Technology: Our Savior or Our Demise?


Nick Feldman , Cactus Writer

Ever since the Industrial Revolution, mankind’s ability to craft new and amazing technological devices, programs, and software has grown at an insane exponential rate.  We have cured hundreds upon hundreds of diseases, created city-destroying atomic bombs, the Internet, cars and trucks, and so much more.  Most of us like to think that these inventions are here to help us, and most of them are, but the question remains, do all of these technological advances truly help us, or do they hurt us?

First, let’s start with weapons.  In the last 100 years, we have created weapons that have gone from cannons to bombs that can destroy cities within seconds activated simply by pressing a button.  These weapons can help us defend our nation and save many lives in the long run by destroying those we deem as “evil” enemies.  Whether the enemies are truly evil or not, the truth still stands that there are nations and organizations out there whose sole mission is to destroy us.  So, these weapons we have can truly help defend our country.

On the other side of the argument, atomic weapons can literally destroy the human race and all life on Earth as we know it, assuming we were to get into a war in which such weapons were used liberally.  So while they defend our nation and destroy our enemies, they could eventually lead to our demise, as our enemies have the same technology.

Second, let’s talk about curing diseases.  I am the last person to say that it is a bad thing to come up with cures for horrible diseases, but the more diseases we cure, the more the population grows.  Our planet can only sustain up to 12 billion people.  When I was a child, the world’s population was at around 5 billion.   Now, we are at somewhere around 7.5 billion people.  That means, in around 20 years, our planet’s population has grown 2.5 billion people, an extreme exponential growth if you look at past population growth.  Much of this has to do with modern medicine and our ability to cure and treat diseases.

This is a very tough topic to discuss; let’s say we found a cure to cancer, I would be overjoyed, but the Earth would be hurting.  We have a finite amount of resources to sustain our population, and the closer we get to 12 billion people, the closer we come to our demise.  Water and food will become scarce; we will rip each other to shreds.  A very difficult topic, but true nonetheless.

Next, let’s look at the Internet.  The Internet has done SO much for us.  We can connect with people from across the globe with the push of a button.  Social media allows us to connect with friends and family and presents us with hours of entertainment daily.  We have immediate access to any music, movies or any other types of media we could ever desire.  Not only that, commerce has flourished thanks to the Internet, as we can order literally anything we want and have it delivered to our doorstep immediately.

At the same time, we have become completely dependent on the Internet, to a fault.  If the Internet were to be shut down, we would be up a creek without a paddle.  That is because we don’t only depend on the Internet for our own fun and entertainment, but our government depends on it as well.

Not only that, what is it doing to our minds?  Vines, YouTube, Facebook, all disconnect us from the people around us.  With our heads down over our screens, we miss what’s going on around us in the real world.  Also, it has had a substantial influence on our attention spans.  ADHD rates have gone up thanks to all of this social media, not to mention all the access we have to the unlimited information that overloads our brains and simply destroys our focus.

What is the moral of this story? The moral is, we need to think about whether or not technology is a good thing.  Could it be both?  Absolutely.  But we must tread lightly when it comes to this topic because in the end, there are many negatives that go unnoticed on a daily basis.  We need to wake up and think about the consequences of having such amazing technology and what it is doing to our society.

Tell us your thoughts!