While many have praised what it has meant for productivity and communication, many have felt it is unnatural and has robbed us of some of our humanity. The most glaring example is what it has meant to communication. This is arguably what separates us from our animal cohabitants. If you follow the timeline of human communications, we initially witnessed the dilution of oral communication first from early writing then to the printed word. As we moved into the modern day, the spoken word has lost power to word processing, then text messaging and now social media.
One of the glaringly obvious effects of technology is the spoken word is becoming an endangered species as we are orally disconnecting from each other via technology.That said we set out to observe humans being themselves and asked them to respond with a paragraph on the very human effects of technology on their life.
Technology has vastly warped our perception of time and distance. Many respondents spoke to the speed of information access, certainly. They also spoke more passionately about the speed of human access. Technology has sped up time and shortened distances. There's an awareness of the deep implications the rapid transformation of both of these core human concepts have had and will have on humans.
We've become incredibly dependent on technology and our devices. They store phone numbers. They calculate tip. They tell us where and when we need to be places and how to get there. They help us remember that one actor in that one movie that came out a few years ago. So while we have access to more information than ever, we don't remember much of it because we don't have to. We can joke about becoming "dumber", but it is important to remember that knowledge is not intelligence. Technology has not replaced human intelligence, at least not yet! Beep beep bo
There seemed to be a keen sense of uncertainty when it came to technologies and the change it has on basic human interactions with others and self. Even when we seem certain, we speak in conflicting emotional extremes. Horrible. Lonely. Brilliant. Lifting. This uncertainty seems to create a tension with integration of technology too quickly or too deeply. We're not exactly sure when it became "okay" to text people instead of calling them - and we're not exactly sure it IS "okay." Now that these behaviors are in common usage, are we better, worse, or just different? It seems like an open question at this point - which is interesting considering these are questions about the very ways we communicate and interact with our fellow man.
Technology and social media
have lead to over-sharing. People want to connect with friends of
course, but they also want to be validated with likes and comments. As a
result, everything becomes a celebration (watching a TV show, doing
laundry, eating breakfast, especially when it's described with a little
humor or wittiness) or a complaint (DVR failed to record a show, traffic
on the freeway, sold out concert). Sometimes it feels as though social
media news feeds have become a stream of mundane accomplishments and
first world problems.
Although no one overtly
stated it, there was a sense of inevitability in all responses.
Technology seems to be a plague. Unrelenting, never ceasing, absorbing
everything in its path. Technology is marching forward, almost on it's
own. Humans are a sideshow. There's almost a sense of helplessness about
what technology will influence next and how deep the digital
integrations will go into our lives.
Technology has made it so
easy to document and share our lives. As a result when something isn't
on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, it's almost like it didn't happen. People
are getting more of their news, information, inspiration and gossip on
social media first. Almost inevitably it is heard about first on social
quote seems to sum up the role of technology in our lives. It is a
paradoxical relationship. While it is making us faster, more listened to
and more informed, technology is also making us more confused, more
detached from each other and frankly a little bit dumber.
However, we enjoy, tolerate and crave technology because it is human. It is human by the mere fact we created it to help us be more productive, more connected, more informed and more entertained. In the end, we are in control of it. It can help us on our journey to self-actualization or it can rob us of some of our soul. It is all how you perceive it.