The Human Experience With Technology
The world is full technology, almost everything you see is the result of technology. Our houses, cars, buildings, streets, lights, even simple things like spoons, pencils, and nail clippers are all examples of technology. We use it everyday without even think about how it affects us. We don?t think about how much a part of our society it has become, or what life would be like without it. We don?t question our technology once we become accustomed to it but maybe we should. We should think about what technology has brought us, and what it enables us to do.
Is there anything dangerous about our dependence on technology? Of course there is. Being dependant on anything can be dangerous. The good and bad consequences of our dependence have to be measured constantly. If the lights go out, if the car won?t start, if my computer crashes, these illustrate the weaknesses in technology that result in dangerous consequences. Yet those possibilities and realities do not deter us from using technology , or from designing new technologies.
A technological failure can be a threat but, the worse threat to us is ourselves. In a recent interview with Simonetta Rodriguez, (an engineer and recent graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the field of civil and environmental engineering) I asked if she felt that there were any dangers about humans dependence on technology. She said, ?If the computers go down no work gets done. But before computers we got a lot less work done all the time. The greater danger is how we use technology.? We must use care when making decisions regarding technology. If we do not pay close attention to the later consequences of decisions, we could find ourselves facing much greater threats that that of the lights going out. Consider the possibility in the near future of human cloning. What rights will a human clone have? Whose responsibility will they be? We face questions and fears such as this when we use technology.
These fears will, no doubt, not stop our efforts to make our lives easier and more comfortable because, technology brings us added comfort. Whether it is comfort in our homes or the comfort of knowing that we will not die if we get break a bone, we design most things with comfort as our ultimate goal. Regarding this issue Ms. Rodriguez noted, ?Why would we develop something that make our lives harder??. She is right, why would we, were is the survival advantage? Human nature drives us to find ways to make our lives easier, that is part of what makes us human. However, some argue that the technology we design has a serious down side: stress.
Has technology really added stress to our lives? I believe that it changed the nature of the stress. Instead of worrying about cave lions and wolves, we...