We entrust in it our livelihood, praise it in good times and condemn it in bad, make daily sacrifices in its name, and depend on its mercy for success- but who or what is it?
Clark Kent? Money? Buddha?
No, but those are good guesses! Give it another shot…
No dice? Okay, I’ll tell you…
It’s technology. I mean if you think about it, we kind of treat technology like cultures have treated gods and deities for centuries! It’s idolized! We worship it!
Yes, it’s technology; the whole world is using it. I am using it right now to write this blog and, if you’re reading it, you are too. If you think about it, technology has come a long way, and we have along with it.
It’s visible everywhere! Picture the huge clunker Gordon Gekko toted around in the first Wall Street (which was the first movie ever to debut a cell phone, by the way). Now shift your focus and imagine a new iPhone 4G.
Big difference, huh? Thirty-eight years since the development of the first cell phone, and we’ve reduced an item that once weighed over two pounds to a whopping five ounces or less. It seems obvious that technology is changing for the better. But here is my question: is technology changing us for the better?
Hmm… how to go about answering this? Maybe I should call on the opinions of experts, like Jon Kabat-Zinn. Or perhaps mentioning conferences, like Wisdom 2.0, would be better. I could also simply spew out some raw examples.
I could tell you about the newest advancements in solar technology, which promise up to a ten-fold increase in energy absorption through the use of ultra-thin solar cells in lieu of thicker silicone cells we use today.
I could also tell you how advancements in nuclear technology provided for the creation of the atom bomb in 1945, and made the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki possible.
The point is that I could go on, and on. In effect, hoping you wouldn’t notice I still hadn’t really answered the question. Here’s the problem: I don’t think such a simple answer exists.
Instead, I would venture to compare technology to a gymnast on a balance beam: both only a minute breadth away from falling to either side. In both cases each side symbolizes the performance outcome. So which side does technology fall on, harmful or beneficial? And, if this is the case, who or what is responsible for keeping equilibrium? We are, guys. So I pose the question again: is technology changing us for the better?
I know you probably want a black or white, yes or no answer, but I can’t give you one. Here’s what I can tell you, and it’s the bottom line: we are effectively creating and shaping the answer to this question every day.
I’ll take this moment to refer back to the beginning of this blog post, where I mentioned Clark Kent a.k.a. Superman. As you can probably guess, I did this for a reason. In a way, technology and Superman have something in common: they both wield super-human powers, and both have the option to use said powers to cause harm or good. Technology has the capacity to be a source of both good and evil, and we are the ones who determine what this power is used for.
This is why I believe so strongly in our company, Restorascapes. We are doing what we hope the rest of the world wants to do too- taking technology and using it for good! If we put our heads together, with a little hard work and creativity we can change the way we use technology, and push for a healthier planet and a more harmonized, sustainable world.
Tags: balance, change, equilibrium, evil, good, Jon Kabat-Zinn, solar energy, technology, ultra-thin solar cells, Wisdom 2.0