Disclaimer: I would like to give a quick shout out to my classmates at Tides of Grace homeschool co-op who assisted in putting this argument together over the spring semester. You guys and gals are the best!
We have it pretty easy these days don’t we? Over the past 50 years, we have evolved from walking to the local library to study for a history test to now possessing access to nearly anything you would want to know about anything all on your phone or laptop.
But as we all know, with great power comes great responsibility. And with that in mind, I must question, has modern technology dulled our drive to accomplish our goals?
Are we as responsible with modern technology as those before us who faced many of the same problems without our technological advances? Does technology make us lazy?
Now before I state my voice on the matter, allow me to clarify that I am referring particularly to the use of smartphones, laptops, tablets, voice-controlled devices, etc. Now to fully answer this question, we must briefly examine both sides of the argument.
On one hand, overuse of technology and social media can be cited as a reason why so many teens and young adults lack social skills outside of the use of emojis. It can distract people from their responsibilities and destroy the art of conversation.
While this is true in many cases, the question still stands, is technology itself causing these problems or is there something greater that must be addressed. I for one, believe so.
Technology is a tool. An advanced tool capable of many great feats but a tool nonetheless. And like any other tool it can be used or abused depending on the individual wielding it.
For example, like a smartphone, a gun is a tool as well. It can be used responsibly by a skilled hunter or by a police officer to subdue a crook in a stickup. Likewise, it can just as well be abused recklessly to rob a bank or commit murder. Is the gun itself to blame for the crime, or the criminal wielding it?
Or in a less extreme example, what if someone with dyslexia uses autocorrect? Does it make them lazy or are they using it responsibly compared to someone who doesn’t need it yet uses it anyway?
Technology can allow you to perform a number of tasks but it cannot force you to do them. It is ultimately the person that chooses to be lazy. Perhaps we simply choose to blame our own laziness on technology out of a refusal to take responsibility for our behavior.
We all have a choice to use our technology responsibly. This choice is not dictated by technology itself. It all comes down to the will power of the person to pick up or put down their phone.
This issue is often tied in with the larger debate of whether or not this generation is intellectually inferior compared to previous generations.
While this topic is very debatable (maybe I’ll do another column on that one day), I don’t believe technology is solely to blame for the oversensitivity and lack of morality in modern society.
So in the end, technology does not directly cause one to become a slacker. It is our choice whether or not we are responsible or lazy.
Technology is a tool that can be used to provide wonderful things such as connections with friends and family near and far or be used to read articles on the Clarion website (Please subscribe for more humor like this). It can just as well distract young people from their responsibilities and cause uncomfortable rifts in face to face conversations.
It’s up to each and every one of us to decide whether we waste time on social media or use it to improve the world we live in.