The title of this article is the gist of what I am about to write, however I think the sentiment requires some justification, particularly among those who cannot imagine being without technology. While technology certainly has a place in our lives, I think its constant presence has been detrimental to the vast majority of people. While this statement has been regurgitated into oblivion, I think it needs to be repeated as very few actually heed the advice.
Most, if not all, of the Internet is hyperstimulus, reality better than reality. A place so realistic that many confuse it with reality. The Twitter consensus is not a public consensus. Just as the images in any social network are not reality, but fabrications. So much of the online experience is fake that it can be hard to tell the parts that are real. This doesn’t mean that everything online is fake, but you should know that there are huge incentives to be as surreal as possible.
Online privacy does not exist. There is no such thing. Everything you do, every word you search for is cataloged and recorded, not for you, but for advertising agencies and government organizations seeking to catalog and tag you. You may like this arrangement, however, I sincerely doubt that conviction, and it sounds more like a defense mechanism than an actual argument. Feel free to write such an argument if this is you.
Going beyond the “social media is bad” standard, which is a horse so dead it might as well be atomized, most of the software you use on a day-to-day basis is probably bad too. Not bad in the technical sense, but in the dependency sense. Most of the software you come across on a day-to-day basis is closed source, which means you can’t access the source code. While for most people this doesn’t seem like a problem, it means that you, or any of your friends who can read code, can check what software you’re using. Really making. Beyond the obvious security implications, the other more subtle issue is that you have to trust the owner of the software to continue to maintain it. You are at the mercy of the developers and/or the company that sells the software. And if you pay for your software, it’s likely to be under a subscription model. Y closed source. You do not own the software, you lease the software, and the terms of the lease may change at any time.
While this dependency is most obvious when looking at digital technology, there is also an inherent dependency in all the other technologies we use every day. And while it may seem futile to discuss it, particularly as the idea of losing access to any of these technologies may seem absurd, it’s important to keep in mind. We depend on accurate clocks, roads, medications, stationery, and the list could go on and on. Your locus of control cannot guarantee the quality or existence of these technologies, and that is precisely the point. You depend on these items to support yourself. Yes, it is completely unreasonable to eliminate all technology, but being aware of the trade-offs and technology debt you incur when you use them can, and will, make you more aware of the potential downsides of adopting any technology in the future. .
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.