SIMPSON: Negative side of technology: Societal impact

Akane Simpson

   We live in a society that is on the cutting edge of technology and change. Everyday, developers and engineers imagine and create new technologies for our ever-forward lives.

    Starting from the discovery of fire, to the simple light bulb, and all the way to smart homes and smart cities, human beings have certainly come a long way and still have a long ways to go; however; for every light there is the dark past of humanity that creeps in to swallow whatever good it creates.

    Modern tech and social media has been fully integrated into our lives. Almost like some baby SkyNet slowly developing into something terrible.

     Social media platforms are filled with fake accounts, people are still being bullied for being different, or even simply sharing things that are not true.

YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and every other obscure platform has created a kind of multi-life simulator where anyone can be anything they want to be. From wearing masks and pretending to be someone they are not or even creating an Internet persona of some abstract ideal, even something not human.

    It is true that they are genuine people who are and do good things both in person and on the Internet, but bad apples always outweigh good apples.

    Criminals get creative with new ways to finesse others online. Ranging from fraud, scamming, account hacks, leaking private info and illegal drug trading. A lot of people do not know this but the other-side of the Internet, the Dark Web, is where most of the underground traffic occurs. In the past few years alone American companies have been hacked and extorted several millions from these companies.

    FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google) and Twitter also play a major role in propagating social ills and general bad stuff you see on social media and the Internet. With the control that big tech has acquired online certain governments have taken this opportunity to extend their control over their people.

    An example of this is where Google is currently building a censored search engine that the Chinese government wishes to use to monitor and spy on its citizens. Imagine if the U.S. government was spying on their own people (lol, too late). Even Twitter and Facebook have been accused on censoring others for political ideas and viewpoint. Facebook has had it worse due to the prevalence of Fake News and general spam disguised as click bait videos.

    You might be thinking, ‘as long as I keep my search history safe and not browse in questionable sites I should be good, right?’. Dead wrong. Your smartphone, TV, home console, and even Amazon Alexa is listening to you (not actively, though).

    To be clear, companies are required to disclose that audio/video information recorded by their devices can be saved by the company for analytics.

However, this does not apply to hackers and they can easily listen and watch your every move in your home, at work or anywhere else in the world.

    Technology is going through a very rough patch and it might not reach smooth roads beyond our current lifespans. Yet, tech is not to blame for any of it. We are the ones who turned it into this monster of a thing

     Was it our self reliance on tech improving our lives or gullibility of it all? Whatever it is, it has surely left a permanent mark on humankind like the invention and use of nuclear bombs.