People are convinced technology will destroy the future. Look anywhere and I’m sure you will find someone who feels this way and is more than willing to tell you why your use of technology is making you a worse person. They might even cite Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” as proof that we as a society are being destroyed bit by bit through the evils of technology.
I beg to differ.
It is the people’s apathy and lack of understanding for the technology that causes this breakdown in society. I am all in favor of Twitter constant stream of information. I am also able to intelligently choose who and what I want to follow and pick what I choose to read out of the entire stream of information that is available. The lack of choosing intelligently what we follow is the main problem. There is nothing inherently bad or evil about the constant stream of information that we have with a piece of technology like Twitter or Facebook. The information, the technology—it is neutral. Depending on how you use it, that’s what causes it to be labeled as good or evil.
People want to blame the technology because it is an easy target. A scapegoat. We feel like we need something to blame because we are unable and unwilling to face the fact that we are what cause the change between good and evil. Useful or wasteful. In “Brave New World” we are told that the sensory overload of information will cause us to be controlled. We won’t care what is important or not; what is happening in the world around us. We have to catch our game shows and reality TV. Check E! News for the upcoming story to which you just have to pay attention telling a great story that everyone should hear. We have allowed ourselves to be overcome with trash TV and useless information instead of editing what we see. The lack of self control that we have is not the fault of any technology. A computer only reacts to the commands that a human inputs, if a human inputs a command to Twitter to follow a specific profile then Twitter will do so. We do not have A.I. (and even if we did it would still be completely human created), computers do not have inherent intelligence—they only have what humans allow them to have. The Cylons do not exist, capable of creating their own ships and rebuilding themselves (again though, they were manmade).
User input is always the determining factor when computers are the subject. Coding, commands, clicks of the mouse—all things that humans control. With this fact in mind we can see that there is nothing inherent in a computer’s actions; whereas a human’s actions could be based off of a peer or parent’s previous actions or reactions, etc. Computers just do. People do based on their culture.
Part of the human culture seems to be the act of not admitting fault, one I’m sure many of us are guilty of in some form at some point in time, and looking to place the blame in another direction. When we can admit that we are at fault for our sensory overload, then we can begin to fix our mistakes.