Tuesday, October 15, 2013

An Argument for Technology

Technology is very much a part of life. I'm writing this post on a new smart phone, my Samsung Galaxy S3.  It truly has taken over our lives.  Nobody can deny the massive reliance on phones, computers, TV.  But despite all the hate technology gets, it seems very few argue for its benefits.  With "internet addiction" to become a disease in 2014 and people struggling to have a conversation when face-to-face, it seems there are no benefits to this so-called plague.
But I'm here to say different.  Technology definitely has its issues; otherwise saying so is ignoring all the people at the stores or bus stops on their smart phones or tablets.  However, these issues are not the issues of technology.  They are issues of human self control, encoded in our DNA to be lazy, to take the easiest way out.  How much easier is it to stream music on your phone than buy tickets to watch your favorite band?  How simple is it to press a few keys, tap a few buttons, and have every library in the world at your fingers?  It is straightforward enough to Google whatever you want or need.  Instant gratification - but instant gratification of things our ancestors could only dream of!
We have become addicted to these things, is the argument most would give.  But is that such a bad thing?  The world is becoming more catered to our younger generations, the millennials and we teenagers who have grown up in a world where everyone has the coolest phones and latest gadgets.  I can rightfully say I have been a "long-time poet" because a long time is no longer decadeS but a single period of ten years.  You're old at fifty even though living to one hundred is becoming a common occurrence.  Technology is a part of this paradigm shift.  It is also, irreversibly, a part of everyones' lives.  I know many of my generation who mock older people who cannot use a smart phone or the internet.  I also know that there's too many times when I've gone behind my parents' backs, utilizing the technology they have trouble with.
These, of course, are all negatives.  So what, then, are the positives?
As someone with social anxiety (and anxieties of other forms...) and depression, I have found a strong, immobile support group online.  People who I would never have met in real life I've been able to contact and talk to.  Ask almost anyone else with a mental health issue (at least, those of teenagers and college age kids) and you'll get a similar response.  Mental health issues, for many teenagers especially, have been addressed and aided online when there is no support or understanding to be found anywhere else, especially if those in the LGBT community.
On top of the support, the internet has promoted a greater amount of understanding than anywhere else.  Research is easier to do than ever, and though people still act like sheep, it has not been in any way helped by the internet.  Not only that, but television has also promoted greater understanding and acceptance.  Technology is a benefit.  Whatever issues come about from it are almost always caused by our human nature.

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