Technology and Its Impact on Society

The first world’s shift towards interacting more and more with devices rather than people has had some awful consequences which we must now learn to curb. Young children are spending hours on their tablets instead of being occupied by a parent or peer. A device is something one has complete control over, if something disturbs you, you can close the window, app, or turn the device off. You can find graphic sexual content and violent content abundantly and fantasize about sex and violence to your heart’s content. This control over, objectification of, and trivialization of, the most intimate and horrible acts a person can commit has somehow failed to translate into increased sexual and violent crime rates in the United States over the last two decades, however the media’s bias towards such stories has not made this seem the case to the average citizen. Fortunately, despite technology’s negative influences, the world is not going to hell. This isn’t to say that the full impact of consumer technology has been realized yet–and there are some crucial differences in the ways people interact with devices as opposed to the ways they interact with other people.

A device cannot judge you, laugh at you, call you names–but it can be a vehicle to show you other people doing so. The layer of protection, whether distance or anonymity brings out the worst in people. People behave badly online with little or no repercussions most of the time. If someone said something about you in person, you could confront them and preserve your self-esteem. Doing so online becomes a strange proxy battle so removed from reality that both sides will make outrageous threats and statements that escalate the situation beyond its original import. It is how we interact with other people that is most important, but how we use technology throughout our lives influences this. Who hasn’t went on social media to see a friend or acquaintance posting about doing something enjoyable and instead of feeling glad for them, felt envious or disappointed with how they spent their own afternoon? Technology has the power to influence how human beings interact with each other, partially because spending so much time engrossed in technology, especially as children, keeps us from learning how to handle certain types of interpersonal interactions. Some have theorized this is why there is such a focus on bullying in the education system and that this technology has coincided with the 2010s phenomena of political correctness and people very easily offended–“snowflakes.” Now are these phenomena also perhaps indicative of an enhanced understanding of and compassion for the plights of others? Are they as author Tony Robbins asserted more a result of an inclination towards “victimhood?” Clearly it required a combination of these reasons for the phenomena to arise. But then is technology only a potentially hazardous influence? Or might it actually be able to improve interactions between people in certain cases?

Of course technology connects us with others over long distances, but are these relationships significant or merely hollow shadows of what they would be if the people were able to interact face-to-face? Things such as Skype and FaceTime allow the next best thing to this sort of interaction which have no doubt helped, for example, military people stay connected to loved ones at home. But are these really any more intimate than a telephone call–a technology which has been widely available since the early 20th century? The argument could be made that they are since they allow one to see another’s facial expression, but tone, volume, and cadence of voice can give one a pretty good idea of another’s expression. Technology does allow one to translate much more easily than they could before with a phrase book in hand, and this is one way it facilitates an interaction between people. Perhaps these are two instances in which technology has actually improved an interaction between people, but much more often, technology is used as a replacement for interaction as opposed to an enhancement of one.

I don’t think the evidence supports the notion that technology’s influence has been or will continue to be primarily negative in regards to human interaction, but in the scheme of things it really hasn’t been around long enough to be sure. I won’t attempt to speculate as to why violent and sexual crime rates are dropping in the United States aside from suggesting that it may be the fact that the country has the highest percentage of its population incarcerated in the world. According to the BBC, violent and sex crime rates in England and Wales rose significantly over the past year. Other first world nations may not be enjoying the same reduction in these crime rates as the U.S. is. Time will tell how technology is impacting us behaviorally and psychologically, as technology races ahead to complicate the analysis.

 

Conundrum

I pour my pain in a bottle

Break it over my head and laugh

Trying to find your frequency

Before the light gets too bright

And washes everything out

This bump in the road

Will change your perspective

Keep it clean figuratively and literally

Or we’ll all be drenched in filthy scum

A butterfly flaps its wings

Tsunami breeches the nuclear plant

Radiation grows abundant

The fear is worse than the bottle of pain

Drink up and understand

Put your phone in an otter box

Let it swim away

I’m a hypocrite by accident

Sirens call me but I ignore them

Sweat soaks your back

The ladder just got ten feet higher

Look down but keep your chin up

Up and away

We go parallel

Lining our pockets

Of life sustaining water

You waiting for

Watch the clock

Listen to it tick

Crawling under your skin

Radiant with radiation

Blissful disaster

I saw it coming

Clean and green

Mother nature’s Spring children

Slowly at play

Pause, rewind, fast forward?

Only over the commercial advertisements

Despite their cleverness

Humanity destroys itself after murdering the planet

Do what you can please

Yourself knowing you’re making a difference

Between 7.6 billion and 8.7 million reasons

Knot doll hairs

Detangle the mess don’t accept it

Reject the notion and its implications

Let go of your petty frustrations and think of other beings

While you chew them

Free Speech

You can’t say “bomb” on an airplane.

You can’t say “abortion” in a church.

You can’t say “peace” in the Pentagon.

You can’t say “boo” to a baby.

You can’t say “no” to a spoiled child.

You can’t say “terrorist” to a white killer.

You can’t say “I don’t want money.”

You can’t say “Jack” to a king.

…You can say that again!

The Chase

pick your pleasure: money, women, fame, drugs, things/

run after these til your legs quit and lungs sting/

but how is the pace between your two ears/

slow it down can’t party like every night is New Year’s/

if you’re always chasing means you gotta stop and smell the ends/

are you good to other people, do they call you their friend/

make ambition work for you put that bitch out on the streets/

don’t let her run you ragged trying to impress the right peeps/

check twice you’ll never know what coulda been if you don’t take the leap/

hustlin’ might not get you nowhere unless you move your feet/

don’t forget about those you came up with and the ones you left behind/

learn from their mistakes but don’t judge them in your mind/

follow me I’ll show you my way/

ripped off from people who did it better/

back or forward you always gotta pay/

no one does it on their own or copies anyone to the letter/

Redemption

Slick paint on the floor

Florescent lights pulsing

A bookshelf full of moccasins

Spinning webs in the corners

My thoughts echo

I slip into a dream

Lake of elixir, cat tails swaying

Under the surface the real work is done

Hyperactive anemic mice scurry

When the footsteps are near

Clouds part: the sun splits them

Angels croon

And doves sing

In the supple clouds

But no rain comes

Unfortunately

It is a misfortunate occasion which prompts this affair

A drought as it were

Breathe in through your nose six seconds and out the same way six seconds

Perspective plus acceptance equals peace

Bitter cherries abounded briskly

Shaking on the branches in the storm

And at last the sky opened and allowed rain to fall drop by reviving drop.

Bruised Elbow

And larks sounded

Higher in pitch

Than a space elevator

Dogs whined

Like scoundrels

Purple skies dotted with

Cold stars innumerable

Wandered across my eyes

In wait for an opportunity

To stabbeth mine back

In quick revenge

For sixpence

Sir St. John’s

Churchyard opens

Wide to reveal poor

Yoric’s dull skull

Mirrored ambition

Takes first

After lots were cast

Dinosaurs wore ferns

For laurels when your

Godfather was born.