Essay on Positive and Negative Effects of Technology in Our Lives

Words: 1464
Pages: 6

To Plug in or Not to Plug in

Do personal technologies like phones, iPods, and computers connect or disconnect us? The opinions vary from person to person and generation to generation. Two opinions that we’ll look at specifically are from Andrew Sullivan, a blogger and columnist for the Sunday Times of London, and Anna Akbari, a professor at New York University. When looked at briefly, Sullivan and Akbari’s views seem to be like the opposite sides of the same coin. Sullivan argues from a more personal standpoint that personal technology shuts us out from the world. Akbari, on the other hand, sees technology and our personal devices as a way to open the world up to us and provides facts and results from professional studies that
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Akbari’s ‘guide to happiness’ explains ways that technology can make us happier and improve our lives by breaking it down into sections, ways that culture has now changed because of technology, and dichotomies. One of these dichotomies is labeled ‘Connect vs. Disconnect’ and she immediately starts it with a recent study about the links between mortality and the strength of an individuals social relationships thus posing the question: so do the more social relationships you have really make you a happier person? This connection that technology gives us, the ability to talk to people from around the world, has been proven to have its benefits, from making new friends, to job opportunities, to being able to explore the world without paying for a plane ticket, all of which are completely positive and things Sullivan doesn’t mention. This mention of all the positive things technology can do for us and all these bridges we can make instead of staying in our personal bubbles makes Sullivan’s argument seem quite small. Yes, technology can have negative influences on our lives, isolate us, or shut us out from the world, but it also has the ability to do the complete opposite. Why? “It’s not the technology itself that determines our happiness, but rather how we use it.” as Akbari states. We chose how we want to use our technology so anything positive or