Technologyhas always had an immense impact on how we live. It is suggested thatthe ‘wheel’ is the first invention that truly changed the courseof human history (Commoner 33). It has because, after thousands ofyears of human life, we are still using wheel in one form or theother in everything from automobiles to the clock. That brings us tothe various thoughts that will be discussed in this paper.
Howdoes technology affect our life and what sort of life would we liveif there was no technology? The question itself is simple and almostany technology can demonstrate the answers. Take for instance ourmobile phones with their ability to make phone calls. If not formobile phones, we would be completely cut off from our friends andfamily. Something as simple has going on trip would be a huge reasonfor panic without mobile phones. We won’t be able keep those whocare for us updated about our whereabouts. Enter the mobile phone andsuddenly, everything is fine.
Thismobile phone example alone is not sufficient to answer the threearguments I wish to raise as part of this paper. In a nutshell, hereare the three arguments I wish to discuss and engage the reader with.
Technology effect on human beings.
Technology effect on everyday life.
Living life without technology.
Undereach argument there will be some specific topics that I would beexploring. In order to do this, the paper would resort using sometelevision shows that embody the concept of technology and the lackof it. The three television shows that I would be using to flesh outmy argument are the following:
The 100 – post apocalyptic show that deals with the aftermath. Excellent show to understand the gaps between having technology and not having it.
Star-Crossed – show set in current times but advanced technology present throughout due to presence of aliens.
The Walking Dead – Popular drama that has a realistic look at life, and almost no technology usage whatsoever. Sort of the opposite of what the other two shows that are I will be using to analyze technology.
Theidea is to observe, watch and research some of the best episodes inthese three television series. Use the way fiction unfolds – withand without technology – to support the three arguments mentionedabove. The best two episodes are collected using the imdb ratingsystem.
Argument1 – Technology effect on human beings.
Iwill start off with the first argument, which is the effect oftechnology on human beings. While discussing this argument, threequestions need to be answered.
Does technology simplify our lives?
What are the positive aspects of high technology?
What are the negative sides of the same high technology?
Inthe television show, The 100, the show begins in the future wherepeople are already living on space stations, after having abandonedearth for almost 100 years. It is then that, some 100 teens are askedto check out planet Earth, and see if it is any shape to supporthuman life. The show presents an interesting analogy because thereare two sorts of societies. On the space station, people are usingadvanced technology while the folks who have been sent to earth areforced to survive like jungle people. They have no access to advancedtechnology and they also encounter other folks who have been livingon earth for a long time, without technology.
Istechnology affecting the folks in The 100? It definitely has. Forinstance, there is the part with the space station. When Earth wentboom, humanity managed to survive because a small set of individualswere living on space stations. If not for technology, humanity wouldhave gone extinct. Extending that line of thinking, technology makinglives easy is touched upon in so many ways.
The100 individuals who are sent to observe Earth and report are alltagged with trackers. This allows the people above at the spacestation to keep an eye on the 100. In addition, the transport shipthat carried these 100 individuals has a communication support so the100 can report back about their findings. Focusing on this trackerand communication portal, it is easy to see how it has made lifesimpler for the players in this TV show.
Theadministrators on the spaceship can see what is going on with the100, and at least know how many of them are alive and how many ofthem are dead. Further, thanks to video link, they can keep the 100informed about what is going on at the spaceship. Eventually, whenthe 100 find out more about Earth, they can use this communicationtechnology to contact those on the spaceship and ask them to returnto Earth. This was their mission and without technology, much ofthese missions would be impossible to undertake.
Thepositive aspect of this technology, from the shows perspective, isthat it has allowed them to survive. The orbiting spaceship ensuredthat humans did not go extinct in the apocalyptic event. Moreover,tech like trackers and communication portals help them survive withimportant information. Relating this example to our everyday lives,we are all able to lead a simple life because of technology (Commoner44). For example, our smartphones ensure that we are all connectedand this access to information makes everything better.
Extremetechnology, however, also has its side effects. Going back to the 100show, the apocalyptic situation was trigged because of some advancedtechnology that humans were playing around at the same time. Whatthis means is that, the same advanced technology that saved humanityin the form of the orbiting spaceship, also led to the apocalypticevent.
Thereis also the problem of the ground conditions on earth. The earth onwhich the 100 land is not the one they heard. They find out that thenew earth is filled with modified animals and human beings. All ofthem, a result of the apocalyptic situation that probably would havebeen trigged in the first place by advanced tech. Looking at oureveryday life, the smartphone that makes our lives simple is alsoequally devastating to our lives, due to the addictive effect that ithas had on our lives (Feenberg77).
Argument2 – Technology effect on everyday life.
Theshows chosen for this research paper all deal with everyday life.That is probably for the best because, unlike movies, televisionshows do look at everyday life in detail because they run over thecourse of hours (Telotte 15). Each of the shows – The 100,Star-Crossed and Walking Dead – gives us deep insight into howtechnology can transform our everyday life.
Letus look at some of the tech that is used on a daily basis in 100 andStar-Crossed. In the show 100, the orbital spaceship is a floatingcity, generating everything from artificial gravity to air. Gravityis something that is essential to maintain life forms in their state,and then air is needed to breath. The same spaceship technology isused by the people to grow food. In fact, the central premise of 100is that there is simply not enough for everybody. Which is why,people are frequently ejected out of the spaceship for almost anycrime. This is part of their population control. In both TV shows,holograms make frequent presence. Holograms can be compared to videocalls which are like the next level of making phone calls.
Thanksto technology, being able to listen to a person’s voice is good butbeing able to see the person live in a video, is even better. Itmakes everyday life so much easier. In the TV shows, holograms takethis aspect to the next level because the person being communicatedto is occupying a virtual three dimensional space ((Telotte 43).These instances show us that high technology in the shows, as well asin our own lives does have a positive impact on how we live. Theadvantage is that, technology makes our life better. As withadvantages come disadvantage and there are plenty to choose from boththe shows in relation to our lives.
The100 shows us people living in a spaceship, leading healthy everydaylives, just like they would on earth itself. Thanks to this, they areall populating easily, outgrowing their own home’s survivalcapacity. In Star-Crossed aliens land on earth and technology allowsthe government to come after them. The aliens are captured andprobably tortured. The same technology allows the government to keeptabs on them. Clearly there are some disadvantages of every daytechnology.
Usingthis analogy to our everyday life, let us look at the internet. Ithas really improved our everyday life, so much that it is almostconsidered a basic right of life (Commoner 40). This is good becausewe get so much done because of the internet. At the same, theinternet allows people to keep check on us. Thanks to internet aninterested individual, perhaps from the government or form somewhereelse, can know everything there is to know about us. This informationcan be used for good intentions but it can also be used negatively.
Inthe 100, the space station technology keeps them happy every day,however, the same space station tech will get people kicked out foreven the simplest reason. The Walking Dead shows this scenarioextremely well. If one were to remove the zombies from the scene,people would survive pretty much on their own. In a way, this is goodbecause no one has to worry about literally anything because theyjust go on with their lives. However, since there is no technology ofany sorts, there is solution for most problems. Everything that wetake for granted, and the TV show, almost becomes impossible toachieve.
Argument3 – Living life without technology.
Thetelevision show I have chosen for a world without technology, TheWalking Dead universe, is just perfect. The other two science fictionshows, 100 and Star-Crossed take a more romantic, advanced tech viewof the world. Some of that might actually come true however, TheWalking Dead is perhaps the most realistic depiction of a worldwithout technology. In a way, walking dead shows a world that wouldhave existed in the eons before when there was no technology cavepeople era to be precise. The technology that touches our lives everyday is transportation, communication, food processing, andentertainment (Feenberg 77). These are things we do on a daily basis.
Lookingat public transport it is non-existent in this show. Publictransportation depends on a lot of systems and they are all dead. Thelack of people means, there is no one to maintain technology, whicheventually means people cannot travel from one place to another.Relating this to the real world, we could literally do nothing ifthere was no public transportation. We would have to depend on ourfeet to take us wherever we wish to go. That means we would spend awhole lot of time travelling to meet our basic needs of food andshelter. If public transportation would be a problem, personaltransportation would be a distant dream.
Movingon to food processing, there is no food processing. The machines andequipment that helps to manufacture food are gone. That means, in theworld of Walking Dead, they are eating food that is leftover fromback when civilization was still running. Instead of eating for joy,the folks of walking dead are eating for survival. That is what wouldhappen in our lives too, if technology never existed in the firstplace. Human beings are built for survival, so when technology is notthere, we would adapt to eating raw food. Raw plants and raw meatwould become the primary food items.
Thesame goes with communication and entertainment. With all thetechnology dead, there is no means to communicate with others. Nocommunication brings another factor that contributes to reduced lifeexpectancy. When there is a struggle for survival – with almost nohelp from technology – why would anyone think of entertainment? Notechnology would mean that there is no chance of entertainment.
Lookingback at walking dead and all the factors that were discussed above,people would eventually end up adapting to a world withouttechnology. It would not be easy because there are people out therewho cannot even get off their bed without a cup of coffee from theircoffee maker (another piece of technology). We, as people, depend ontechnology for all the basic needs and advanced needs of life(Commoner 93). Without technology, a lot of people will lose theirmind and in one way or the other lose the will to live. Those whomanage to survive will have to go to extremes to do so. They willhave to learn to become self-reliant.
Thereis also the topic of medical care. Human beings are great survivorsbut there is nothing anyone can do about diseases and medicalconditions. Without technology, and all the incredible ways it helpsto keep us healthy and help us recover, people would die. Come tothink of it, even if people figure out a way to live withouttechnology, they will eventually need technology to recover frommedical ailments. Something as simple as fever could turn lethal whenthere is no technology involved.
Inthis paper, I have tried to look and analyze the effect of technologyon our lives both in the long term, and also on an everyday basis. Itis not fair to just look at technology from what we see around us.From the way technology is rapidly advancing, it is important to alsolook at future technology. Today, our phones allow us to do videocalls to pretty much any part of the world. I am almost positive thatour grandparents never imagined that something like this would happenduring their lifetime.
Ialso tried to look at a world without technology. To begin with,something like that would be impossible to imagine because, it isjust not possible. It is very tough to imagine a day when there wouldbe no school bus to ferry children to school or not having atelevision that has over 200 channels. To this regard, threetelevision shows were chosen: The 100, Star-Crossed and The WalkingDead. Each of these shows takes the essential premise of advancedtechnology, and also the lack of it to sufficient levels enough forus to use them as educational tools for technology related analysis.
Onething is pretty clear from all the three shows. As far as technologyis concerned, there is no possible way for life to exist withouttechnology (Commoner 102). The largest evidence for this would be themedical technology. Without diagnostics, medical procedures andmachines, most of us would die premature deaths deaths that can beeasily avoided with use of the right technology. So, if we are askingthe big picture question. The question of whether life should havetechnology or not, then the answer is a resounding yes. We needtechnology because without technology there is no point to live.
Theabove answer is not in itself the end though. There are hazards thatcome with technology. Take for instance the fantastic spaceship inThe 100. The show depicts a future where people are living in space.This is not a farfetched idea because we already have somethingsimilar. There is an international space station that currently has asmall group of people living on it all the time. This makestechnology look cool and it is.
Atthe same time promoting technology, The 100 also highlights thelimitations of technology. In the show, the premise is that peopleare frequently ejected from the spaceship. This is because thespaceship simply cannot sustain an ever growing population. Perhapsthe same thing happened with the Walking Dead. May be earth wasrunning out of space, and as part of its natural evolutionary processcreated the zombie process.
Thereis an important lesson about technology here. Technology is amazingand it manages to make our lives better. However, technology comeswith its limitations and we have to appreciate it. For instance,video calls allow us to see people from far off places but literallyit does not bring us close. May be some day, holograms will become areality but still yet, they cannot replace the natural way of doingthings.
Thisbrings me to conclude that we, as people, will always needtechnology. However, technology might never come to replace thenatural way of doing everyday things. That limitation of technologyhas to be understood and respected by us, the people who use itregularly.
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