Technology is an integral part of life in the 21st century. It has brought many positive changes to the way people go about their daily lives, such as better and more efficient transportation, faster and more diverse communication methods, and of course, the lightning speed of information available through the internet. However, there have been negative aspects of technological changes as well, including internet addictions, loss of jobs due to streamlined robotic processes, and the personal dangers of too much exposure through social media. Balancing how people have control of technology ensuring that they are using it wisely instead of letting technology control life is tricky. There are several ways in which the balance of technology use can be implemented.
The first way to ensure that the use of technology is balanced in favor of the individual having control is to control access to dangerous websites and information so that minors cannot utilize the information there. This can be done through parental control, school control, INS control, or through legislation and law. This would protect children against seeing information that they may not be ready or able to process. Additionally, with the advent and current pervasive use of Smartphones, this control over access to undesirable or harmful information would need to be extended from computers to wireless devices as well.
Another way to ensure that the use of technology is kept controlled is to look at how transportation technology affects the daily lives of people. Commuter trains, subway systems, airplane travel, and car commutes through clogged freeways are all very over-stimulating ways to travel. Noise, physical jostling nad contact, delays and waiting, and being subjected to strangers within a close proximity of a person’s physical space are all due to the technology of fast travel. Ensuring that there is ample time to get to a desired location, traveling at non-peak travel times, and avoiding physical contact can allow a person to feel more in control of the technology of travel.
A third way to control technology instead of having technology control a situation is with medical and health decisions. Today’s medical technology allows people to know if they have an inherited disease such as Huntington’s disease, or if they are predisposed to breast cancer. Just because the technology is there to determine these things does not mean that people need to undergo this type of testing. Also, technology has made it possible to keep a vegetative person physically alive, and there have been cases where family members have had to fight over whether to keep the patient alive by artificial means or not. These are extremely difficult decisions for family members to make regarding a loved one, and it proves the point that just because the technology is able to do something, in this case, keep a person alive artificially, it isn’t always a good thing to utilize this technology. Controlling the information about health is an individual’s private decision, and whether or not to use the available technology should be at the discretion of the individual patient.
Technology certainly has both benefits and detriments. Many lives have been improved due to technological advances in communication, information gathering, transportation, and medicine. However, caution needs to be taken to ensure that individuals control the use of technology for their own benefit and for the benefit of society rather than allowing the available technology to over-run and control decisions, actions, and even thoughts. Taking control of how technology is used will ensure that all individuals get the most benefit from it without allowing the negative impacts of it to affect their lives.