We live in a world where the use of technology is accelerating at breakneck speed. From cell phones and video games to smart appliances and social networks, with each passing day, technology becomes more a part of everyday life. If you feel like you’re caught in a speeding current of bits and bytes that seems to be carrying you away from the world you knew, away from a place of comfort – know that you’re not alone. This is the lifescape of the 21st century. But is technology in control? Absolutely not! Society is no more controlled by technology than Bill was by Hillary.
The fact is that technology is a tool and nothing more. The history of the world clearly tells the tale of technology, and it’s obvious to the most casual observer that the great societies have always been those who took advantage of the technologies of their time. From the earliest of humans who first tamed fire, to contemporary times, the societies who best leveraged technology rose to the top. Did the wheel of ancient Mesopotamia control that society? How about the use of iron in ancient Greece and Rome? The steam engine, telephone, electric light, airplane? Has any technology ever controlled any society? The answer is a loud and resounding NO!
Society controls technology – period. It’s that plain and simple. If our current society found no utility in the technologies of our time, then those technologies would follow the path of the kerosene lamp. It’s no accident that the products of the past eventually either become extinct or relegated to some nostalgic use. Would you like to have horses and buggies impeding the flow of traffic on your local freeway? Would you prefer that we still fetched water from a hand pump or did our duty in an outhouse? I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that the answer is “No.”
After all, I don’t see the ranks of the Amish threatening to deplete our urban populations. There doesn’t seem to be any mass movement to turn in our TV’s, lose our laptops or hang up...
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