Technology Dilemma: Convenient and Invasive

By | November 4, 2014

In the early 1900’s, who thought about the internet and devices such as personal computers, smartphones and tablets? Even though people back in the days did not have a clear image of the internet and the devices we appreciate today, they imagined and believed that some day somebody would invent such things. Paul Otlet knew people “would access the database from great distance by means of an ‘electric telescope’ connected through a telephone line, retrieving a facsimile image to be projected remotely on a flat screen.” (Wright 2) That’s what Google Image search allows people to do. The advancement of technology is dependent on human imagination. If somebody did not imagine, there will be no advancement. It is still our brains that innovate. But our brains depend on technology for enhancing our knowledge and making it easier for us innovate further. “Science has provided the swiftest communication between individuals; it has provided a record of ideas and has enabled man to manipulate and to make extracts from that record so that knowledge evolves and endures throughout the life of a race rather than that of an individual.”(Bush 2) The internet provides an enormous space for people to share knowledge indiscriminately (except when there is authoritative restriction on the internet) and allows people to educate themselves.
The devices such as smartphones and tablets have the voice-to-text function. Book readers have the read-out-loud function. The internet is full of hyperlinks and houses Wikipedia which allows users to collaborate to create a massive encyclopedia. All of these are mentioned in the Bush article written in 1945. Those devices were not demanded by ordinary people. The creative inventions made us want to use the devices.
The devices with the internet access indeed make our lives easier for finding information but at the same time we are giving our information and data to the power who controls the internet. Google is inventing pills that can monitor molecules and detect signs of cancer and heart-attack. This sounds very helpful just like wearable devices that monitor our exercises and calories. But it seems the technology is becoming more invasive. Is this what we want? Or will these corporations will make us want to give away so much of our personal information stored in them?

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