Positive and Negative Impacts of Technology 

Technology has been around for a long time. It is a scientific invention that was created to help humans increase work productivity and to make one’s life easier. Technology is everywhere around us and it is part of our daily lives. Technology has helped us improve our home, work, hobbies, and shopping lifestyle. It has helped us stay connected with each other, and has led us to have better education and medical research by bringing information needed to our fingertips. Although technology has had some negative effects on people, it has positively impacted human emotions and behaviors in many ways.

Humans emotions and behavior have negatively been impacted by technology because it has made them lazier. Like drugs, technology can be addicting. Those being affected by that addiction cannot seem to get enough of it and cannot go anywhere without their device because it makes them feel lost or lonely. For feeling lost or lonely without a device is a sign of addiction. Professor in the program in science, technology and society at MIT, which she also directs the MIT initiative on technology and self, Sherry Turkle essay “Growing Up Tethered” states “teenagers report discomfort when they are without their cell phones” (583).

In other words when teenagers do not have their device, they do not feel themselves because they are not able to have an immediate connection with other people. While agreeing with Turkle on young adults feeling lost without their cell phone, I also believe that it does not only affect teens but has affected people of all ages, it has had a negative impact on those who have become tech addicts. For it is important to know that a device should not be fulfilling the needs of comfort and connection. Parents, family, friends and people around one’s life should be implementing those needs by loving, caring, understanding, and listening who one’s is and need without any judgement.

Technology addict’s physical wellbeing has also been a downfall for the negative use of technology. They have become so comfortable with the new technology innovations that they don’t even want to stand up to turn music on, switch channels on TV, or even something as simple as turning on and off the lights. They are able to do all these things by just commanding Alexa, a virtual assistant gadget that connects to any bluetooth appliances or gadget connection one’s have on their house. Alexa, then is able to turn on and off lights, Music, TV, so on and so forward. Due to simple gadgets like Alexa, people have become less active leading them to obesity causing them to have heart problems and other underlying health issues. Obesity and other health issues my lead to depression affecting human emotions by not wanting personally be around people and behavioral issues by not wanting to do anything other than laying in their bed in the dark.

However, despite the negative impact technology has had on human lives and behavior, it has also had a positive defect or humans by helping us save lives. Technology has a huge impact in the medical field by helping improve medicine and medical machines. Medicine keeps improving daily to help cure viruses and bacteria. With the improvements of medicine, humans are diminishing pandemics viruses like varicella, measles and meningitis to spread nationwide. If it happens to occur that individual gets infected, the effects of the virus are minimal due to the required vaccinations people get as children. In his video “A Funny Look at the Unintended Consequences of Technology” stand up comedian and radio personality Chuck Nice states “we are actually teaching machines how to think, how to understand our behavior” (6:11).

In other words, Nice thinks that by teaching machines we could be destroying ourselves by using artificial intelligence. While I agree with Nice on teaching machines how to think and understand human behavior, I disagree we are using it to destroy ourselves. Machines like, life support, asthma pumps, diabetic monitors and pumps, organ keepers, heart pacemakers and many others were invented and are improving to help improve human’s heath or save one’s lives. Simple devices like iwatches and Fitbits were invented to motivate people on having more physical activity and improve wellbeing. These devices keep track on owner’s physical activity motivating to complete daily step counts, activity circle, and monthly challenges the device gives to keep the individual moving. One can also make it a game and have competitions with one’s friends on who completes the challenge given first

Similarly to the positive impact technology has had on the medical field, it has also helped improved education. People of all ages can have fun learning how to play an instrument, learn a new language, learn how to draw, or learn other areas of Interests. Technology has helped teachers and students stay connected by applications like zoom where they can meet with their teacher and other classmates. Thanks to technology we are able to send and receive work assigned by teachers. People are also able to find quick researchers for book reports or general reference for personal information by connecting to the internet. Classes can be taken online for those who are unable to attend a college or university campus. Online offers many courses and helps people obtain certifications and degrees upon completion at one’s own pace.

On his article “On the New Literacy” print journalist at New York Magazine Clive Thompson tells us that “ Facebook encourages narcissistic blabbering, video and PowerPoint have replaced carefully crafted essays, and texting has dehydrated language into ‘bleak, bald, sad shorthand’” (70). In other words, Thompson believes that social media is an influence for some bad habits in writing. While I agree with Thompson in social media having an impact that encourages narcissistic to blab about themselves, I do not agree that it has had a negative effect on one’s writing. It is essential for professionals to know that the way people write to their friends on text, social media, or emails is not the same as when students write to a professor or assigned to write a formal paper. Technology has not affected one’s writing or education. Students are knowing the difference of informal writing and formal writing and write according to their audience.

Technology not only has helped us in the medical field and education it has helped people stayed connected. People are able to communicate from anywhere to anyone around the world. Due to technology people can virtually attend family and friends weddings, first communions, childbirths, and other special events when once physical presence is unavailable. Not only people are able to virtually connect to be a part of special events, but people are able to communicate with love ones that are far away from us by using applications similar to FaceTime, Skype or Zoom.

On this year 2020, COVID-19 pandemic affected people worldwide. Like New Jersey, many states declared state of emergency, schools closed indefinitely and people had to be on quarantine, practicing social distancing. Technology, through these hard times were people need to stay in their homes away from other people, has kept millions of people connected. For those who had a negative perspective about technology, COVID-19 has changed their mind towards believing differently. They realize that thanks to technology and its innovations, they are able to stay connected to their love ones and other other people like teachers and coaches.

In conclusion, technology will continue to improve and new innovations will be created. Technology is everywhere, we have it in our houses, workplace, cars, schools, yet alone we carried with us by simply having iwatches, Fitbit‘s, and smart phones. Everything in life has a balance and one’s individuality has the power of choosing how technology impacts one’s own life.

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