Topic Proposal

When Tradeoff becomes Toxic

For my final essay I intend the write about the negative effects of technology (from writing to VR) on the brain, and argue that we need laws, health education, and funding for studies to prevent any unnecessary problems. I think it’s important to have a national conversation about this because our lives have become interlinked with technology, with which we’re only moving forward, but in the dark.

If the internet can be addictive, reduce the capacity to think or distort reality, then we need to know about it. Plus, we have to assess the fact that these modern tools use incredible amounts of energy, most of which is coal powered, which means it’s contributing to climate change. And the damage isn’t limited to the world around us, long durations of screen time and headphones are ruining our eyes and ears, which is going to cost a lot of money to fix—and it’s going to come out of our pockets.

I’ve been fascinated with computer technology and the internet since I first heard the alien noises of AOL in ’95. I think the web is one of the greatest inventions to date, one which could stand to change humanity, but only if its misuse doesn’t ruin us first. To sum up my essay, I ask two simple questions: when does technology start to hurt more than help, and what can we do to stop it?

 

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9 thoughts on “Topic Proposal

  1. For my part I am amazed how much better I feel when I get off the computer / phone for a day or two. Of course, there’s always a withdrawal period, but then I really start to feel more clearheaded and happier. I think it comes down to comparison – when we’re always on the internet, reading about other people’s cool / successful lives, we start to feel down about our own. By contrast, in real life we can see the whole parts of people’s lives and so realise that we’re all in the same boat.

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      1. Fascinating article. Makes me quite sad. I especially like this phrase –
        ‘…instead we inhabit the drab cul-de-sacs and endless freeways of a vast suburb of information.;
        That conjures up such a sad, drab image. Good premise for a science fiction movie. I imagine throngs of people, all pushing and shoving to get towards something, yet they are not speaking to each other or acknowledging one another at all.
        Thank you for posting that!

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  2. Interesting thing about technology – we’ve never, as a species, went back on any technological advanceement. We might have changed our minds about eggs being good or bad, but we’re not going to get rid of all the wheels, lights, saws, televisions etc. People get to where they can’t unplug. Going off-grid should be strongly recommended to all and special companies sprung up to take us off grid for a time like a mini vacation – or something.

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    1. I’m not saying we do anything drastic! I don’t think we need to step backwards or get off the grid. We just need to handle technology better, for instance we know bright screens hurt our eyes, so we should make laws requiring manufacturers to make dimmer eye safe screens. Classes on internet etiquette and use as well as potential health concerns would help too.

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        1. I see where you’re coming from and I personally disagree with censorship, even trying to shut down tor or the silk road is pointless as we’ll just build new versions. What I feel is important is making sure people are psychologically and physically safe and well while using the internet.

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          1. If everyone had the intellect to remain psychologically safe with technology it is my true belief that we wouldn’t have to worry about physical safety. The bad news is that making the world idiot proof does nothing but make more clever idiots.

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