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Commentary: Society’s dependence on technology

Control is sometimes a relative word, but when you evaluate the question of whether or not society has become “controlled” by technology, the answer is obvious—yes we have. It’s not so much that technology has become so developed that it makes decisions without human input and has “taken over” in that respect, it is more or less people being controlled by technology by their own volition. Overall, we give the commands to technology and computer systems and/or devices simply get the job done.

Tech dependencies

We’ve invited technology into our lives and nurtured it to grow. As a result, it has matured and become immersed in most aspects of life. How many of us are dependent on the Internet? Are you a slave to your cellphone? There is a large percentage of the population which simply can’t do without electronic entertainment, whether it is an iPod, MP3, video game console, television or other technological gadget; for many people these devices are practically an artificially attached appendage. Many people cannot envision life without the technology in which they’ve become accustomed to.

Additionally, businesses and social lives are run by technology and society has evolved to the point where it depends on its existence and availability. When a system goes down or a gadget breaks, people are often at a loss of what to do. What happened to the days when people were self-sufficient and knew how to manually complete tasks? Technology has provided society with a great number of benefits, but with it does come a cost; by giving technology the opportunity to run the show, we’ve lost sight on how to perform these tasks on our own. When a computer system goes down or a smartphone is lost, individuals are halted until things are fixed and / or up and running again.

Complacency

Another way society has allowed itself to be controlled by technology by allowing complacency to become a partner with dependency. Society has reached the point where it is so used to technology running things, many people are barely aware of its existence. For instance, we walk up to ATM machines to get cash, probably giving little thought as to how this transaction actually takes place. People log onto the Internet, pay bills, do banking and shop, and all of these transactions “work like magic.” Overall, we’ve become accustomed to the convenience and ease of everything being available at one’s fingertips. People even sometimes react with panic if one of these services suddenly becomes unavailable.

A dumbed-down society?

Some feel technology has “dumbed down” society, but it really has not done any such thing; it’s not that technology has depleted our brain cells. Humans have created the very automation which “runs” us, which is innovative in itself, and we continue to further develop tech with the goals of making further improvements in daily living. Society has cultivated, grown and encouraged technology’s integration, welcoming it with red carpet treatment. The problem is we’ve become less aware of its existence and rely upon it rather than use our own judgment most of the time.

Technology is here to stay, but it will only control us as much as we let it. And it has provided a great number of incredible benefits to society. Although, in many ways, it seems society is content to allow tech to run the proverbial show and, as a result, we’ve become very much dependent on it, to the point where in a sense, we are “controlled”. However, society does have the power to live upon our own free manually-performed and gadget-free will, but, for the most part, we choose not to.

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