What I believe is the most negative aspect of technology is the planned obsolescence of new technologies. This may be more of a criticism of the United States capitalist culture, but the expediency with which companies release new technologies and phase out old ones puts the consumer in a never ending race to keep up with the times.
This behavior results in many perfectly useful products thrown away for the sake of having something new. This creates tons of e-waste which does not biodegrade and contains a myriad of harmful metals and chemicals.
The United States has no affective method of dealing with the amount of e-waste we produce, which results in the shipping of hundreds of thousands of tons of e-waste to developing countries who harvest the valuable components at the expense of their personal and environmental health.
Probably the biggest negative effect from technology like social media websites is the lack of cohesiveness that people feel. This leads to other issues, but is the one factor that is like a gateway drug in that it leads to many others.
For one, people are more isolated now that they don’t have to physically leave their house in order to have a social interaction. Websites like Twitter and Facebook allow people to spend hours upon hours ‘chatting’ with their friends when in reality they are doing nothing more than typing to an animated screen in front of them.
This leads to the next point. Technology is a time waster. Although many people complain about someone posting her big news on Facebook, the very person who complained is the one sitting there for an hour scrolling through all her friends new photos.
Time wasting then turns into a loss of motivation. Would you rather write a paper or visit Facebook? Would you rather mow the lawn or check out your friend’s new photos of his trip to Hawaii? Would you rather drop off the kids at school or update your status? (That last one’s a little extreme, but people are using Facebook as a major source of procrastination in all areas of their lives).
It’s hard enough getting yourself to do the things you don’t want to do (to-do lists never seem to end anyway) but with Facebook, it’s even easier b/c sometimes you feel as if you’re being productive “Oh, I checked in w/ Susie today on Facebook. I haven’t talked to her in so long. It was so good to catch up”. This can turn into an addiction; soo good in the moment but soo bad for you in the end. And you wouldn’t give it up worth anything.
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