Technology is the sum of all of the knowledge that we have to process actions, create tools, and use materials throughout each day. It is a term which has multiple meanings based on the subject matter being discussed. You are using technology to read this content right now. We use technology to plant a garden. Technology helps us to sleep at night, receive medical care, and cook food.
These processes offer us a way to simplify our lives or add value to it in some way. We can take the scientific approach to use technology to solve problems and accomplish tasks. It can help us to communicate with others, travel to new destinations, or pursue our goals and dreams.
Almost every task we do in our lives each day is an example of technology at work in some way. Whether you are trying to scale a business, develop manufacturing processes, or relaxing at home while watching a movie, then you benefit from the ingenuity of the human spirit. The application of technology typically results in products or services, but it can also be used for malicious purposes.
A nuclear missile is technology too. When we look at the pros and cons of technology, we must balance the benefits with the potential for harm to help shape a world where everyone can have the chance to pursue what they want to experience in life.
List of the Pros of Technology
1. Technology gives us access to more information.
The Internet might be the most significant social village that humanity has created in history. It is an informational resource that allows us to experience different perspectives, ideas, and cultures from all over the world. You can receive real-time updates of news stories, play games, or chat with someone who is on the other side of the planet. It is a straightforward experience that lets us access a wealth of knowledge.
Thanks to technology, you can access this information in the comfort of your home. You could drink some coffee as you read the news. There are even ways to stream what you get from the Internet to other devices to maximize your consumption.
2. You can save time by using technology.
If you are old enough to remember a time before smartphones and GPS, there was one primary way to navigate through a new city: paper maps. Thanks to the development of technology, you can take a trip anywhere and know exactly where to go with line-by-line directions. There are times when a GPS system might have you drive into a lake if you’re not paying close enough attention to your surroundings, but this upgrade to traveling offers additional benefits to consider too.
You can locate where the next gas station is if your vehicle is running low on fuel. The maps can point out specific attractions you might want to see. Some systems can even help you to book a hotel room straight from the app. You can even see the traffic situations that are waiting for you thanks to technology.
3. Technology gives us more mobility options.
Can you imagine what life was like when the best technology to help with your travel experience was a good pair of shoes? Forget about bicycles and cars when thinking about mobility and technology. In less than a single day, you can hop onto an airplane and travel to almost any point in the world. You can travel thousands of miles across the ocean with a high safety level to visit your favorite countries.
Although there are political challenges to travel that you must consider, the reality of modern technology is that we can travel further and faster than ever before in human history right now.
4. We can communicate more efficiently because of technology.
As the Industrial Revolution progressed around the world, there was a need to develop better communication resources so that companies, families, and governments could communicate with one another all over the world. That led to the invention of the telegraph, which led to the landline telephone, to the cell phone, the satellite phone, and now our data-based connections over fiber optics too.
In less than a century, we have gone from letters being the most common means of communication to email and instant messaging. Social media lets us share digital images in seconds. Videos are shareable now too. These benefits all happened because of the ways that we have embraced technology over the years.
5. Technology can make things cheaper.
One of the primary advantages that technology provides everyone, everywhere is the fact that it is always looking for a best cost efficiency. We use these processes to make more items or provide additional services while saving time during the creation process. By operating on an economy of scale, it becomes possible to increase the living standards for everyone around the world while maintain an affordable cost profile. Competition can even create lower prices as organizations work to compete with one another over a specific set of customers.
6. It inspires us to become innovators.
Digitization has come to many industries because of the emphasis on technology. From computer design to farming, we are in the middle of another global revolution. We can use new techniques on croplands to increase yields without spreading pesticides. Layer farming lets us create more food while using less space. This process lets us raise livestock that is healthier, which leads to better products.
Then we can take that innovation to the field of medicine to work on a cure for cancer. We can build new computers that let us access data faster than ever before. We can incorporate an Internet connection into a vehicle so that we can communicate with others whenever there is a need to chat. Technology lets us embrace the inner innovator.
7. Technology lets us manage our money better.
Can you imagine paying in electronic currencies 20 years ago? What about the formation of cryptocurrency? The world is slowly becoming a cashless society thanks to what technology can bring to the table, but let’s not forget that paper money was once cutting-edge tech too. Instead of waiting at the bank to pay a bill or sending a check in the mail, you can just hop online to a specific website to send money instantly.
We are spending a lot less time waiting in lines thanks to this one unique advantage of technology. You can even schedule your grocery shopping for pickup as an evolution of this process too.
8. We have developed better learning methods because of technology.
Software, gadgets, and even pencils are all technology options that make it easier to learn new skills. It is possible to integrate numerous tools into the modern classroom to facilitate the learning process. Even a calculator is a tool that wasn’t available not that long ago. We have more information available to us with what we consider to be simple tech items than previous generations got to experience during most of their lives.
Then there is the element of fun that technology provides us. When learning can be turned into a video game or an interactive presentation, then we retain more of the information provided to us in that moment. Listening to a teacher talk about a specific subject can create a retainment level of 5% to 10%. Interactive options increase our retainment to almost 90%.
9. Technology lets us focus on the ability instead of the disability.
One of Helen Keller’s most famous quotes is this: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” Keller made history by becoming the first person who was deaf and blind to earn an undergraduate degree. She is known for her ability to overcome her disability through her personal desire to succeed.
Now we have more technological options than ever before to help people reach their full potential. From artificial limbs to implants that can send new audio pulses to the brain to let people hear, we are on our way toward a complete reversal of disabilities. Technology helps us to restore, and maybe one day enhance, who we are.
10. AI is a form of technology to consider as well.
Artificial intelligence allows us to automate processes so that we can dedicate our time toward other projects. It eliminates the repetition from our lives. These systems can also think and adapt based on their programming to accomplish a number of items, including the establishment of the Internet of Things webs that we have in homes and businesses today. This advantage might one day help us to bridge the gap between human and artificial consciousness to give us a real-time version of immortality if we can upload ourselves into a mainframe or network.
List of the Cons of Technology
1. Technology creates dependencies.
The evolution of technology in our world today has created a dependence on our devices, tools, and processes. There is no longer a need to think or recall information because everything is immediately available to us in a giant database. Even a small tool, like a calculator, reduces the need to perform mental calculations or know how to do mathematics because you can solve equations by punching them into the device.
Because these dependencies create a decline in human capital, there can be a higher risk of unemployment that occurs in some industries. We can even use some device to replace humans altogether, like a self-service touch screen at a restaurant.
2. We must have laws in place that protect individual freedoms.
There are some technologies that we can all use to benefit our lives, our families, and our communities. You can surf the Internet to find a recipe, investment strategy, or educational philosophy to follow. Most people don’t need supervision to mow their lawn or plant a garden. These processes give us a lot of individual freedoms that were not always available in the past.
We also have technology inventions that require the need for laws to protect our individual freedoms. Having the ability to create an atomic bomb in one’s garage is not really something we want to have in society, after all. Regulations must continue to adapt as new ideas emerge to ensure we stay protected.
3. Technology reduces human effort.
You’ve probably heard someone say the phrase, “We need to work smarter, not harder.” Most technological discoveries work to reduce the amount of effort that we need to use to create a result. The implication here is simple: machines can do the heavy lifting for us. When there is less work for people to do, then it means humanity is slowly making itself obsolete. Automated processes make jobs redundant, so the new employment fields will be in programming, coding, and similar support services.
4. There are data security concerns to manage.
As our access to technology grows, so does our willingness to incorporate these tools into the aspects of daily life. Vast amounts of data are collected from all of us every day. From the cookies that get logged onto our devices when visited a website to our credit card information when making a purchase, much of our private lives are stored somewhere on a HDD, SSD, or server. If there is a single breach of this data, then anyone could find out our details, like where we live, where we work, and who are closest relatives happen to be.
What is scary is the fact that this information is accessible online without a data breach as well. It might be creepy, but it is not illegal for a site like TruePeopleSearch to give up information from public records if someone is looking for you. You can contact these services to remove your information, but more of them just keep springing up.
5. We don’t always understand how technology works for us.
Imagine if your computer broke down right now. What could you do to fix the problem? Will you need to fix one of the circuits inside of the device, or is there a software coding bug that you need to manage? The problem with technology today for the average person is that there is no longer an understanding of how the tools operate. Even if you want to fix a car, you need to deal with more electronics than the mechanical issues that may be present.
That means we are dependent on the services of others to make our lives easier unless we take it upon ourselves to learn how to fix the things we use.
6. Technology creates a social disconnect.
People are socializing with each other through digital means instead of face-to-face opportunities. Even though there is a certain satisfaction that comes from these interactions, digital-only relationships can also create intense feelings of isolation, loneliness, and disconnect. Taking away our ability to be physically social (even if that doesn’t mean intimacy) can be problematic for an individual’s mental health. The prevalence of mental illnesses and disorders may be increasing because we are using technology more than we are having contact with one another.
7. There is more of a struggle to disconnect from work because of technology.
There are hundreds of emails that come through each week, demanding your personal attention. You probably receive a handful of voicemail messages and phone calls that require some juggling to fit them into your schedule. There are text messages from co-workers, supervisors, and clients that want an immediate response. The reality of technology today is that it is almost impossible to escape from work unless you are willing to disconnect from many of the tools that you use all of the time.
Then there are the issues with organizing the data that you capture over the course of a day while working. The minutes of meetings, digital graphics, financial reports, and training documentation can all be a headache to keep sorted when there are large databases to manage.
8. Technology can manipulate information to suit personal needs.
Deepfake videos are becoming more prevalent today thanks to technologies that make it seem like video content is real when it is not. Photographs and audio recordings are easy enough to edit as well, which means the data we collect is easy to manipulate. If we are unwilling to verify the authenticity of the information we access, then it is very easy to spread false information to others, creating an alternative set of facts.
9. It becomes much easier to copy or plagiarize information.
Digital content is remarkably easy to reproduce. You can even make it seem like it is an authentic piece of information by rewriting a few lines of an article or changing the positioning of paragraphs. Copyright laws are becoming very challenging to enforce because music and movie files are so easy to transfer on peer-to-peer sites. Even when watchdog groups search daily for people who are illegally sharing this information, they can start a new account to do it again once their old one gets shut down.
This disadvantage also means that it can be profitable to start creating fake online personas. People behave differently when they think their behavior will not be associated with their actions. You will find trolling, threats, stalking, and bullying behaviors are much more common from people who believe they are anonymous compared to those who try to represent themselves digitally.
10. Technology can be addictive.
Technology can give you a rush that is similar to what drugs or alcohol can provide when you take them for the first time. Video games, streaming movies, television shows, and many more information elements that we can access today can cause people to make decisions to embrace their tools at the detriment of their lives. People are destroying personal relationships because they would prefer to stay connected.
Verdict on the Pros and Cons of Technology
Technology on its own is not good or evil. It is the choices that we make with these processes that can help or harm others. It is easy to blame the tool because it can be personally challenging to look at the actions of a fellow human. Their choices could easily become our decisions one day if a similar set of circumstances were to occur.
We have become used to smartphones and computers becoming our go-to resources for almost everything. Technology lets us go almost anywhere and do almost anything.
When we look at the pros and cons of technology, it is essential to look at how these tools are shaping our lives today. Do you see conversations happening in restaurants? Or is everyone staring into their mobile device as a way to pass the time before their meal arrives?
We must be disciplined with technology. Our perspectives will help to shape the next generation and how they evolve tech to fit their world.
Natalie Regoli, Esq. is the author of this post and the editor-in-chief of our blog. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington and her Masters in Law from The University of Texas School of Law. In addition to being a seasoned writer, Natalie has almost two decades of experience as a lawyer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send Natalie a message here.