Technology: the Risky World of Unknown Potential Essay

Submitted By nicc777
Words: 1323
Pages: 6

The world revolves around technology. It is the realm of unknown potential that has changed lives and will continue to do so. Recent advances have allowed us to complete tasks that never seemed possible before. We can make Skype calls with someone in China while tweeting about it for millions to see. Cell phones, the Internet, medical research, social networking and computers have all reached new heights in my lifetime. Ten years ago the idea of having Internet access in a phone was just that, an idea. When viewed as a whole, technology has changed my life for the better. However the results of our extreme technological dependence may come at a cost, and can cause negative effects as well such as developing an addiction, starting a black market resulting in modern slavery, and giving a new platform for pedophiles to use. When a new form of technology appears, it is usually to make our lives more convenient, and we view it as a luxury. More often than not, it becomes a necessity. Such is the case with the Internet; which has helped cause success in business, politics, education and much more. It is easily accessible, and always available; a super-encyclopedia to be used by anyone. The Internet has changed the way we as a society in modern times function. Another product, once heavily criticized, however now being accepted as a useful tool for some psychologists is video games. While they can become an addiction for some, when used moderately they have great potential in benefitting the person playing the game. A study recently published by Linda Jackson, a psychology professor in Michigan State University, furthers this claim. Her study measured creativity as an outcome of prolonged video game exposure, and the results were surprising. Children tested using video games wound up scoring higher on her “Creative Thinking” tests than those that did not play video games. The study was validated and was later published as the academic journal “Computers in Human Behavior.” Another apparatus viewed as a highly beneficial piece of technology is the cell phone. Advances in this field have been astronomical in just the past ten years. Witnessing a jump from the Nokia 3360 phone to the Apple iPhone five speaks to this greatly. New phones have: GPS (Global Positioning System), eight megapixel cameras, the Internet, music players and more. All of this within arms reach at any moment is simply amazing, and most customers do appreciate how great these devices are. The market is evidence by the high demand for newer “smart phones.” This market for these devices has driven cell phone companies to release some of the most advanced machines ever. However it has also put pressure on to the manufacturers to meet the high demand.
Supplying these high demands comes at a price and in this case it is the lives of children. < http://www.alternet.org/story/41477> tells about an ore named Coltan and the politics surrounding it. In spite of the amount of features the device may have, every phone needs this piece called tantalum capacitor. The Coltan ore creates a metal used for the capacitor, and as of now is only available in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This new source of income caused a disaster for Congo when Rwanda and other rival militias stole most of it to sell on a black market to cell phone companies. Rwanda and Congo mine this ore with their children workers. When Rwanda steals from the Congo, children soldiers are told to fight for it and then rape the women of the opposing tribe to send a message. Daily children refusing to work are killed, and this is all for the production of our cell phones and laptops. The term “blood phones” has become a nickname for cell phones due to the bloodshed to create them. In this case the cost of for our convenience is lives. Today cell phones are seen as a requirement for those able to afford them because they provide instant communication and instant access to several resources such as a…