Technology is defining, affecting, even shaping our lives today. You have heard this thing a million times already, in one form or another. In this decade, technology has defined the generations and it will influence future generations as well.
The possible causes of technology infringement and involvement in our lives have finally been acknowledged by people of our generation on a serious note. It is not new, but this is when ‘tech backlash’ has gained serious relevance.
People doubtful regarding the increasing influence of technology in our lives have always been there.
But there is something that the critiques of this decade have missed. We are no longer merely affected by the excessive use of technology, we are shaped by it.
Designing tech or getting designed by it?
The human brain is a highly resilient thing on earth. It gets moulded by what we see throughout the day. Our choices are barely our own. Does that sound disturbing? But it is true.
Technology has rewired our brains in a way that wasn’t perceptible to most people during the tech revolution.
Today we are faced with issues such as FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out, short attention span, sleeping disorders, and many other problems.
It would be totally unfair to say that there have been no positive impacts. But given the fact that we have been focused only on positives so far and ignored the negatives have caused us trouble.
All of a sudden, as the chant of all good things about technology engulfment lifts, we are faced with dire situations like security breach and privacy invasion.
We are faced with the fact that your newsfeed must be a lot different than mine. That the suggestions you get on your YouTube page are designed to get your attention.
Social Media has taken over the internet and our lives and our choices are influenced by a desire for approval and validation from masses.
Surveillance technology and feedback loop
This decade has exposed many things to us. One of these is that we are not in control.
We, the common masses, are stuck in a web of behavioural manipulation, predictive algorithms, surveillance technology, and feedback loop. This web is no longer in our control.
Russian bots have amazed people and scandals like Cambridge Analytica have shaken the world. These have raised both awe and concern. The fight over real and fake is consuming us, and so is the world of misinformation.
We are losing our touch with reality and AI hasn’t even arrived yet.
So in a time when tech experts design our lives and our choices, what do we do?
Are we to submit ourselves to the manipulation and spend half of our times consumed by tech and other half cursing how it is affecting our lives?
No. We need not to…..
…because there’s light at the end of the tunnel
Although this article might have painted a dark and scary picture of the technology, it doesn’t have to be so.
The problem often lies in ignorance. The technology, although it controls every aspect of our life today, isn’t evil in itself.
The problems related to it arise because it is a weapon, a legacy, a privilege that not everyone knows of. No no, I don’t mean you are not aware of how to use your phone or protect your privacy.
When the world is designed by software designers, it becomes important that those living in this world must also be aware of the basics of that design.
And this doesn’t have to be a diploma course in media literacy.
Media literacy is surely a step towards educating people in the tech world, but it isn’t all. And it surely isn’t enough.
What more then?
What we need today, and what we definitely need in the future is to learn coding as a form of liberal art.
And this doesn’t mean you have to take up the course of software engineering in your graduation.
Coding has to be learned and taught as a result of this new world that we have created. How can you survive in a forest if you don’t know what can save you there and what might kill you?
Technology is a way of life now. And coding needs to be taught just like we are taught other basics of life.
Coding should be made available to everyone from the very beginning just how computers are being taught to every student from a primary level.
Let people advance themselves in this art as they wish, without being forced to take a course at graduation level only.