The Dark Side of Technology

By Josh Blatt

Why was technology made in the first place? This is a question that people should be asking themselves far more frequently, as it outlines many of the problems that exist with its use in modern society.

Technology was first made to make people’s lives easier. For example, farms used to require several individuals to manage it all day. Then, devices such as tractors and ploughs were invented and only a fraction of the effort is now needed in order to run the farm. As a result of this automation, people should, in theory, be able to work fewer hours and receive the same or more pay. The reality is that this is very idealistic and seldom seen in the modern world. Instead of this, many farmers, and workers in similar situations were fired. This illustrates how large-scale technology only benefits those who can afford to purchase it, and evidently not those who it replaces.

Furthermore, in a more relatable sense, technology has ironically made people more disconnected than ever. A 2016 report written by Media Technology Monitor says that young Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 spend nearly five hours per day using the internet, approximately 34 hours per week. Not only does this mean young people are spending less time with each other, but University of Illinois psychology professor Alejandro Lleras has evidence showing that people who are addicted to cellphones or the internet “scored much higher on depression and anxiety scales.” It is clear that socially cell phones can and have been detrimental to the mental health and well-being of those who use them.

Technology is something that can yield tremendous benefits for those who use it. It can make communication and research easier, open up new and innovative job opportunities, and add unmatched levels of convenience to people’s lives. However, it should not be seen as something without its drawbacks. Not only has it contributed to the current wealth disparity we see today through eliminating jobs, but it has harmed its users on a mental and physical level. To avoid this unfortunate reality, youth need to be especially cautious with their future career choices. Technology must be used in moderation along with everything else in order to avoid the isolating and addictive traits it possesses intrinsically.