Moving technology concerns to the sidelines

Wireless devices do not shape modern life

We live in an era of extremes.


On one end, war and terrorism and global warming wage, creating international strife. On the other end, thousands of the most talented minds, the best and brightest, are researching about the over-usage of technology.


Although some concerns about technology are legitimate, a lot have been sensationalized and over emphasized in society. Our attention should be diverted to focus on the larger issues facing society.


As I browse the web I notice headlines, “The Dangers of Technological Development,” Technology Is Invading Our Privacy” from reputable organizations such as Stanford University. For a moment, I cannot help but wonder if we are taking it too far.


Technology, more specifically, wireless devices such as phones, tablets and iPods are prevalent in classroom settings, as well as more integrated into society. Increased use of technology brings along an influx of research about the dangers: shorter attention spans, eye strains, loss of privacy, scarcity of human interactions and potentially even artificial intelligence taking over all of humanity (science fiction nerds unite!).


However, our solutions to some of these problems can often be counterintuitive: there are apps such as BreakFree that monitor your technology usage: you check your phone to find out how often you check your phone so you can stop checking your phone.


Millennials have been labeled “technology obsessed” by members of previous generations. I admit that I am not an exception; my phone is the first thing I reach for every morning and the last thing I reach for before bed every night. I fiddle with my device to pass the idle moments: waiting for the bus, for class to start or for a friend to arrive at my lunch table.


But ultimately, I know to put away my phone during a family dinner, in a movie theater or when I am having a serious conversation with a teacher.


One form of advanced technology, Radio Frequency Identification Chips (RFID), hit the headlines as “spy chips” because people were worried about losing their privacy.


Bryan Clark, an avid journalist and expert on all things technology, reports on these controversial chips.


“[Concerns are] mostly nonsense,” he said. “RFID – when used correctly – has minimal security concerns and many practical concerns.”


Although RFID chips are relatively advanced technology, the message he conveys – technology, when used appropriately, is not a scary tool – can be applied to more commonplace phones and iPads.


When we put technology concerns into perspective we can see that there are more pressing concerns that the world must address.


Follow Akila @akilam29