Thursday, 15 May 2014

Has Technology Made Our Society Worse?

People at one time were self-sufficient and made many of their goods at home. They grew vegetables in backyard gardens, and planted fruit and nut trees around their properties. They raised chickens in backyard coops supplying the household with fresh eggs and chicken. If they had enough land, they could raise pigs, goats, horses, and cows. Then people used natural ingredients to prepare their family meals. They pickled and jarred their own vegetables and made their own jams and jellies. Some families brewed their own beers and fermented their own wines. The men fixed and repaired the homes, barns, and mechanical devices while the women sewed their own clothes, blankets, and quilts. If a family over produces a product, they could barter with a neighbor for another.

Then technology happened, which led to large-scale specialization. Businesses sprang up and manufactured products and services, filling the stores' shelves with mass-produced products while they transformed labor into automatons working on the assembly lines. The young people migrated from the farms as they searched for jobs in the cities with greater salaries and acquired specialized skills to work in the factories. Then society began losing its craftsmen, artisans, and know how. The young no longer want to maintain the traditional ways while the old can no longer pass down their trades and skills to the next generation. Both China and United States are losing skills and traditions of the elders as everyone consumes the same mass-produced products and services that fill every stores' shelves.

Being self-sufficient, people need not rely on outsiders for their jobs, incomes, and security. They create their own work at home and isolate themselves from the vagaries of the national economy. Even if a country were suffering from a severe recession or depression, self-sufficient people would lightly feel the economy's problems. They rely on themselves for their income, wealth, and prosperity. Unfortunately, technology has converted self-sufficiency into economic growth as companies grew into monstrosities wreaking damages on our psyches, health, and souls.

Look at our society! Whole industries sprang up to replace self-sufficiency. Unfortunately, people rely on grocery stores, fast food joints, and restaurants to provide processed foods saturated with preservatives, chemicals, and dyes. Many people forgot the art of cooking but they can plop processed foods into a microwave to heat them up quickly. Then some people begin wondering why so many people are stricken with sickness, debilitating diseases, and poor health.

People producing their food would never add chemicals, preservatives, and dyes to their food and feed it to their children and loved ones. Even restaurants that do not add chemicals always dump sugar, oil, fats, and salt to heighten the food's taste. Subsequently, companies and corporations have taken over the family farms and boosted the insanity of technology. The corporations genetically modify vegetables and animals to boost yields. Our political leaders promised genetically modified food would never enter the human food supply, but they lied, of course. When the voters are not looking, the companies and corporations lavish the politicians with kickbacks, bribes, and gifts.

The whole food supply chain feels the insanity of technology. Monsanto genetically modifies corn and soybeans, so farmers can spray Roundup on the weeds and crops to kill the weeds. Remember Roundup is an herbicide that kills plants on contact. Then poultry farms reengineered chickens, so they grow from egg to a fully-grown chicken within a month instead of the usual two months. Sometimes the chickens grow too fast that they keep falling to the ground from their own weight. Finally, farmers raise salmon in ponds and feed them leftover wastes. Farm raised salmon contains little healthy fats while natural ocean salmon brims with healthy fatty acids and nutrients.

Modern production and technology have transformed our society into a throwaway society. Industries and companies sell their products for the lowest prices. People no longer repair clothes, and they quickly throw clothes away after they become faded, torn, old, or out of style. In the good ole days, many electronics and appliances lasted several decades. Currently, electronic gadgets and appliances easily break or quickly become obsolete. People no longer bother to repair their broken appliances. Instead, they toss them into the trash and speed to the nearest store for replacements. Unfortunately, the technicians and repairmen have become a causality of our throwaway society.

Technology causes shifts in our society as some industries rise while others fall. For example, people switched their incandescent light bulbs to the energy-efficient fluorescent ones. Thus, the factories producing the fluorescent lights bulbs expanded and grew while the factories making incandescent fell still, silent, and inactive. Workers who made incandescent light bulbs saw their skills become obsolete and useless as society no longer needs them anymore. Thus, skilled workers must keep updating their skills, or they will perish in our modern society.

Technology has turned full circle as companies have begun competing fiercely. Manufacturing companies and factories continually replace their workers with machines because humans have become too expensive to employ while a machine can stamp out thousands of parts per hour and never demand wage hikes. Then companies try to sell a product or service for the lowest price. Unfortunately, to produce at low costs, companies manufacture clothing, textiles, and electronics in third world countries by paying slave wages to the workers. Accordingly, the developed world has relocated its factories to the developing countries, enslaving them with technology, exterminating their culture, and filling their heads with materialistic needs.

Technology has become synonymous with computers, reducing human contact and intimacy to strokes on a keyboard. People and families enter virtual worlds in the machine as they navigate through artificial worlds or play computer games. They no longer play cards or board games with friends and family. They stopped reading books, newspapers, and magazines. Then the books and magazines gather dust as they sit on the neglected shelves. Thus, young people become smart using technology but they can no longer read and write. Young people listlessly sit down and become lost in their cellphones, ignoring the world around them. Technology has quickly isolated us from our fellow humans and channeled our contacts through cold, impersonal devices.

Businesses over rely on computers and have become a hostage to technology. Businesses use computers to power cash registers, ATM machines, and electronic commerce. Unfortunately, computers fail during blackouts as businesses cannot sell products and services. Then commerce breaks down and grinds to a halt. Of course, people cannot use the internet or cell phones without electricity. They sit in the dark, pouting, wondering why they cannot read their email or access Facebook.

Technology has made our modern society less stable. Self-sufficient people would feel a small impact from downturns in the economy. During the Great Depression, many U.S. families lived on farms and produced their own food. People who have the ability to produce their own food or make their own things do not need to work in the nation's factories. They remain their own bosses in their homes and work near their families.

Unfortunately, our modern society has become flawed. Agriculture comprises a tiny fraction of the U.S. economy. A severe downturn in the economy can be quite disruptive if a large number of people become unemployed. Then people and families would see their incomes plummet, and they would reduce their spending. They are no longer self-sufficient, cannot grow their own food, or produce their own things. When laid off workers stop paying their mortgages, the banks will foreclose and evict them from their homes. As the people become homeless, they are left starving on the streets with no ideas of self-sufficiency. In the rush to join the technological world, the people forgot their roots and how to sustain for themselves without relying on technology.

16 comments:

  1. Wow, Excellent post. Its very effective and interesting. Its must be helpful for us. Thanks for sharing your nice post.
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    1. Thanks, I was feeling a little creative when I wrote this.

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  2. Great view point on this topic, I am currently writing a report in school on how people are becoming dependent on technology and are less self sufficient as you stated above, if you dont mind me asking, what made you think about this topic to write about this? -Thank you much :)

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  3. I wrote this blog because everyone views technology as positive. However, technology can also cause problems. Alvin Toffler wrote a good book in 1970, called Future Shock. Most of his insights are dead on.Good luck with your report.

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