Professor Michelle Marchiano
27 April 2015
Keep Vigilant, but Don’t Panic
Today, people are living in the age with digital media, and it has totally changed our lives. For example, people read more on digital devices but not real books; people prefer to read shorter articles but not heavy books. More and more people like to say “Let me google it” instead of “Let me think about it”. These changes elicit a number of people who feel very uncomfortable about technology. Some people claim that technology is somehow dangerous because it is making human become more like robot. However people are making robot to be more like human. On the other hand, some people argue that new technology actually make people become smarter than before because new technology shape the way we think. Nowadays, most people can’t live without digital device like computers or smart phones which leads to the fear for technology taking over people’s emotional life, however, this doesn’t mean that we are relying on technology too much because technology has always been a tool, and people are the users.
The fear of relying on technology too much is a common thing when human is learning how to used to with new things. Today, we eat salads with tomatoes, pizza with sliced tomatoes, and fries with ketchup. However, in the late 1700s, almost everyone in Europe was afraid of tomatoes, and they called it as “poison apple.” Tomatoes were first introduced to Europe in the early 1600s. It was a new plant for Europeans, and some of them ate tomatoes with pewter plates. The chemical reaction between pewter plates and tomatoes could result in people getting
lead poisoning. The fear of tomatoes was because of humans’ ignorance. People could have fear for tomatoes, even it is a natural plant. What if human are facing new technology which has totally changed people’s life style? People should be concerned with those potential dangers which new technology could bring to us. For example, the artificial intelligence(AI), it is the demon in many science fiction films. It’s also the most brilliant technology which scientists study on it for many years. The fear for AI even happens on people who knows technology the most. Recently, Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, described AI as “The biggest existential threat.” He said, “I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it's probably that. So we need to be very careful with artificial intelligence”(Jonathan 1). Thus, we could see the fear about new technology is very common. Human should keep the fear in their minds to avoid the plot in “The
Avengers: Age of Ultron” from happening, which people need gods and superpowers to fight against robots which made by a human.
We should have fear about technology in case we lose our humanity by relying too much on technology, but the fear must be reasonable and healthy.What is the definition of healthy and reasonable fear? Freelance journalist Clive Thompson, who writes for
New York Times
states in the article “Smarter than you think”, “One of the great challenges of today’s digital thinking tools is knowing when not to use them, when to rely on the powers of older and slower technologies, like paper and books.”(Birkenstein 340) Knowing when to rely on technology and when not to rely on technology is the reasonable and healthy reaction. For example, when people use social media, they’d better be concerned what to show and what not to show on their social medias. As electronic fraud has been much more popular today ,thus people
better know how to protect themselve on the Internet. Another example is when people want to express their love and gratitude to their friends or family, express their love face to face is always better than sending an email or a message. On the