Like with everything else in this world, technology can work for or against you depending on how it is used. While technology was likely envisioned to uplift the lives of everyone, it has many flaws that we are just starting to realize now that it appears that we are being controlled by it. Aside from the environmental damage many of its electronic parts are causing and the increased demand for energy that is probably contributing to climate change, human behavior has changed and people started to develop bad habits related to excessive tech use.
It is likely our lack of discipline that made us gullible to these new addictions or obsessions. Since we can’t seem to put our smartphones down and steer away from social media even for just a few hours, most of us tend to lose focus and forget what our life priorities are. And in that sense, technology becomes a double-edged sword that may bring about problems for us later on although we are not discrediting the benefits offered by technology altogether because in many ways it has made our lives easier albeit a little more complex too.
Technology can help drivers find their cars in a carpark, make cyclists park their bikes responsibly, help parents track their children’s expenses, and even identify sarcastic remarks posted online.
But as technology plays a bigger part in daily lives, a debate is brewing over whether Singapore should be more careful in picking the technology to adopt – with some experts warning that there are downsides to using tools to solve every problem.
Debates about overdependence on technology are perennial but it has assumed more relevance since Singapore’s Smart Nation drive, launched in 2014, was highlighted again at Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s recent National Day Rally.
Humans are relying too much on tech gadgets to do things for them that they become too lazy or forget the importance of why some things must be done manually. And the more we patronize these modern advancements, the more money we spend in buying them and we pay for its upkeep too. It means that only the affluent members of society get to enjoy the perks of modern living, leaving behind the poor people and thereby widening the gap between them even further.
Doug Crawford, presentation associate at Protect Young Eyes, met with students at Coldwater High School and Legg Middle School on Tuesday to discuss the potential dangers of social media and technology in general.
“Social media and the internet is not all bad,” Crawford said. “There are positive and negative aspects.”
“Cyber bullying, online predators, and sexting — these are all issues our children are dealing with in the online world,” a letter from CHS Principal Bill Milnes and Assistant Principal Krista Searls read. “In the digital age, parents must be observant, engaged and informed.
“As a school leader, I know that I need to be aware of the online environments that our children operate in, and also prepare myself to take the appropriate actions to protect all of our children,” the letter continued.
We all know it by now but we choose to ignore the dangers these technologies bring because it is cool and we feel good using these platforms, most especially social media. Young kids are all over SNS these days and they don’t hesitate to try all the trends just to fit in with the crowd. Yet we don’t want the technologies we are using to enslave all of us, so the youth today should be guided by the proper use of these things so they don’t lose track of what’s important in life.
However, it is a bit challenging as the adults themselves get hooked to it too and use it just as much as the teens would. The technology is still advancing and we can’t tell what awaits us in the future, so we better keep our heads level-headed and don’t get too lost with all these technologies or we might lose all sense of humanity we have left in us.