Technology: Changing our society not our humanity

By Garret Oden- The Brock Press

Today we are more dependent on technology than ever before. This has led me to wonder about the changes it has brought, and to pose the question, “Has technology effected our humanity or our society?” As humans, technology has given us incredible opportunities to make our lives easier, sometimes mistaken for laziness.

Brittany Brooks _ Fish Bowl 02

Brittany Brooks- Brock Press

Barry W.K. Joe, PhD, is a professor here at Brock University, and it was in his Interactive Arts and Science class that I first took an interest in how students are perceiving technology today. What I found was definitely enlightening.

“This generation moves along with the changes so easily to the point where you have created a cultural practice, and have learned to apply it to your everyday lives”, say Joe. He admires us for our ability to not only know where to find information, but how to discern it. So in regards to our humanity, I believe it has had a positive effect. However, I believe it has taken a tole on our societal interactions.

One discussion we had in my class was the ability to ‘delete’ someone on social networking sites in order to make a point; to show them how angry we really are. I find this has hindered our ability to forgive. In the past, you would usually talk face to face with someone to solve your differences, now we are ‘deleting’ people out of frustration. Not only that, but some people even create a false identity in order to find out how they are being perceived by the very person they just ‘deleted’. I don’t personally agree with this, but it has probably happened a lot more than I’d like to think. It has gone so far that people are now breaking up with someone over a text message, or e-mail. Most people would say that this isn’t considered ‘acceptable’, but where is the line that sets apart breaking up with someone who you’ve been romantically involved with, to a friend that has upset you? If your feelings are hurt by anyone, it stands to reason that those feelings were there at some point. So why has it become socially acceptable to just ‘delete’ people out of your lives? Technology is even being used not only as a sword, to hurt others or to voice our opinions, but it has also become a shield that we use to protect ourselves from emotional harm. I personally don’t condone this. I would like to see society make the effort to start creating stronger bonds and to start working through whatever differences they might come across, not to just ‘delete’ them and run away.

So has technology really changed our humanity or our society? I find that many adults believe technology has turned us lazy, but I agree with Barry Joe when he says “we couldn’t text because we didn’t have it.” If our parents did have everything we have now when they were growing up, they would be just like us. Technology has given us tools to make our lives easier. I do not believe we could go as far to say that technology has changed who we are as human beings, but I do believe it has changed the way we live our everyday lives. As far as society is concerned, it may have hindered our judgement or impaired our ability to forgive, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone.

Our generation adapts. I know we’ll make it.

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