#Debate: Expansion of technology: gift or means of control?
Translated by Elisavet Kechagia
Technology, from the primitive age of stone tools up to today’s age of the Internet and smartphones, has played a great and defining part in human society. It comprises a factual, everyday and rather auxiliary variant in our lives that makes it easier and more pleasant. Especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, no one can argue about the importance of the influence technology has on our lives. Or can they?
#For the expansion of technology
Through technological advances and the emergence of smartphones and the internet, everything is within reach. At any given time, we have the opportunity to communicate with our loved ones from just about anywhere, exchange audio and pictures, and share beautiful moments and troubles alike; distance is finally effaced. We feel close to each other, no matter how far we are. Users are growing even more receptive towards this kind of contact which is facilitated by ever growing, ever improving and updating communication platforms.
Workplace & the expansion of technology
Remote work is now established in the society of technology. Workers can complete their tasks at home. Various surveys have even revealed its positive effects that interrelate with the increase of work satisfaction, better performance, work quality and work-life balance and stress reduction. Furthermore, work becomes automated and machines take the leading role in the professional sphere. The worker’s physical health does not diminish at the same rate it did in the past, and thus people have the mood and the energy for far more pleasant activities outside the work space. Citizen needs are met faster and, with no exaggeration, at a click of a button! A certificate of some sort is no longer a five-hour affair.
#Entertainment – Mental health
Through the advances in technology, people can also leave the troubles and stress of everyday life behind. People can now enjoy whatever makes them happy, from movies and documentaries to shows and music programmes from the comfort of their couch, without having to waste time getting ready and facing traffic during rush hour. All their favourite things are within reach. Even during 2020, the year that we dealt with a plethora of issues, technology was by our side to entertain us, among other many things.
Who knows what else technology has in store for us? Being human means involving, and evolution in turn is life. Who wouldn’t opt for an easy, pleasant and satisfying life after all?
#Against the expansion of technology
#Control mechanism & the expansion of technology
Confidence in science and technology and their respective intensified usage in the fields of natural sciences, the humanities as well as the arts, was accelerated by personal computer usage alongside with the invention and propagation of the internet. Social media brought to light secret thoughts through timelines and comments on every topic imaginable. At first glance it seems to be liberating, but actually it is more of a commitment to an invisible, but very much existing and tangible, stranglehold of control.
Τhe fact that we conform to the requirements of programs and machines is a defeat in itself. Especially since the 20th century to the present day, we run from one technological advancement to the next. Politics and the economy are manipulated to a great extent by the technological tools available. Personality and character are largely shaped by technological advances, while one-on-one communication and judging on one’s own are significantly overridden. The more we enrich technological potential, the more we run the risk of being “trampled upon” by its limitless capacity.
Our personal data falls victim to commercial exploitation. Search engines and social media algorithms dictate our goals and preferences and filter all the information that reaches us as unquestioning recipients. It is impossible for countries to promote a different mindset and philosophy if one takes into consideration that all that happens on a profit driven basis by the businesses involved. We are nothing more than numbers, IPs, a link in the long chain, a potential market and a weak player.
Human knowledge and intelligence cannot compare with the vast data and their automated processing. Humans are after all this time being controlled by mechanistic logic, automatic thinking and a neutral mindset. Modern technology has led to the dwindling of our culture while our brain is trained under the logic of control that is falsely regarded as the logic of education and enrichment. The current conditions need to be changed so that humans are the ones in power, leading without the control of technology.
Technology is a multidimensional sector that undoubtedly affects our everyday lives. Is it a gift, or a means of control after all? That depends on us to a great extent and will surely determine our relationship with technology in the future.