Is technology ruining society?

Profile photo of Sheila Sheila (@shebreezy) 5 years, 11 months ago

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like technologs is ruining the raw way of life? To me, communication – face to face – is nearly impossible to maintain anymore. Sometimes, I feel like we would all be much better off with out texting, smart phones, iPads and computers.

I feel like everyone would genuinely enjoy the company of others.
People would like other people.
People would be more generous and kind to others.

I am dreading the day where technology takes over and just brainwashes everyone. I’m worried human contact will be unnecessary.

Is this troubling to anyone else?

It could be just me, but I always love to hear the dreams, passions and succeses of others. I love to hear about what other people want to achieve in life. I am inspired by others and their motivation.

So on that note, does anyone else agree?
Also, share you’re dreams and passions. I want to know :)

December 16, 2011 at 10:28 pm
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jetsetplayboy (8) (@jetsetplayboy) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

I gotta agree–society itself is getting more and more impersonal. Technology has become such a way of life that NOT having it and relying on it is considered unnatural to most.

My dream is to just be happy–to make a good life for me and my son, find a good woman and get married, have a few more kids and just LIVE. Nothing fancy, not a millionaire lifestyle or anything, but to just live, and live well–to be healthy and strong, to provide for my loved ones and help others achieve happiness.

I used to be so hung up on material things (I guess a byproduct of that technological society), but sometimes I think about how exciting it would be to just get rid of everything and start over. Can you imagine that–waking up one day with absolutely nothing?

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Joseph (114) (@warriors41) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

Imagine how genuine it feels to be away from someone physically for so long, but still talking to them from a distance, imagine how genuine a face to face meeting must feel. I am not worried, face to face conversation rates might be going down.. but overall communication has not, it has increased.

I’d like to share a little idea of mine and I hope you will enjoy it. You say you like to hear about dreams and stuff, that’s wonderful! :) Now, have you seen the video on youtube of the images that were reconstructed from brain activity? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsjDnYxJ0bo What if at night you were to record your dreams and then put the video on youtube for all to see. :P

I understand what you are worried about but I am not willing to ditch all technology just so that we can go back to a closed but more physical environment. It probably would be nice but the reality is that technology is here and it is here to stay. The internet was invented to relay information coming from the Large Hadron Collider. it was later it became widespread throughout the world and I think it is absolutely a novel tool for humans. The ability to share information at the speed of light anywhere around the world.

lol long post but just one more thing. in about one year there will be solar activity (which is normal, happens all the time but in cycles). It is said that if a flare is strong enough, it could destroy satellites in the atmosphere and disrupt all signals and electronic activity on the earth. Computers could all fry. It has to be a big flare though and honestly no one can predict that. so anyways if it does happen you may have your wish come true and it may save us from our technology. but honestly I think we’ll just rebuild the internet back and this time maybe we can make it better? hmm

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jetsetplayboy (8) (@jetsetplayboy) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

My friend at work thinks that solar flare will be that ‘end of days’ disaster or whatever in 2012…we’re so screwed if it does happen.

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St Emilion (2,991) (@manimal) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

Technology doesn’t ruin anything, people do. Inanimate objects have no power, humans have lots of power.

This society was a destructive, manipulative, deceptive construction from the start. These things aren’t sustainable no matter how good you are at it, it wasn’t meant to last. It was meant to be temporary, a way for some to become powerful and rich by using others. A way for the majority to be safe and entertained by giving up their responsibilities and freedom.

It’s coming to an end and this is a good thing. Everyday I see society getting torn to shreds more and more, and I love it. Humans will be humans again, people won’t waste their lives on pointless shit.

Lots of people will die, but that’s just how nature works, focusing on something like that is just pessimism. Looking at the big picture, things are getting better and better, faster and faster everyday.

Don’t cling to a sinking ship. Especially when it’s a ship that was made for enslaving you.

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Joseph (114) (@warriors41) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

@jetsetplayboy I’m actually super optimistic about it. There’s been a discovery in the past that showed that solar activity can affect brain activity. The idea i’ve had is that when we look at aurora our brains will have a little chemical clean up, possibly a natural DMT trip. It won’t be an end, it will be a beginning.

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Athens (13) (@giraffe) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

@manimal: I always hear talk of lots of people dying during these changing times, but I don’t understand why. I can think of a few reasons like mass panic cutting off water and food supplies or horrible riots. Am I missing something?

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St Emilion (2,991) (@manimal) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

@They’re clinging to the sinking ship, they’re dependent. They can’t live without the aid of the system, they’re victim minded, irresponsible people who don’t really live their lives but get thrown around by situations and other people. They need society desperately, they’re addicted. These are the blind masses, they won’t survive. Imagine Darth Vader losing his robot suit, that’s what it’ll be like, they’re being synthetically kept alive against nature’s will. This is what happens when you let the ego decide, which is what everyone’s doing these days.

The end of it will be glorious.

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Athens (13) (@giraffe) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

@manimal: Wow! Yeah, I totally understand what you mean. I remember the day I noticed and rid myself of the victim mind, ever since that day I have always been doing things myself; health, education, money etc. I see people everywhere lost with no job or stuck in a mundane life too afraid to change and no desire to help themselves.

@sheila: You definitely need to find people and go places where people do enjoy your company. After a short trip to Amsterdam and out of my small home town in Scotland I learnt that not everyone is reserved and there’s a lot of fun and interesting people out there who love the company of others.

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Kyle (1) (@ghimsapper) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

Firstly, I think the term technology is always inclined towards cellphones, computers, tablets, but I just want to say that technology covers far more than electronics and the internet. Technology also includes things like medicines like plasma therapies, agriculture, windmills for power, etc. And that is just modern technologies, the shovel was a technological advancement, cotton mill, the wheel, eyeglasses, writing, printing press, domesticating animals, etc. So even if your suggesting that modern technologies are causing a downfall in society, remember that technology is apart of the human existence in many ways and means, for far longer than modern times.

To properly respond to the question I recall something I read back in middle school. Humans have a technology 200 years before we are mature enough to use it rightly. That is the sum of it and that always stuck with me. People currently have no moderation in terms of their techno use and influence on there lives, and I think that is what the ultimate problem is because as Manimal said:

Technology doesn’t ruin anything, people do. Inanimate objects have no power, humans have lots of power.

People need to learn moderation and prudence with techs use. People who complain about facebook showing everyone your lives then why are you posting it for people to see, why are you friends with all those people you don’t want knowing that much about you. I only use it to interact with my friends who live a great distance away or put up events that saves me a lot of time making sure I talked to everyone.

People need to not let these things control everyday life. And this is where Manimal’s other comments on the “sinking ship” come in. The people who loose to much of there life to any one of these things, like anything in life, can get dragged down by them. There addiction will lead to them loosing control when any problems occur within there little sphere. They won’t survive because the damage or lose of there fix will enrage them and cause unrest, distention, and disquiet. This will lead to those loses of life. It is those who don’t let these thing run our lives that may preserver through those times.

I do not see this as glorious, perhaps inevitable, but more than anything I feel that it will cause chaos and ultimately level off as we, as a human race, mature into the technology use.

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Joseph (114) (@warriors41) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

I believe there is a balance. I use a computer often but I have never owned a cell phone. When I go out in the world I am me no matter what, there’s no way i’m talking to anyone farther than ears reach. I think it’s possible for everyone to find their balance. Just learn and teach good technology etiquette. :)

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Peter De (110) (@peacefulwarrior) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

There definitely is a balance. I go to a very technologically advanced design school. During breaks between classes (we have 8 hour classes daily) it’s rare for people to just sit and have a conversation, if they do it’s over and through laptop screens. As soon as its break time everyone get’s out their laptops and goes on Facebook. I started out that way, but after I noticed everyone else doing it, it really started to bother me. Now (since no one will talk besides on Facebook) I usually take a short walk around campus instead and it feels so much more rejuvenating than anything on Facebook. …the looks I get when I suggest taking a walk instead of going on Facebook.. Or they say “yeah sure let me just check Facebook first”

I like to take a step back and think “If I go on the comp now, where will I be an hour from now? Will I really find anything meaningful or fulfilling? What about a year from now? What effect is this having on me?”

What’s hardest for me and I’m sure a lot of people is that it’s such a weird thing to want to stay offline, and unplugged. It can be somewhat alienating. It becomes very difficult to talk to anyone or know anything that’s currently going on. The worst of it is that people expect you to always be plugged in, I almost got in a lot of trouble for not responding soon enough to an email my advisor at school had sent me. It’s hard because even if we give it up to any degree, it seems everyone around us is still reliant on it and assumes that we are too.

It really is on people, it’s not technologies fault. We just need to start to wake up and step away from the keyboard/touch screen. I know it’s something I’m going to be working on, at least on an individual level.

Ps. I enjoy the irony of this, as it’s being discussed on a website. Baby steps.

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Matt Vine (3) (@mztt) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

Can you imagine the technology that we can’t live without in 50 years?… It’s already hard to live without a phone, or google.

and yes, i agree that technology blows for that reason, but it’s hard not to keep progressing on something that just makes sense to us.

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Jared Edwards (128) (@jaredwards) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

Desire is what fules technology.

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Max Moon (6) (@maxmoon) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

I’d say that if anything, society is ruining technology, and not vice versa.

What does society invest the most research into? Cutting edge weaponry. Certain kinds of cancer have been reliably cured repeatedly with technology, and yet people stil die from them.

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Eric (1,818)M (@blankey) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

@max, My thoughts exactly!

Technology is the way of future, so much so that we may have to merge with it in order to keep up with it.

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1.61803399 (246) (@drunkmonkmeth) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

Society can’t be ruined and it has never been ideal to begin with.

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Prabhpreet (0) (@auhsome) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

Everything has duality- good and bad. If there are benefits, there are obviously some drawbacks.

Technology can ruin someone’s life depending on what use you put it to. If you’re the master and it’s the slave and it helps get things done faster, it’s amazing. As far as communication is concerned, emailing is a more convinent day to avoid annoying people.

But if technology becomes the master of your life, then it’s clearly ruining society. And with all kind of addictions with technology, I think it’s evident.

But eventually, we’ll evolve for it. I wonder what happened to people who thought paper and pencil was technology. For me, this “technology” ruined some portion of my life ;-)

(This is my first comment on HE !!!!)

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Rajiv Nelvoy (6) (@rajivnelvoy) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

Yea. I think it is ruining society. I mean, I am a little bit of a tech geek and I love all these gizmos. But nothing beats actually meeting people rather than talk to them on a computer screen. And we have all these radiations that are out there that are potentially harmful. I have been working on distancing myself from technology and just getting out there.

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Joseph (114) (@warriors41) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

I got an idea. What if we learned how to text with one hand… but held hands with another person. It’s still human contact :)

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Sato (0) (@sato) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

@Rajiv I have been doing the same thing over the past year, distancing myself from use of modern technologies. It’s funny because when I first started my friends thought I was crazy for even wanting to. That mindset alone lets you know that there is a problem with people’s reliance on their machines.

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Martijn Schirp (112,735)A (@martijn) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

@manimal: Your lack of empathy is disturbing again. I quote “Everyday I see society getting torn to shreds more and more, and I love it. Humans will be humans again, people won’t waste their lives on pointless shit.”.

Also, that technology is neutral is a very false (albeit a very persistent one) idea. Technology shapes the world in which we live in many different ways. It makes visible things that weren’t before (galaxies, radio waves, unborn babies). And so gives us new information about the consequences of our actions. It shapes actions itself, it has a steering quality (stopping for red light, giving gas when it is green again). They make up the scripts that we as actors have to play in certain circumstances. And in this way, they have a moral side which is often not fully understood.

So, while you can argue that individual morality has declined (not sure if this is true, since it’s literally impossible to compare our current situation with another) our morality as a whole has increased. Exactly because there are all these non-humans shaping our actions where the only outcome is a moral one. It has a panopticon effect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panopticon

The whole problem that everyone here intuitively feels is that technology distances you from instincts. Technology also can limit the view of the consequences of our actions (I have no idea where the gas I use to cook my food comes from and what consequences it might have on the world). And since technology is very distracting, it’s very easy to lose our natural instincts.

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St Emilion (2,991) (@manimal) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

@martijn Now that’s strawmanning. There is no lack of empathy here, I just don’t have any attachment to human life, and I’m looking at the big picture. I have empathy for mankind and the earth, that’s why I’m so happy that society is falling. This society is cancer, it’s holding us back and making people miserable. And those who are miserable are better off dead, because their suffering will be over. Are you saying it’s ok to put down a cat or dog or horse “for it’s own good” when it’s injured or mentally ill, but not a human? It’s easy to confuse empathy with attachment.

Technology has no will, it doesn’t shape us. The people who apply the technology do. A traffic light doesn’t know what it’s doing, it’s not telling us to stop or go, it’s just a bunch of lamps switching on and off as a reaction to electrical currents. The rules governing red and green light were made by humans, and are willfully followed by humans, the light doesn’t think at all.

I don’t care about morality, this “decline of morality” stuff is just conservative mumbojumbo imo. Thanks for that link btw, it looks very interesting.

I don’t see technology as something that alienates us from our instincts, that’s just one way of using it. I use it the other way around, I let technology keep track of stuff and crunch numbers and so on so that I can be more instinctual and not have to think as much. It’s all about HOW you use stuff, technology doesn’t decide this, humans do. Same goes for the distraction aspect, people choose to be distracted, technology doesn’t bend their will. Not all technology is for distraction, only a handful of devices are, and humans CHOOSE to use these. Free will. There are only personal choices and consequences, nothing good or bad, if you choose to do something “wrong” you get “bad” consequences and you will suffer a lot for it in the long run.

That’s just how human life works, you choose and then you get consequences of your actions. There is no good or bad, you always get what you deserve, what you subconsciously ask for, the world is completely fair. The ego might think it’s unfair and resist and make everything worse and so on, this is what attachment is all about. Attachment IS resistance, they’re really the same thing. And in an “ordinary” human’s mind, almost every belief and feeling is an attachment.

Technology doesn’t have opinions, attachments, willpower or even thoughts. They are only machines that react to human interaction the way they were made to do. They have no power whatsoever, humans do.

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Alex (550) (@hollowinfinity) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

@manimal, if you have no attachment to human life, then why are you still living? Why do you have an avatar? You may let go of your ego as much as you’d like, but you are still an individual. I may dislike America as much as I want, but I am still an American..
Technology does have opinion, because people’s and I stress PEOPLES. I.E, INDIVIDUALS, create technology, and every individual has an opinion. How are you so sure your idea about detachment from ego is the solution? How are you sure? What if our ego is a way to re-attach to the world, to experience in a higher realm? How CAN you be so sure? Sounds like another assumption to me.

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Alex (550) (@hollowinfinity) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

Also, our morality has far but declined. How did people handle abortion 10,000 years ago? Death penalty? Weeds growing around their ‘property’?

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Alex (550) (@hollowinfinity) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

Also, you are implying that technology is less supreme then we are. Who says the internet isn’t much more complex than any human being? Certainly seems that way. You can argue that we made internet, and it is our collective thoughts, but how are you sure we aren’t some other ‘things’ collective thoughts compiled into a certain algorithm?

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