Do we misuse technology?
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It’s human nature to blame others for one’s own failure. That’s why the word “excuses” exists, created to lessen a person’s own burdens by putting the blame on others.
In high school, whenever I was late to class, I would always blame it on the buses not showing up on time, or the traffic. Fully knowing that I was the sole reason why I was late. Waking up 30 minutes before class, only giving me 10 minutes to prepare and 20 to get to school. It wasn’t because of the bus not showing up on time or the other commuters rushing to their destination but rather myself, the person who decided to sleep at 2 am in the morning playing games and watching videos.
Nicholas Carr, author of Is Google Making Us Stupid?, argues that technology is degrading people’s intelligence. However, I believe that it isn’t the fault of technology but rather the fault of people misusing technology. With the existence of the internet, information can be easily accessed and spread especially with the help of social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit. Also, not to mention search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, which give you what you seek in matter of seconds. With such easy access to information, and that fact that information can spread like a plague, the internet can be easily misused.
Nowadays, many people rarely check if the facts they find online are actually true. A single tweet claiming CNN has been airing pornographic content for half an hour caused havoc across the internet. Even news media sites such as The New York Post, The Daily Mail and Mashable, began reporting on this incident even though the tweet turned out to be false (Grush). In this age where information can be so easily accessed, people begin taking information at face-value without any fact checking. Like the news media sites that reported the news, they were in such a rush to be one of the first to report on such a disturbance that they didn’t even bother to check if the news they were reporting on was actually true.
Sure, it’s the internet fault for allowing these incidents to occur. Dennis King reiterated “Once incorrect information goes viral, correcting mistaken ideas can be very difficult” (qtd. in Robertson and Olsen). Even though the internet can be used for the bad it can also do a lot of good. Roberts provides a scenario where a new mother needs help with her newborn child and rather than visiting the doctor which can take time, she can just do a quick google search saving her a trip to the doctor and giving her peace of mind. With the help of search engines, we can find answers to our questions in seconds. “Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes” (Carr). A quick google search can save a person hours of work allowing them more time to think rather than gather sources.
The beauty of the internet is how limitless it is. Want to learn a programming language? You can. Want to learn about other cultures? You can. Want to see across the world? You can. With so many things to do on the internet, “some will choose to use technological enhancements to cause harm to others” (Hinduja and Patchin). Even though, you can learn so much from the internet there are those who don’t care for the information but rather get enjoyment out of terrorizing others. Also, instead of hurting others many would spend hours and hours online pointlessly looking at cat pictures, living in a virtual world, or watching funny videos. Sure, there is a time for downtime but too much of it leads to handing in assignments late.
In the age of such advanced technology, especially with regards to the internet, people should use it more wisely. Rather than believing whatever you read online, you should do some research before storing that information into your brain and spreading to others - or we all might begin believing that the Earth is flat. Also, people should start being more productive instead of browsing social media wondering which next celebrity is pregnant or dating. They should use the vast amounts of information on the World Wide Web to learn new skills like programming, or surviving in the wild.
1.Grush, Loren. “The CNN porn scare is how fake news spreads.” The Verge, The Verge, 25 Nov. 2016, www.theverge.com/2016/11/25/13748226/cnn-accidentally-airs-porn-fake-news-boston.
2.Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 27 Apr. 2017, www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868/.
3.Roberts, Genevieve. “Google Effect: is technology making us stupid?” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 16 July 2015, www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/features/google-effect-is-technology-making-us-stupid-10391564.html.
4.Robertson, Andrew, and Steve Olson. Sensing and shaping emerging conflicts: report of a workshop by the National Academy of Engineering and the United States Institute of Peace Roundtable on Technology, Science, and Peacebuilding. The National Academies Press, 2013, www.nap.edu/read/18349/chapter/5.
5.Hinduja, Sameer, and Justin W. Patchin. School climate 2.0: preventing cyberbullying and sexting one classroom at a time. Corwin Press, 2012, us.corwin.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/47999_Hinduja___Ch1.pdf.