Do We Have Technology or It Has Us?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Thesis Statement
Technology has impacted society in many different ways; however we are still struggling with the process of properly applying it at diverse levels.

DO WE HAVE TECHNOLOGY OR IT HAS US?

 

“Technology has impacted our society in more levels than we can imagine” I state, as I type this essay on a technology device called computer keyboard, I watch the words coming together in front of me on a wide screen, and then I will e-mail it to my English professor, whose class I attend via the internet, another technology item. However, what are we doing with technology in general? Albeit we have become a society proficient in all sorts of technology there seems to be a visible struggle on the application of that same technology, on boundaries when using it, and even in the impact it has in different areas, including the legal system.

 

When I was growing up there were no personal computers available to the general public. Only the government was allowed to have the enormous AS-400 computers for diverse usage. The internet had not yet been invented. When all these innovations came to be I decided I was going to learn as much as possible about computers and internet applications. Little did I know then when I started that quest that there are no limitations on the applications produced by the combination of a computer and a network or the internet capability? Virtually every technologic ”machine” is or has a computer, whose binary combination language will determine how intelligent a particular technology is, or should be, depending first on the demand and then on the supply for that field. This is true to any field such as scientific, religious, educational, legal, or any other combination or subdivision of fields that our imagination takes us.  In many societies, technology helps develop more advanced economies, including today's global economy and it allows the rise of a leisure class, increasing productivity. The downside is that many technological processes produce unwanted by-products, such as pollution, and deteriorates natural resources, which negatively affects the Earth and its environments.  Various implementations of technology influence the values of a society and new technology often raises new ethical questions.

As far as technology applied to science goes, much can be said of their intertwined relationship. As stated on the International Journal of Technology and Design Education, by co-authors Piet Ankiewicz, Estelle de Swardt, and Marc de Vries “Technology impacts not only the environment and our societies, but also how it affects human values.” (2006)

Because of this reality, it is possible for Americans and other nations to get “the latest news about Europe's start-ups, research labs and big companies in the fields of IT, biotech and clean energy” stated by Jennifer Schenker on The Business Exchange, the on-line information center by Cisco Collaboration Technologies; (Schenker 2009) or better yet, it is possible to travel back in time, as it was recently done, by using various technologies to find out the Neanderthal code, as in DNA code, allowing us to answer questions such as “Who were the Neanderthals? How human were they? Why did they go extinct? For 150 years the fate of our closest relatives has been a mystery. But now scientists can start answering these questions - with the help of DNA” stated on a video posted in the internet, produced by Wall to Wall Media, Ltd in association with France 5 for National Geographic Channel, as it was stated in an article written by Tom Mueller (2009).

 

Technology will also allow us to go to the internet from the comfort of our own homes, if we wish, and watch an interactive video reconstructing the development steps on the Neanderthal man-finding, with pictures to be shared around the world, simultaneously; or we can clone different forms of organisms, from a frozen cell such as the mammoth, as discussed on another National Geographic article Recipe for a Resurrection “Scientists could try to clone a mammoth. Should they?” byTom Mueller (2009)

Technology also has had its impact on gendered positions, on children development and growth, which is obviously negative and a misuse, since with it children are being manipulated to become whatever we want them to be, not what they really are. That is evident in toys before technology, such as Barbie dolls for little girls and motorless cars for little boys. The concept has not changed much now that technology arrived. One would think that with technology and the social advancements we endured as a society claiming equality, technology would be better used enhancing that equality, starting with the little kids, as they grow up, so their vision has no stereotypical limitations for either gender. It is true that there are a lot of cool toys for little girls nowadays, however the inequality still lingers.

 

In a journal article titled Tools and Toys: Communicating gendered positions towards technology Elisabeth Kelan states that “With the rising importance of technology in the information and knowledge society, the gender-technology relationship is ever more important when thinking about gender equality” She goes further by saying that “the way in which people position themselves in relation to technology continues to be gendered, which may threaten gender equality in the information and knowledge society, and it also indicates that there is the possibility of change.”  In another related article, Emotions in a Rational Profession: The Gendering of Skills in ICT Gender, Work and Organization (2008) Kelan quoted Halbestram saying that “In our society, discourses are gendered, and the split between mind and body — as feminist theory has demonstrated — is a binary that identifies men with thought, intellect, and reason and women with body, mind, and intuition. (Halberstam, 1991, p. 439)

Another concerning aspect of the misuse of technology is the application to the legal system. The legal courts seem to be legitimizing technology’s social acceptance, as reflected on the article The Autonomy of Technology: Do Courts Control Technology or Do They Just Legitimize Its Social Acceptance? published on the Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society (Oct 2007) by Jennifer Chandler. It has been, and will remain for a while longer a controversial subject, as this article exposes how technology reacts with the courts. The article goes on discussing how society has no control of technology; instead society adapts to integrate it. It also shows the reactions to technology at various levels of the legal system, affected by diverse areas such as the medical, religious and moral fields. Chandler further states that “I suggest that common law judges tend systematically to support the integration of novel technologies into society. For example, courts sometimes require parties seeking compensation for serious injuries to submit to medical technologies to which the parties object for genuine reasons of fear or moral objection. Where a novel technology alters the environment in some way, courts sometimes legitimize that alteration by refusing to recognize harm and instead characterizing avoidance of the technology as self-imposed harm.” (Oct 2007. Vol. 27 Issue 5, p339-348, 10p)

It is not that technology is a bad thing, I for one am an advocate in its favor. It most certainly has brought us an incredible number of benefits and we must be thankful for that; however we need to educate ourselves in its usage in all sorts of applications. Like everything else, just because we can do something with a technical device it does not mean we should. We just need to use common sense when using any technology.

Many philosophical debates have sparkled over the present and future use of technology in society, as well as disagreements over whether technology improves the so called human condition or worsens it. These disagreements led to Neo-Luddism, a political term used by advocates of technology to describe a modern movement of opposition to specific or general technological development that took place in England during the Industrial Revolution era. There were other movements criticizing the misuse and the abuse of technology, claiming that it harms the environment and alienates people, even though it provides so many benefits to society. There were also movements in favor of technology, in the opposite side of the political spectrum, as it is expected. These movements also discussed that until recently, society believed that technology was restricted only to humans, however scientific studies indicate otherwise; other primates and dolphins developed simple tools and learned to pass their knowledge to other generations. “The fact that chimpanzees and other apes can communicate with sign language, and can use computers make you wonder why they are not fully protected.” stated Jane Goodall during an interview for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, published April 06, 2009.

Although many strides have been made throughout the years with the sole purpose of reducing the inadequate usage of technology, as we learn its limitations for each different area of its applicability, there is still a lot of work to be done.  It is true that technology has impacted society in many different ways; however it is apparent that we still wrestle with limitations and proper usage at various levels of our society. We need to strengthen the regulations impacting these technologies, we need to have more testing time rather than produce instantly in mass for profit reasons, and we need to deliver better quality products. Also appropriate and proportional training sessions should be obligatory and implemented with the sale of each different technology system.  I believe these measures would be the responsible way to embark in the technology trip and would help us re-think how we use it, thus providing the ground for us to take the most advantage of today’s and future technologies. As I type these last words in my computer keyboard, I can’t help it but marvel at the mere idea of what technology has done for me. Now if I could only remember to save my typed work!

Works Cited

Ankieewicz, Piet. De Swardt, Estelle. De Vries, Marc. “Some Implications of the Philosophy of

Technologyfor Science” Technologyand Society (STS) Studies. EBSCOHOST Ref AN 19918214.. May2006, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p117-141, 25p, 4 charts. International Journal of Technology & Design Education <http://prozy.palomar.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=19918214&site=ehost-live&scope=site> <javascript:__doLinkPostBack('detail','mdb%257E%257Eaph%257C%257Cjdb%257E%257Eaphjnh%257C%257Css%257E%257EJN%2520%252522International%2520Journal%2520of%2520Technology%2520%252526%2520Design%2520Education%252522%257C%257Csl%257E%257Ejh','');" \\o "International Journal of Technology & Design Education>

Schenker, Jennifer. “The Business Exchange.” Bulletin of Science, Technology &

Society, Forthcoming. SSRN. Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. 2009. Revised July 11, 2007.

<http://ssrn.com/abstract=993169>

Mueller, Tom. The Neanderthal CodeNational Geographic. (2009)

<http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/episode/neanderthal-code-3228>

Mueller, Tom. “Will the mammoth walk again?” National Geographic (2009) <http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/05/mammoths/cloning-interactive>

Mueller, Tom. Recipe for a Resurrection” National Geographic (2009)

<http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/>

Sheridan, Patricia. “Breakfast with Jane Goodall”. (Published 2009). Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

<http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09096/960822-129.stm?cmpid=entertainment.xml>

Kelan, Elisabeth K. “Tools and Toys: Communicating Gendered Positions Towards

Technology.” EBSCOHOST. Routledge. 03/01/1999 to present.

<http://prozy.palomar.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=25727269&site=ehost-live&scope=site>

---.---. Kelan, Elisabeth K. “Emotions in a Rational Profession: The Gendering of Skills in ICT

 Gender, Work and Organization.” Blackwell Publishing Ltd. January 2008.Vol. 15 No. 1

doi:10.1111/j.1468-0432.2007.00355.x. Work Journal compilation

<http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/results?vid=2&hid=103&sid=517d3e47-3a89-4b0a-a579-8491239b36e8%40sessionmgr102&bquery=(emotions+ina+rational+profession+by+elizabeth+kelan)&bdata=JmRiPWFwaCZ0eXBlPTAmc2l0ZT1laG9zdC1saXZlJnNjb3BlPXNpdGU%3d>

Chandler, Jennifer. “The Autonomy of Technology: Do Courts Control Technology or Do They

Just Legitimize Its Social Acceptance?” EBSCOHOST. Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society. Oct 2007. Vol. 27 Issue 5, p339-348, 10p.

<http://prozy.palomar.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=26953870&site=ehost-live&scope=site>

 

Word Count: 1612

Thesis Statement

Technology has impacted society in many different ways; however we are still struggling with the process of properly applying it at diverse levels.

 


Submitted: June 10, 2009

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Helena Parris

A very thought-provoking read. "...just because we can do something with a technical device it does not mean we should. We just need to use common sense when using any technology." I feel that is the main thing to keep in mind with any object. If you have a sharp knife in a kitchen drawer, you could use it to cut up some food, or you could use it to harm somebody. Computer technology is the same. It can do great things, but like the knife, it is only a tool. It can be a very useful tool, or it can cause great harm. It takes practice and self-discipline to use a tool wisely. This is why parents need to have some idea of what their children are doing on the internet, what computer games they play, and just who they are talking to online.

Wed, June 10th, 2009 7:42pm

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Hi Helena!

Thank you for the comments. It seems you really got what I was trying to convey, which is the main idea of writing: communication. What have you published so I can read too?
Keep similing!

Kathleen

Wed, June 10th, 2009 2:13pm

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