With Great Power Comes Great Responsibilty: Technology
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Within the past two hundred years, humankind has prospered into a technologically advanced society. Inventions such as electricity and the wheel have provided the world with convenience. However, such technologies require responsibility and protection in order to be beneficial to everyone. A person’s invention or advancement can open the door for many wrongdoings and injustices for all of society if the information is provided to the wrong individual or group. On a smaller scale, many technologies create distractions in everyday life that harm productivity. Advanced technology in business, law enforcement, and the medical field has made the world a less secure place to live.
Although technology has shortened the time in which it takes and employer to communicate with an employee, business technology also yields many downfalls. First of all, digital communication between co-workers about a project may prove to be unreliable because lack of face to face communication can cause misinterpretation of ideas and thought processes. In example, electronic mail messages contain words with no context to emotion. An employee who receives a message will interpret the message according to his personal judgment, without regard to how the sender intended it to be interpreted. Lack of face to face communication diminishes the ability to pick up on visual cues, which increases the probability of disputes among workers. Additionally, technology in the workplace can create a distraction from the business (Morley). Advancements in phones allow individuals to play games and use social media anywhere quickly and with ease. Such advancements become problems when tasks are not completed in the allotted amount of time and employers lose profits or products (Morley).
Also, with faster and easier communication, private company information can be easily shared or given out to the public without official consent. Information that is supposed to remain private can eventually lead to lawsuits for all parties involved. Continuing, any information on a database can be hacked and changed in a matter of minutes (Vitez). In jobs that do not require brainstorming or human interaction, companies are turning to robots to complete tasks in factories or, more recently, to act as pharmacists, lawyers, drivers, astronauts, store clerks, babysitters, rescuers, and sportswriters (Aquino). Using robots has numerous advantages such as increased productivity and little cost to the employer after installation. However, downfalls such as massive unemployment to the human race and increased pollution will occur once robots are put into place. Business technology can be beneficial if used correctly, but more times than not technology causes more stress and distraction to the working environment.
With advancements in technology, the United States has an increased ability to track enemies and use satellite imagery to make attack plans in foreign fields. However, the United State’s enemies also have the same ability (Goodman). Instead of spending money on a plethora of weapons, enemies can now buy smartphones and night vision goggles to carry out their tasks. In one instance, terrorists “used search engines…to identify individual hostages and to determine…who should live or and who should die” (Goodman). In recent years, terrorists have been looking through social media sites and news broadcasts in order to threaten the lives of more civilians after initial attacks (Goodman). Within North America, drug dealers were using cell phones and their own radio communications to communicate with cartels before it was popular for the mainstream population to do so (Goodman). Although advanced, law enforcement agencies are slow at catching new kinds of crime because they are trained to look for other abuses of the law. By using advancements in technology, criminals abroad and at home are able to carry out their tasks in a short amount of time with little intervention from the law.
Medicinal technologies have helped us treat cancer and other diseases. However, many ill side effects have come from technology. DNA can now be sent to computers and the molecular compounds can be printed in a virtual printer. Marc Goldman, global security adviser, reveals that DNA is like a computer operating system that can be hacked by criminals. Such hackings could change viruses and diseases like H5N1 into resistant strains that could harm the entire population of the world. Additionally, advancements in medicine have already lead to resistant strains of viruses and pathogens that effect human’s food. For example, in 2012, there were at least 12 outbreaks of salmonella tainted food and in previous years many outbreaks have been associated with major fast food chains (CDC).
Also, advancements in food have made it easier to store food for long amounts of time. Fast food companies have developed a process that enables meat to be kept for a longer amount of time without spoilage. However, by changing the compounds of a substance, this long lasting food has little nutritional value. One third of all Americans are obese (Food). When the economy is on a downward slope, people start making decisions about money and food is generally the first cut back. Generally, packaged processed food is cheaper to buy than fresh fruits and vegetables because it can be mass produced. It makes sense to say that if money is tight, that family or group of people is more likely to become obese because of their unhealthy diet (Food).
The negative effects of technological advancements in business, law enforcement, and food all combine to make the world a less secure place to live. The whole system is a cause and effect wave that can potentially hurt any society or country that falls victim to it. If advancements in business allow robotic machines to take over, many individuals will be out of work and unable to afford many amenities, including healthy food. Without a healthy immune system that nutritional food provides, society will be more susceptible to drug resistant strains of viruses and diseases. At that point, enemies can begin to attack and cause a massive genocide because the defending nation or society is too sick to fight back. With great power comes great responsibility; technology will always continue to grow and it is up to society how and where it is used.