and produce a larger amount of goods. Thanks to technology, our lives are easier socially and academically; we can contact our friends and spend time with them virtually, and learn in front of a screen.
All the bad technology does.
At the first sight, it might look like technology has helped us. But, if we look closer, has it actually done more harm than good? Let’s start by comparing ourselves to those who were on this planet before us. What was life like before phones and the internet? Were the people happier?
Although technology can help us in many ways, it also has its own detrimental effects. It is addictive, can take us away from reality and make us forget that we are in the real world, and can show us things that we might not want to see.
In addition, it can be a great distraction. Thanks to technology, kids could learn from home. But, is their learning as effective as when they learned in-person, at school? More importantly, is it right for us to solely rely on technology for children’ s education? Studies have shown that an increased amount of time in front of a screen has lowered the capacity of concentration for students, so many children are being prescribed glasses due to their faltering eyesight.
To add on, children and teenagers are generally more affected by technology than adults. Since those ages are a sensitive time, if they are exposed to inappropriate content after using technology, then it would form bad habits that would be hard to get rid of in the future. For example, watching violent shows or playing violent video games using a television or phone can promote violent habits in children and teenagers and can get them into serious trouble in the future. Children can also form habits of relying on technology for every task and will never be able to learn to work for something themselves, and can develop antisocial behavior which can affect future relationships with others at work or at home.
Technology makes life easier for us, but it can also make us lazier and live more sedentary lifestyles. Because of this reliance on technology, we are now used to not moving even a finger to get a task done. If a machine can finish a task or if we can do the task at home through technology, we would not think twice to choose a more physically exertive option.
If our computer can do a task, we do not bother putting in effort. If the internet can search something for us, why bother working for it?
On a balanced note.
Technology is part of our lives and we must be thankful for it. It does make work and lives easier, however we must be careful not to let it take over all of our daily tasks.
If kids from the past century would look at us now, what would they think? Would they think that our current lives with technology are better than their lives without it?