By Nathan Mullings
In the past few years, and especially since the fiasco with Trump, Facebook, and Cambridge Analytica, tech has been getting bad rep. It’s now popular opinion to say “tech is bad for us”, or “tech does way more good than bad”. There is a clear resentment towards tech, tech- hubs such as silicon valley, and the founders/software engineers who are creating these new technologies, every day. I understand. I don’t agree.
First of all, I do agree that social media is having very negative effects on the younger generations in terms of how they view others and how they view themselves. From people on Facebook seeing other friends on Facebook exaggerating about their lives, then feeling bad about their own lives. From Instagram models taking pictures with harmful products for small amounts of money. From Twitter wars where there can be no debate with death threats sprinkled on top. I agree. Although a powerful tool for connecting people, and communication platform to start revolutions. Social media is not a sane place to live for too long.
Again, I agree, where products are studying the psychology of their users and humans in general in order to manipulate them into spending longer on their app. In certain cases, some tech products are just trying to make their product better for their users. In other cases, tech products are trying intentionally trying to manipulate their users into using their product more, by studying human behaviour, using our own psychology against us. I agree. It’s fair. It’s also bad for us.
However, what many people outside of tech seem to forget, is that tech is so much more than social media. They seem to forget about the promise of electric vehicles and what that will do to combat climate change. They seem to forget the amount of lives autonomous will save, once they’re available to the mass market. They seem to forget the significant increase in productivity we have achieved, simply by having a mobile phone. These things alone, in my opinion far outweigh the negatives mentioned previously.
It’s not even close. What we can achieve in the future should not be hampered by our current mistakes. We have far too much still to discover. Sure, AI is probably going to take your job one day, but your quality of life will be so improved by that point, it might just be worth it. Tech will still be causing problems, But we’ll be much better off for it.
Tech has always moved us forward, from cavemen, to now. “tech is bad for us”, actually, that opinion is much worse for us.