To me, technological society has been very damaging to humanity and the world, despite its ‘good’ effects. Many people say or feel that I’m anti-technology, but that’s not true. I always felt that machines and technology aren’t the problem by themselves. It’s more of how they are used. More importantly, it is because technology, by its nature, has this tendency to be very controlling and dominating. Perhaps that is the real problem – its dominating nature. Once something is invented and has a practical application it dominates everything.
This domination has created the problem that there is simply too much technology. Everywhere you turn it is there. Because of this, it has permeated practically every aspect of our life. This makes technology one of the most controlling things in history. It creates a world where it rules.
Technology, though, is not ‘human’ in a real sense but utilitarian-like. It has a specific function and purpose and has no flexibility. This means our lives are being controlled by very specific and purposeful things that do not take into any account our diversified and complicated human natures. In a way, it’s like forcing a square peg (humanity) into a round hole (technological society).
As a result, it has this tendency to devalue us, undermine us, and takes away a ‘humanity’ in life. For many of us, alienation has become a way of life, one which we have no choice but to confront. In fact, I often feel that nowadays, in hi-technology society, alienation has become a way of life. Everywhere I turn I see examples of it, people living in an artificial society, without a firm identity or tradition, nothing but a massive blur of humanity.
In addition, machine or technology ‘mythology’ has been grown in the soil of delusion, that it is a source of a future Utopia, that they replace Jesus as our saviour, and so on. So their use has been almost delusional, in a way. Unfortunately, these mythologies are still very alive. People keep on inventing things without a thought of what the effects it will have later on. As a result, we get bombarded with the blind ‘invention onslought’, all of which are supposed to help or save us in some way. Remember, THERE’S NO ‘UNINVENTING’ SOMETHING! Sometimes hearing of a new invention, to me, often has the quality of ‘now what are the effects of that going to be?’ . . . and this is not said in an optimistic tone.
This is not to say that technology is all bad. It is not. I do not feel technology is inherently bad. Technology, in one form or another, has been here for thousands of years. It’s not really been a problem till the 1800’s (or thereabouts, depending on how you want to look at it). The technology before technological society was a part of the human world. Technology was ‘used’ by humanity. Later, in the technological society, it dominates humanity. The tables turn, now technology ‘uses’ humanity.
I often compare technology to a disease. We all get sick but our bodies get over it. It helps our bodies to grow resilient and resistant. But when the disease overpowers and overwhelms and spreads, then we have a plague. Technological society is like this plague, we have been overpowered and overwhelmed by it. More than once have I spoken of the ‘technological plague’.
The problem with technology, to me anyways, is summed up in that old saying about religion, which I always modify to: “Technology is a good thing . . . in moderation.”
(I wrote this in about 2009)