Is Technology Going Too Far or Not Far Enough?

Written By: Derek Stiles | April 21, 2021

My morning routine is pretty much always the same: I wake up, shower, and get ready for work. On the way to the office, I get something to eat that my wife wouldn’t let me eat otherwise (don’t judge me). Somewhere in the morning rush, I also manage to peruse multiple sites related to IT news to catch up on the latest and greatest in my industry.

With that, I have noticed a growing trend that begs the question, “Is technology going too far, or not far enough?” In fact, almost daily we witness the impact of technology that we would otherwise never experience. For instance, the number of stories related to self-driving car crashes seems to be on the rise. Although this is a burgeoning technology, it is the technology itself that is failing human beings, in some instances causing injuries and fatalities.

Yesterday, I read an article that illustrates the impact of mobile devices on young people. It would seem that the constant staring downward at mobile screens is causing bone spurs to form at the base of people’s skulls, resulting in neck problems.

However, that’s not where technological impacts end. The more invasive acts of technology are also on the rise. With the advent of IoT, we now experience far more security risks, including cameras on laptops and smart TVs that can be hacked, allowing access to people’s homes.

The increase in cybersecurity threats impact everyone in both a business and personal setting. The scams that are constantly introduced are designed to keep the bad guys one step ahead of the good guys and technology is serving as a means to a criminal end.  

Finally, there is the use of technology that for many seems to be a step in the wrong direction. I am referring to such technology as IT-enabled security systems, drones, and everything else that seems to steal from our favorite old Sci-Fi horror flicks. Perhaps I’m the only one that remembers 2001: A Space Odyssey? Fitting given that Amazon just patented “surveillance as a service” technology as an additional use for its delivery drones.

This is not a condemnation of technology. After all, I’m a guy who leads a company that maintains technology for other companies. This is more of a question that I pose to all of you: as we adopt more and more technology into our lives, have we forgotten what it is like to live without it? The last 15 years has been an incredible leap forward. From smartphones, to apps, to as-a-service technology models, and more, everything we do streams to us in nanoseconds.

But as we use more technology, our link to a former, simpler life seems to be fading fast. Our reliance on devices and connectivity seems to dictate everything about our lives from our shopping habits to social interactions, travel, business, and so on. 

Where do we go from here as a global village that is connected with the swipe of a finger? The challenge now is to ensure that we remain in control of our technology. We cannot become complacent and allow technology to control us.