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RORY WISGERHOF

United States

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Constructive criticism is appreciated, as well as any tips.

Technology: Friend or Foe?

March 17, 2016

                                                                        


    “With over three billion people in the world using social media, technology continues to change the world for the better”. This is just one side to a worldwide argument about technology, and whether or not the excessive use of it is beneficial. This argument is important for quite a few reasons, the most important being the fact that our world currently depends on technology for most of the things that we do. Still, there are people out there who think that technology and the internet are tearing the world apart and shoving people face first into a spiraling torrent of solitude and introvertedness, but that’s not completely true. “Although some people may become cut off because of electronics and technology, there are millions of people who connect with people via internet when they can’t speak in person.” The people on the other side of this argument are just missing out on all the wonderful and magical things that the technological world has to offer.
    “People  are more connected than ever before in human history” -Michael Price, 2011. The more I think about this quote the more truth I find. The people in the 21st century have more ways of communication than ever before. Price also says that people use their technology as a “place for hope” because they don’t feel as if  they have enough control over a normal conversation. People sometimes find that it’s easier to express their emotions from behind a screen then in real life, because there's not the issue of mandatory eye contact and possible stuttering. All in all, technology can provide a safe place filled with hope for people who don’t feel comfortable with face to face conversation.
    “Social networking can help increase social capital” says Laura Klein 2014. The term social capital is referring to how many people you know and socialize with on a regular basis. Because your social capital is important for your mental and emotional health, this is very good. The proof of the quote above was in a scientific experiment. The conclusion of the experiment was “Twitter did indeed seem associated with bonding and bridging social capital. But only if the people you are interacting with fall within a goldilocks zone of not too few and not too many.” This means that as long as you have a circle of online friends that is not too big and not too small, your social capital could increase significantly.
    People often say that all the use of technology is going to ruin our lives, ruin our health, and make us die faster. But in reality, none of this is true. “Studies have shown that people 65 and older who use social networking sites, benefit from better health and have a reduced chance of premature death” says Laura Klein 2014. And aside from that those health benefits, social networking services are also a very significant way of developing, maintaining and strengthening social ties. Which coincidentally is also very good for your mental, and emotional health. So after researching this predicament I realized that technology will actually make us live longer. You just shouldn't hold your device too close to your face because they have not yet proved that the radiofrequency energy will not give you cancer.
    People have been arguing for a long time about the questions, “does social media make us more emotionally closed off and disconnected from reality?” After doing some research, some scientists found out that this (for the most part) is not true. In fact, they found that “A user with an engaged and dedicated amount of followers (or friends) is likely to feel a great amount of emotional support. Laura Klein | March 12, 2014” Apart from this, they were also likely to feel less lonely, and stronger feelings of contentedness. Unfortunately, there is also a small percentage of people who do not benefit from the excessive use of technology. These people who have often overused social networking sites, developed depression, introvertedness, information overload, and strong feelings of disconnectedness. Because of this, there will always be people who think that the use of technology is bad and is disconnecting us, but for now the good overruled the bad.
    Our world is changing and with technology at the core, some people are worried that the change will do more harm than good. But research says differently. People around the world are now more connected to each other then ever before. Our social capital is being increased every week. People can benefit from social media technology to the point of extending life, and social media gives people emotional and mental support like never before. Anyone thinking that the technology is doing more harm than good is just kidding themselves because the list of pros absolutely dominates the list of cons. So in conclusion, though there is a fraction of people who come in contact with the negative effects of technology, There are still billions of people who benefit over using technology in the form of social media.

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