"This I Believe": Science of Today

Mar 4, 2019

Author: Amanda Kirchner (Twin Lakes HS)
Credit Rachel Lattimore

Science of Today 

A quote by Edward Teller reads “ The science of today will be the technology of tomorrow.” Although technology has created many alternatives to laborious tasks and has created various medical and industrial advancements, technology is now expanding beyond the factories and into the back pockets of millions of individuals. More specifically, the technology created has now placed this grand internet into a dominant daily role within human nature. In my opinion, I believe that these advancements in technology that plague our society will hinder social growth. One reason I believe that the emerging technology and internet use will hurt our society can include the fact that because these technological advances are taking such an increasing, exponential role within our society, meaningful interpersonal relationships will become lessened or even terminated from our normal social experience.

Humans are inevitably social beings, creating interpersonal bonds among others around them. This fundamental saying has been reiterated many times throughout most social studies and sciences and can be easily explained by the genetic mission of most life on earth: “to procreate, thrive, and survive“, but is better described by looking at social systems in action and seeing their dependence on competition and cooperation (both “social” acts). However, because of these advancements, the social whole becomes technologized. This will soon hurt the meaning and strength of personal bonds. With many media platforms available for the “social experience”, this only creates a more vivid mirage, thus causing the word “social” to lose its meaning because there is no social aspect to social media. In the case of love, loving and dating through the stereotypical ‘dinner and a movie’ night is more trustworthy and indulging when compared to an algorithm. For example, Match.com simulates the process of dating life. Through this site, we as mammals miss the interpersonal experience and simulate a false sense of companionship when, the irony is, you have never even left your home. Also, the prohibition of social experiences hinders the growth of social skills. With social media now reaching the younger generations, basic social skills are not learned properly which will later cause repercussions. One consequence, for example, can be the rise of anti-social behaviors. According to a recent study,  "Anti-social behavior (has been) growing.  More than eight out of 10 people say antisocial behavior has risen…” This increase can be due to children and young adults staring at a computer screen instead of someone's eyes.

An experience within my life that demonstrates the impact of technology can be found the summer of my freshman year. During this time, I had been transitioning from middle school to high school which can be a very daunting experience for most teens. To hide my anxiety, I would turn to social media and other platforms. This defense mechanism soon made me anti-social causing me to have an uncomfortable time speaking to others. In conclusion, these technologies, although helpful, can also hinder the social growth of humanity. This I believe.