The Pros and Cons of Social Technology

Neil Postman Wrote “‘What will a new technology do?’ is no more important than the question, ‘What will a new technology undo?’ Indeed, the latter question is more important, precisely because it is asked so infrequently.” This got me thinking. There is absolutely no invention that has come to society without also bringing an equal handicap. Postman uses the examples of modern medicine, computers, and cars which all have their obvious advantages and equally, yet less obvious disadvantages. There are many communication tools that have been invented and have changed the world, yet there are indiscernible threats to these tools as well.

Televisions are clearly marvelous inventions. They help people as a whole communicate across oceans. They are truly the windows to society. They have also come with a price. People have become lazy, and feel as if they are not missing the outside world because they see a television as an accurate representation of the outside world. This causes obesity and poor health. Who needs to go out and see the world, when you can just buy a big enough television so that it seems like the real thing?

Another communication tool that has changed the way people live is mobile phones. They help people easily connect and organize their lives. It’s even gotten to the point that people can check their e-mail without a computer, as well as print documents and take pictures. With all of these options, it is easy to get distracted from the task that you bought the phone for in the first place: to communicate with others. With the addition of texting and social networks, people are no longer using their phones to call and talk to a real person, but instead are using their phone to communicate to another phone, which in turn communicates with another person. This is no mere communicating an issue through technology. This is people committing to being social through their technology.

This entry was posted in Science and Technology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.