The American writer David Wong said “New technology is not good or evil in and of itself. It’s all about how people choose to use it”.
How dependent upon technology are we in our daily lives? High tech is positively influencing our lives and what is certain, what is considered good to some, might not be to others. When we have access to a technology that can keep our bodies healthy from the inside, it is a huge advance; when we use the ultimate tools in classrooms that innovate the students’ way of learning, it is a good development for our brains; and when it is improving our social communication channels, we are facing what is a so-called “good life”.
To have an acceptable quality of life we should start with thinking “what are the things that matter?”, and I’m pretty sure that having it all it is not the answer. Like the lesson from Plato’s hero, Socrates, living a good life is about seeing life through the reasons that makes it great. In my opinion, a high quality of life comes from having the most important things that make our lives easier or better in terms of a good health that allows us to keep enjoying life, a good education that allow us to expand our boundaries, and good communication that allow us to interact on a worldwide level.
We all know that technology is positively influencing the quality of our lives thanks to the amazing and constant advances in the medical field. It would be hard to deny the huge benefit that these improvements are doing and the many lives that have been saved. Technology is giving us the chance to prevent diseases, heal chronic pain, and in some cases, repair tissue with impressive methods like nanotechnology. Nanomedicine is one of my favorite examples because it uses engineered nanoparticles (a microscopic particle with at least one dimension less than 100 nm) that can get attracted to the infected cells and directly treat them; this can avoid damaging the healthy cells (understandingnano.com). This kind of treatment is giving hope to the population that is fighting some type of cancer so that maybe, someday, they can avoid using the chemotherapy resource which is very invasive for the patient.
In a similar way, technology is making great progress in the educational field in a way that improves our lives, and one thing is for sure, it is changing how students learn. Fifteen years ago, the most important things we took to school were a pencil and a notebook, today, schools have computer labs or projectors in their classroom. Of course, these advances are potentially improving education by revolutionizing the way that information is delivered, and enhancing the way it is understood. For example, I’m attending a class where the teacher uses an interactive whiteboard that allows us to enrich our learning experience by projecting visual content, making the class more interesting. I can tell, based on my experience, that this tool has increased the rate of my success when compared to my classes that do not use this method.
Likewise, the technology has positively impacted the way we now communicate and is simplifying our lives on a huge scale. Since 1876 when Alexander Graham Bell made the first phone call, phones have become an essential device to keep us connected. I still remember my first cell phone, a Nokia 6110 which allowed me a new level of independence when I was 18 years old. Wireless communication has been giving us an easy and convenient way of social interaction that keeps us happy. For instance, do you remember that 1984 Motorola commercial that revolutionized the world? My dad does, and he told me that it was a huge deal when everybody started using cell phones; for him, was so easy to arrange work meetings or to call home and see if we needed it anything extra for dinner.
Despite all these benefits of technology, some people think that it has a negative impact on human behavior due to a high consumption of it. The serious problem of internet addiction is that involves our inability to control how often we’re online (cellphones, computers, etc.) and it is called “internet use disorder (IUD)”. And like any kind of addiction, it can go from moderate to severe; people can experience some kind of “high” while using technology (livescience.com). For example, we are a modern society addicted to Internet and it is negatively affecting our levels of productivity at work. According to Bambu.com, 67% of people used the internet to check their social media while at work.
The American physicist, writer, and social entrepreneur Alan Paige Lightman expressed in his 2001 article for Optimize magazine “Redefining Progress” that having fast growth in the technology field is not always a good idea because technology itself does not have values like we do, and that progress should be focused on the improvement of our lives instead of overstimulating us. It is certain that technology can fulfill a lot of our needs, it only depends on how we use it and how conscious we are of the negative effects like creating high levels of anxiety if we are not “connected”. Technology has become a very important part of our daily lives and it is almost impossible to live without, but the more aware society becomes from the risk of its overuse, the more benefits can be attained to keep our lives balance in an atmosphere of harmony.
Having high tech in our lives can give us more positive aspects to enhance the quality of life. Here we are not talking about the fastest microwave or the best eBook, we are talking about the technology that is keeping our bodies, our minds and our spirits in equity with this phenomenon that is leading us to a better life. Technology is progressing every day in high speed to save more lives, promoting the students’ performance and staying connected to the world around us.