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AGBOR SYLVIA: HUMAN DEPENDENCE ON TECHNOLOGY (COMPUTERS ESPECIALLY): BENEFITS AND HARM

Imagine you wake up one fine Saturday morning and realize that all forms of technology(majorly computers and phones) have been suspended. Indefinitely. What do you think would happen? Statistics have shown that more than 80% of the world’s population would probably start World War III. That is saying a lot about our reliance on technology. My goal here is to lay out, to a large extent, the advantages and harm of this amazing-toxic thing called technology.
But first, what exactly is technology? Of course we would all have different definitions based on different points of view, but what I know for sure is that technology is not solely about cool gadgets such as the iPhone or hover boards. It’s more than that. Technology deals with the use of theoretical knowledge in practical ways to understand not only the manner of operation of our natural world but to meet human needs. Generally, everything made by man. Ranging from personal communication to business sectors,technology has blended into every aspect of our lives; and as such, it has numerous advantages and marks to its scoreboard. And out of these, I will be mentioning a few.
Computer technology brings to our doorstep fast communication like no other. Users do not need to physically move from one place to another to get information over. Instant messages can be sent from phones, personal messages and professional documents can be passed across through emails, and even video chat that allows users to communicate visually in real-time regardless of their location is now available.
Our medical sector has been, without any doubt, progressing through technological innovations. From the creation of small instruments such as thermometers and stethoscopes (which are used to examine the human body) to computerized machines (that monitor patients regularly perform tests quicker and more accurately). Assistive technologies (such as artificial limbs) which are now sophisticated, supports, enhances and even replicate certain human organs.
The education sector also confirms the benefits of technology. Presently, students and teachers have access to abundance of quality information which enhances easier learning at quicker rates. With the availability of the internet, there are many websites a student can utilize, which prevents limitation to a certain opinion. Not only that, people who can’t go to school due to time constraint or lack of opportunities, have the advantage of taking online courses which could earn them a degree.
But just like everything man-made, technology has its failings. One of the sad ‘rewards’ bestowed upon us by our utter reliance is social isolation. Currently, most people isolate themselves from social groups within their local communities, in favor of online company and communication. And even in the event of social gatherings, people tend to use electronic devices in order to avoid interactions. In line with this, studies also show that an average person spends roughly five hours a day on social networks alone. Certain individuals even say that they ‘…feel comfortable relating to people online than physical communication’.
Lately, we rely solely on computer memories to store information of all kinds. SD cards, flash drives, hard discs, name them. Without the assurance of a 100% stability, failure is inevitable. Information could be lost, hacked or stolen from these memories. This could be a huge problem for any organization that depends heavily on them e.g hospitals, law firms. With no backup, productivity and files could be lost forever.
While we are indeed enjoying the benefits of technology, our environment and natural resources pay the price. Some industries recklessly manufacture products that clutter our air, land and water with toxins. Carbon dioxide, sulphur emissions, non-biodegradeable waste, etc are all technology produced. We live in a luxurious-polluted world. Besides that, our natural resources are not reproduced as fast as they are being used up. Our technology is getting so advanced that, within a short time, a huge amount of our resources can be procured. Our world, devoid of natural wealth.
Weighing the benefits and harm of technology carefully, are we to embrace it wholeheartedly, the consequences be damned? Or is it time to detoxify our society from technology innovations?

AGBOR, SYLVIA OMAMOKE.

About Oluseyi Komolafe

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