When it comes to technology, what comes to mind? Now, I know the subject of technology isn’t really a subject – more like a vast realm; a place that encompasses so many kinds of awe-inspiring advancements. There’s no question that we live in a highly technologically advanced world, and one whose pace is amazingly faster and faster. I’m not going to portray myself as some world authority on technology or as some kind of technology philosopher (by the way, if you’re really interested in gaining a deeper understanding of technology, then I suggest you read the writings of Pierre Ducasse), but I can say with some accuracy that my mind has a sufficient knowledge base of this subject to justify writing an article on it.
Where do I begin when it comes to carving out words to explain the impact that technology has had on the world in the last half a century? Let’s first get something straight, shall we? Technology isn’t a field made up of black and white patches: it’s more of a diamond with many facets. Let me ask you, reader, a question: if technology was a person, what kind of personality would he or she have? I personally think he or she would be a highly complex being, with capabilities to do both good and bad things to the world. You see I don’t think it’s helpful to view technology through a narrow prism, because how could something so diverse and so complicated be analysed with only one eye? It just can’t. Technology – especially of the digital kind – has changed the world’s face so much that today’s world is virtually unrecognisable to the generations that grew up in distant times.
Technology has made the world more interesting, more enjoyable, and so much more fascinating. But the positives come with some negatives, kind of like an awesome product that hides some pretty serious flaws behind its aesthetic beauty. But this article isn’t about promoting the views of technophobes to the sub-conscious of its readers, nor is it about presenting a gleeful interpretation of something based on blind loyalty. Yes. I am aware of the many, many direct and indirect benefits that technology has bestowed onto the world and its (some would say blissfully ignorant) population. And, yes, I am equally cognizant of the massive potential for the abuse of technology (indeed, history is littered with examples). I see the good in some of my friends, colleagues and associates…but I also see some of their less admirable personality traits, which bubble to the surface, sometimes unexpectedly. But just because someone or something has negative attributes doesn’t mean that there’s nothing pure in them at all. On the flip side, just because the exterior looks good doesn’t always indicate that there are no imperfections with the interior. Sometimes ugliness is very adept at hiding its…ugliness from the purview of the public. Maybe it’s best to view technology as an enabler: one that enables all kinds of people, groups and organisations to do all kinds of things that their ancestors or predecessors just couldn’t.
Technology has no doubt helped to empower numerous citizens of numerous countries by (among other things) giving so many access to a wealth of knowledge; and the more enlightened among us will know that Knowledge is Power – but not only that. One of the greatest technological creations of all time – the Internet – has enabled people at home, and in faraway lands, to have contact with people from another part of the world. (for example, a student in rural Bangladesh can have a world-opening conversation with a history professor in urban America).
I truly believe that an intelligent society wouldn’t reject something that will bring multiple benefits to it. However, I also believe that the very same society would put in place protective barriers, based on a multi-dimensional and updated framework. It’s perfectly fine to accept something that can be of great value and play a crucial role in the advancement of humanity, but that very same “gift” can also be utilised by perverted, power-hungry, criminal-minded individuals and interest groups to further their diabolical agendas. Whether we’re talking about a twisted man surfing the Internet to meet “like-minded” individuals to share horrific images of abused and underage children or an international criminal organisation wanting to expand its empire of crime with the assistance of the same technological creation, the bad among us will use the same technology that the good among us use to meet their objectives and aims. Sad but true.
Technology can close gaps, as well as open them. Technology can help spread the truth to the masses, as well as help deceive them. Technology can help heal wounds, as well as tear up new ones. Technology can help bring people together, as well as help plant the seeds of more division. Technology can be as awesome and fascinating as our childhood heroes. But technology isn’t a person who has chosen a side in some kind of never-ending war between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. Technology, rather, has its own unique path that it’ll follow regardless of our personal views and individual agendas.
In this world, the good always seems to be pre-packaged with the bad; don’t ask me why. I’m just a young writer trying to make it in the world, not an expert.