Technology and Lifestyle: Is technology the bane of modern life?

We find ourselves day and night consumed by technology. To better engage this topic, it is of relevance that we begin with an adequate understanding of what technology as a term denotes. There are several conceptions of the term technology, however, for the purpose of this discourse; technology will be referred to mainly as any form of the practical application of scientific knowledge, together with the development and use of machines or devices to enhance the activities of man. 

In light of this definition, it is arguably true to assert that technology cuts across all culture and society and progresses with it. Thus, the progress of a society is sometimes measured by the sophistication of its technology. It is with this meaning, the dichotomy between modern and primitive society is understood. 

As modern life celebrates a faster and easier process of doing things in relation to the past through technology, it, however, mourns the consequences attached to this process. ‘’…For each blessing of modern technology, a corresponding risk comes in to play, as a tail of two coins ’’ how great is this risk one may ask? Great enough to be considered a major bane of modern life? The response to this would involve appealing to observable statistics, a task which is quite difficult to execute.

Nevertheless, the consequence of technology can be inferentially articulated. Take, for example, the technological advancement in medical science, which allows for the prevention, managing and cure of illnesses and by implication reduces death rates in a given society. In addition to this, it also allows for an easy process of childbirth, together with a favourable means of sustenance through prenatal which in return increases the birth rate. 

In this situation, we are faced with a high birth to a low death rate ratio which consequently leads to ‘‘…an exponent growth of the population to produce crowded cities and to put a strain on our resources’’. Further implications could be inferred from just this, for instance, congestion, traffic, high level of demand in a society with limited resources. It is in light of all these that technology can be considered as the bane of modern life.

However, it may be argued that such belief partially describes the truth of the case as it deviated from the actual facts of things. If by bane we mean something that causes misery or ruin then for us to be justified in ascribing this to technology we must be able to establish that technology is an actual cause. 

If we examine further, we would discover a different opinion. Since technology is not self-caused, it relies on an efficient (a cause outside itself) which is a man; it presupposes that whatever effects proceed from technology is in the real sense, men’s different activities on earth.

This is because technology lacks both will and existence outside man. If this is so, then its advent and functioning are traceable and dependent on the desires of man. The desire for a better life has been the propellant for the creation and use of technology. Modern life is often characterized by such desires on a high level which affects the rate of technological production and use. 

Finally, though technological production seems to at the time to have its imperfection, overall it boils down to how it is produced and used. In whatever ways modernity directs the solution of this problem there will always be trade-offs. We ought not to look at technology as a  bane rather an opportunity to improve civilization.

SG Team

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