Technology ‘Shock’– Too Much Too Fast– Danger of Technology Overload: Is It Re-Wiring Humanity…

Technology; it’s changing the very essence of humanity; Internet, computers, smart phones, gadgets… are ubiquitous in life… According to Lee Siegel; the more advanced technology becomes the more it seems to control life, e.g.; you shop, work, play, seek love, search for information, communicate…

Technology has radically changed nearly every level of human experience in an incredibly short amount of time… and for some the only reality is inside their heads… According to Michael D. Yapko; life has grown incredibly complicated, driven by many different forces… none more significant than technology; everyone wants their computers, smartphones, gadgets… to be faster, slimmer, easier to carry…

You want smartphones to have service everywhere, anytime… to send, receive e-mail, text, images, and organize your day… You not only want these things now, but you expect them; then you howl when an Internet server ‘goes down’ for a short-time. Life is getting truly frightening…

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The impacts of satisfying society’s craving for faster, smaller, more gratifying and efficient technology have created numerous ethical dilemmas in an already polarized society, e.g.; the world possesses the ability to improve or destroy itself in a moment’s notice; disparity between the haves and the have-nots has become more apparent as technology advances; there is unparalleled potential to improve or exploit under-privilege individuals with the use of technology…

Technology has enabled the business sector to overcome cultural, language, geographical barriers, creating a global economy… At the same time, critics highlight the unknown consequences of technology, including; lazy population, ambiguous legal implications, dependence, human isolation, widening the gap between economic classes, invasion of privacy, perils of mass destruction…

So is it time to unplug? Is it time to ditch the computers, smart phones, gadgets? Most people say; absolute not: These devices allow us to be more productive; they allow us to connect with others in meaningful ways that bring genuine happiness… That’s not to mention the fact that being separated from your gadgets can create feelings of anxiety. Being disconnected from other people and information updates cause many people distress…

But if you really want to function at your best, unplug and take an occasional breaks from technology, and revisit the simple life… According to Dr. Joanne Cantor; gadgets have greatly enhanced your capabilities and shrunk the world in a positive way… but are these gadgets controlling us, or do we control them? It’s time to wake-up; you own the gadgets, they don’t own you, you need to set boundaries for– when, how, where, how much they are used…

In the book ‘Future Shock’ by Alvin Toffler he writes; society is undergoing an enormous structural change, a revolution from an industrial society to a super-industrial society… This change overwhelms many people, and the accelerated rate of technological and social change is leaving people disconnected, and suffering from ‘stress and disorientation’. Toffler uses the phrase ‘future shock’ as a way of describing the social paralysis induced by rapid technological change… and he popularized the term ‘information overload‘, which refers to the difficulty a person can have understanding an issue and making decisions caused by the presence of too much information…

Alvin Toffler’s main thought is the fact that modern man feels ‘shock’ from rapid changes… Society is experiencing an increasing number of changes with an increasing rapidity, while many are losing the familiarity that old institutions once provided (e.g.; religion, family, national identity…).

U.S. Digital Consumer Report (February 2014) by Gary Price : The number of digital devices, gadgets… available to today’s consumers has exploded. As a result, today’s consumer is more connected than ever, with more access to and deeper engagement with content, brands, social groups… on average U.S. consumer own 4-digital devices, spends 60 hours a week consuming content across devices. Majority of U.S. households own high-definition televisions (83%), Internet-connected computers (80%), smartphones (65%), gaming consoles (46%)… Over past year, on average, consumers have increased their monthly time spent viewing time-shifted TV content by almost two hours…

Additionally over the past year, consumers have increased the average monthly time spent using the browser and/or apps on their smartphones by nearly 10 hours, which ranks second only to live television in the amount of time spent on media consumption activities… Today’s constantly connected consumer is active using social media anywhere they go.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of overall social media users say they use social media sites at least once a day via their computer, and almost half (47%) of smartphone owners visit social networks at least once a day… A surprising 40% of young adults ages 18-24 use social media in the bathroom, and more than half (56%) of adults ages 25-34 use social media at work…

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In the article Has Technology Changed Society by Kundan Pandey writes: Technology has led to a far better, comfortable, and easier life for people, globally. However, on the flip side, it has equally created innumerable problems: Mostly these problems have stemmed from misuse of technology. According to BF Skinner; it’s the human mind that develops technologies, and so it’s up to humans to decide how they should be used: for peril or advantage… 

Most areas of human existence have been impacted by technological changes; technology has refined most major business functions, e.g.; global trade has become faster, easier, and more reliable… It’s easier to book flights, railway tickets, and bus tickets from the comforts of your office or home… Banks and financial institutions have introduced online systems, which have made business and life much easier. Bill payment and account-related work is easily managed online… The ATM technology has made it possible to withdraw money at anytime of the day…

The impact of technology on business is phenomenal with unimaginable– innovation, life changing disruption, access to massive amounts of information, knowledge, learning… and the pace of technology development show no sign of slowing-down… However, there are some people who say that there are negative aspects of technology that can be very disturbing, e.g.; it changes the way we think, way we behave, way we communicate, way we interact with each other, way we learn, affects privacy, security, health…

Moreover, lifestyle habits have changed drastically, e.g.; psychologists are frequently using the term, technology addiction to address certain issues in the lives of people who are constantly glued to their gadgets… Yes, technology gives the power to make a significant difference but it must be used wisely, instead of getting addicted to it…

In the article Technology: Changing Society Not Humanity by Garret Oden writes: Technology has given humans incredible opportunities to make life easier; it’s created a cultural renaissance, and we must learn how to adapt and apply it to life, without changing humanity… yes, it has enriched humanity in many positive ways… However, it has taken a toll on societal interactions, e.g.; now you have the ability to ‘delete’ someone’s very existence, e.g.; on social networking sites, if for any reason you became angry with someone, you can just ‘delete’ them instead of showing some level of forgiveness, compassion, empathy…

In the past, you would usually talk face-to-face with someone to solve differences, now you are just ‘deleting’ them 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 very person they just ‘deleted’… Yes, technology is changing society and social interaction, e.g.; giving people a tool that enables them to ‘delete’ the existence of another with a simple key stoke… may not be the best social behavior.

However, technology is a wonderful thing: In many ways it’s the reason we enjoy a high level of comfort in life; its improved workplaces, environments, living conditions for millions of people… it’s significantly improved life on the planet Earth for the better… But has reliance on technology gone too far?

According to cjlevinson; just because technology is there, and it makes many thing much easier, that doesn’t mean you should over-rely on it such that you cannot think for yourself… What happens when the technology fails? Should any piece of technology be so important that you cannot function without it, for a day or two? It’s not just the way you use technology, but the way you obsess over it…

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Yes, technology is building bridges between people on opposite sides of the globe, but it’s also building strong walls between neighbors. Some people are surrounding themselves with modern technology while paying little attention to the needs of others. Others use technology to better understand their fellow human to overcome– physical distance, establishing relationships of mutual solidarity around the globe…

Ultimately, mankind’s salvation does not lie in more or faster machines… According to the poet Thoreau; technology is just the ‘improved means to an unimproved end’… As long as we are at war with one another and with the world around, the ability to act faster and more effectively will not help anyone… According to Martin Luther King; increased technology clarifies mankind’s dilemma, namely; choice is not between non-violence and violence, but between non-violence and non-existence…