Technology - Good or Bad?

Heather Marie Studebaker

People very often debate whether technology is good or bad. Many people believe that technology can only cause harm to their lives and society, while many others strongly defend the technologies which have made their lives much more leisurely and enriching than it could have been several hundred years ago. In my opinion, both of these views are correct to an extent, but I also believe that what should be examined is not whether technology in its self is good or bad, but rather how we as humans use it.

For decades now, television has been accused of contributing to the dissolution of the American family and the destruction of the minds of those who watch it. However, although the TV has been involved in this, the problem roots not with technology but rather the people who choose to let it run their lives. I believe this because it is parents, not TV sets, who choose to let their children sit in front of the television for hours upon hours, and it is the parents who do not intervene and replace TV time with quality family time. Technology has also been blamed for destroying the minds of adults who spend too much time watching it, but in fact, the blame should lie on what programs a person watches or the person who chooses to watch it continuously. Hence, the television is only a contributing factor in family problems and mind destruction. It is the bad judgment of the people who watch television or let their children watch it who should be blamed for these harms, not technology.

Another topic that comes to mind when technology is discussed is the household appliances that have evolved in the last century. Refrigerators, gas and electric ovens, microwaves, vacuums, dishwashers....the list goes on and on. All these things have made housework tremendously easier than it would have been about 100 years ago. This results with both positive and negative effects. It has given us easier ways to get jobs done, leaving more time for other things, but the bad part of this is what is chosen to do in this extra time. In many cases, this extra time is spent doing leisurely things, which might make us more happy, but also has an effect on our health. Lately we have become aware of the dangers of heart disease and the health benefits of exercise....the exercise we would have gotten 100 years ago just from doing our daily chores but now aren?t getting enough of because we don?t have to work as hard to do those same chores. This can be blamed on technology, but again, in fact it is our own fault because we chose to use the technology and spend the extra time lazing around.

Now, something that really bothers me about technology is what is made out of it. I often question why people spend so much time and money trying to come up with so many useless things when we have global warming problems and starving children working in shoe factories. For example, scientists spent years to make a clone of a sheep. Now let me ask you, is their any practical use in knowing how to clone a sheep? Many people think that eventually this scientific advancement will lead into the cloning of humans, but again, what is the point? I feel strongly that nothing good can come from that. Instead, I think scientists should be using technology to come up with things that can greatly help the majority of the world?s population and make the world a better place.

It seems technology has brought both useful and pointless things into our lives which has contributed to making them better as well as causing negative affects upon them. As we live in this information age with new products and discoveries coming to us everyday, we must remember to use our best judgment to decide what technologies are good and which could be harmful. We must also remember that what ever technology does to our lives, technology in itself is not to blame, but rather how we used it.