Does Technology Help or Hurt Us?


December 28, 2012

The Toronto Star had a very interesting article recently where they asked a very thought provoking question. Is technology hurting us by making life easier or it is just evolution at work?

Captured by the title of the Star’s article thinking it would have something to do with work/life balance, it was disappointing to read the article to find out that it was really about how the Internet, autocorrect and spelling suggestions are making us a generation of poor spellers and horrible with the basics of grammar.

Google makes life easier for many searching for information and their autocorrect/suggestion feature makes it easy for their searchers to find information even if they have no idea how to spell correctly. However, more intriguing was the initial thought about work/life balance and how technology helps or hinders our ability to shut off work.

Martin Hand, an associate professor at Kingston’s Queen’s University said “There is no doubt that today’s technology is radically altering our day-to-day life and how we function and think”. Is this good or bad? Does technology help or hurt us?

GPS technology allows us to get to a location without getting lost. The result is that many of us today have no idea how to read a map or even how to get somewhere without the need of a GPS to light the way.  Is this helping or hurting us?

Do we view these technology improvements the same way we view the automobile or electricity or even the telephone? Can you imagine life without these technologies? Maybe the Internet and our computers are simply part of a continuous evolution of how technology improves our lives.

Maybe this technology helps us become better problem solvers. Teenagers these days rely on their mobile phones to communicate with each other, however these mobile devices also help them solve complex mathematical challenges and figure these problems out faster than students from 10 years ago.

This debate will never go away. When the telephone was invented many said that this device had no place in business, now look at how vital the telephone is. Let us know if you see technology as something that helps or hurts us.

We're Integris. We're always working to empower people through technology.

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