Monday’s Food for Thought: Technology as our master?

I read this article from the American Spectator a few months back, and although it is quite biased and provides little empirical evidence, I found myself intrigued by the author’s opinions and observations on the use of technology in the world today.

I once heard someone explain the tool of technology (specifically social media) like this: When any tool is used, the user is in return ‘shaped’ by the tool it is using.  You can’t hoe a garden for an afternoon without coming in that evening with sore arms from working the hoe into the ground.  After a few days of working in the garden, your arm muscles will start to grow and you will begin to show a physical change in appearance.  You, the master of the tool, have been shaped by it.

The article speaks similarly, “Communication is not like other human actions, something that we might feel free not to engage in. It is the essence of human life. We are social creatures, whose personalities emerge from our interactions; all that we value and all that we fear has its source in communication. Hence these gadgets, which change the form and the scope of our communications, are less our servants than our masters.”

Hmm, what are your thoughts?  Is technology a neutral tool? Can it be? Should it be?  Have you seen yourself changed by using it so much?  In a good or bad way?

-M.C.

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