Technology, and the power we have given it over us.


Technology, by Geralt

Dalton Caron, Staff Writer/Lead Editor

American author, blogger, and speaker Gretchin Rubin once said, “technology is a good servant , but a bad master”. Even today, professor Nick Bostrum, director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University is conducting an investigation to determine if the smartphones we created have destroyed or are destroying a generation. 

Technology all together, is great. Technology gives us access to new and great things in which, we never thought were possible and writing us in all new ways in this virtual world. But in reality, technology is only making us more alone.

Life may just be better led when we live it rather than view it. If we just take a second to step back, away from our smartphones and away from technology, we may just finally see how much of life we are really missing. Just look when we go to a concert, or are at dinner, or are even at a tourist attraction, just how many people we see experiencing the world and wonders through their phone. 

In a YouTube video posted 7 years ago called “I forgot my phone”, we follow the life of this woman as she witnesses life without a smartphone in her face. This young lady goes to dinner with friends, concerts, party’s, and even spends the night with her boyfriend, but no matter where she is and where she goes, everyone around is only experiencing the world around them through a screen, not with their own eyes. 

Anyone and everyone are just “sucked” into their screens and won’t or rather can’t come out. They can’t come out to experience some of the great experiences you only get to have once or for the simple ones you get to have many times, they are stuck in this digital world in which we created.

In a sense, the video shows us how we have let our technology dictate how we live our own life, and that we have now become the servant to the new master, our technology. Nick Bilton, a Journalist for Vanity Fair, watched the video, and what he had to say would only further add to the message of the video itself. 

“It’s needling us about our addiction to that little screen” said Bilton, “ it just goes to show how little we have become to our own creation”.

Essentially, life is now being dictated by our technology. Look at all in which we have invented. Instead of cleaning the floor ourselves, we can buy a robot vacuum cleaner that’ll do it for us. Instead of making our own coffee, we can buy a coffee machine that’ll make it for us. Instead of walking from the grocery store to our parking spot, we can buy a Tesla that’ll drive itself from the parking spot to our exact location, all on it’s own. 

Although these great inventions are making our lives just a little easier and a little more enjoyable, where do we draw the line? When do we stop being lazy and start doing things ourselves? When do we stop inventing machines that will live our life for us? Semantic scholar Mathias Crawford offered his thoughts on the matter. 

“Every experience is being mandated and conceived around how it can be captured and augmented by our devices,” said Crawford, “it makes me sad there are moments in our lives where we’re not present, we’re looking at our through a phone”. 

Opinion writer for The Guardian Rachel Holmes has much to say on this topic.  “The technology we thought we were using to make life more efficient started using us some time ago. It is now attempting to reshape our social behavior into patterns” said Holmes, “In an increasingly online everyday life, our use of social media has become a medium for normalizing the acceptability of intrusion and behavioral correction. We are bombarded by ‘helpful recommendations’ on education, health, relationships, taxes and leisure matched to our tracked user profiles that nudge us towards products and services to make us better citizen consumers.”

What Holmes has stated and later will can be seen as a close hit to home for many who have become entirely engrossed in this new digital world and replaced it with the real world. 

“The app that told you that you only took 100 steps today. The ad for the running shoes will arrive tomorrow.We risk allowing ourselves to become a vast network of informants on each other and ourselves.” said Holmes, “think about GPS-based location tracking on your mobile phone; think about social media apps where we broadcast our spontaneous thoughts, social lives and relationships.”

Now don’t get me wrong this large expanse of technology is great, it presents a better means of communication, learning options, great exposure to the latest things, ways to personality development, simple ways to access applications, ideas to succeed in business, and so much more. But some things in life are better left to us so we can actually experience it, rather than sitting back and viewing it, it’s our life, not the machine’s.

Technology is an amazing, and wonderful thing, but give it too much power and it controls you and your entire life. So take the time to put your phone and other devices down and truly experience or live life, not view it. “It’s sad. How plastic and artificial life has become. It gets harder and harder to find something…real. Real love, real friends, real body parts…” ― Jess C Scott, The Other Side of Life.