There is no doubt that technology invades almost every aspect of our life now, from how we communicate, to how we relax, learn, and even receive the news. While certain advances are generally considered positive, there is a question of whether we are now completely dependent on technology, and would be able to survive without it. There is worry that being overly reliant on gadgets could completely transform society as we know it, and that it may be too late to stop this from happening.
Yes – We Are Overly Reliant
Some people can already point to whole skill sets that are being lost as a result of technology. Very few people see map-reading as a skill worth learning anymore, as we can rely on GPS, and nobody tries to calculate anything in their head as everyone has a calculator on their phone. These were considered vital skills at one point, and are on the verge of being lost completely.
Another element that bothers people is that the art of conversation could die, as so much communication is conducted via technology, whether through texting or social media. People rarely even pick up the phone to make a call any more, meaning that simple speech communication, not just face to face is at risk.
The main issue that bothers many people is the fact that there is a whole generation of children who are being raised in such a way that technology fills most of their needs. It’s how they play, how they learn, how they interact. A tablet is often a babysitter, and a movie has replaced a bedtime story. Physical development can be stunted or harmed as so many kids just sit around playing video games all day.
No – We Are Not Dependent
However, despite the points noted above, there is a solid argument that being reliant on certain aspects of technology isn’t the same as being dependent. As a society we benefit from accepting and adapting to advances, such as the telephone instead of the letter, and now instant communication is possible. In situations of emergency, in contacting loved ones who live far away, this can only be seen as a good thing.
We rely on it more than we rely on skills that used to be important, however being a hunter and builder used to be important skills, and society hasn’t crumbled as a result of the change into modernism. People worried TV would wipe out communication initially, and yet family units and communities have survived. Children have changed their sources of entertainment over the years, and yet one thing that remains the same is that they still rely on their parents and families for food, shelter, clothing, and nurture. This instinct isn’t going to be replaced with technology.
It’s undeniable that certain things have changed with technology, however they’re not necessarily bad – just different, and our dependence doesn’t have to be debilitating. Technology covers cars and planes, which is the best method of transport in so many ways, and many of these advances have led to modern medicine, which most people see as an advantage. While there is a risk of losing social skills, individuals need to make a choice of whether or not to spend all of their time in front of a screen or not – it’s not a collective problem.