Advanced Human Technology: What’s It Doing To Us?
Debated and discussed at length has been the concern over whether advanced human technology has increased our ability to live balanced, harmonious, and genuinely connected lives, or if it has regressed our evolution as a naturally social species which requires community and contentment to function at an optimal and fulfilling level of existence.
The Impact Of Advanced Human Technology
Advanced human technology’s impact on our ability to live up to our innate potential is not an either-or proposition. Like with most concerns in life, moderation – and balance – are key to health and happiness. And really aren’t those two things really what life should be about?
Here we cover the pros and cons that advanced human technology has garnered across various important fields of our daily lives: education, food, health, and nature.
Education Through Human Technology
Human technology has paved the way for many advancements in the availability of education, the pace at which we can learn any given topic, and the fashion in which our formal education system can streamline efficiencies for both educators and students. Online learning has given educational and resource opportunities to individuals who otherwise would never have had access to knowledge given their socio-economic backgrounds or any other excuse to deny someone of the beauty which is learning.
It can be argued however, that human technology in schools has disconnected our youth from the process through which they learn. Technology can possibly create more of a distraction than actual benefit in the classroom. Let’s not forget what the purpose of standard K-12 education is: the social integration of children from the start of their lives until they are prepared for the workforce and the eventual finding of a mate. It’s possible that technology distracts children from learning to the point where it may lead to developmental issues such as lack of focus and social dysfunction.
Food Production Through Human Technology
We’re at a point in time when we’ve only barely started to tap into our available technology when it comes to food production. Advanced human technology has allowed us to maximize agricultural efficiencies, economies of scale, and food distribution channels while lowering resource intensity such as land, energy, and water consumption. This can be achieved through methods like hydroponic and aquaponic vertical gardening, and other forms of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA).
Advanced human technology also led to the opportunity to genetically modify organisms to reproduce plants at a quicker rate by altering their DNA composition through techniques known as genetic engineering. The controversy surrounding this procedure stems from the concern of the unknown and potentially negative effects that GM foods can have on our human health, socio-economics, and environment. GM foods are typically agricultural products from cash crops like corn and canola which opponents argue leads to social injustices because of the high demand of these crops with no feasible alternative consumer options.
Health Through Human Technology
The health sector has been forever changed due to advancements in human technology. Healthcare professionals are now able to diagnose illnesses and diseases earlier than ever before leading to drastic reductions in fatalities caused mostly by various types of cancer. Technology allows scientists to determine the genetic pre-disposition of certain diseases. The massive availability of online information has educated us about healthy living through exercise and nutrition.
Though advanced human technology has provided us with such necessary improvements in healthy living, it has also raised serious questions about what damage wireless transmissions are causing to our human health. Electromagnetic radiation exposure over a long period of time is a growing concern among some scientists and researchers who are performing studies on the issue. Until now there has not been enough solid evidence to draw any conclusions that our Wi-Fi and cell phones are leading to brain damage, but just as the debate over GM foods, it’s the potential long-term impacts many are concerned about.
Biophilia Through Human Technology
Research has shown that humans have an innate connection to our natural surroundings that must be maintained in order for us to perform at optimal levels in mood, cognisance, productivity, and over all wellbeing. This is referred to as biophilia. It has been said that technology permits human beings to experience simulated natural settings which can substitute for the real thing if a natural, outdoor environment is not available. It has been proposed that this can be achieved through videos and other visual and audio stimulation.
However, studies have shown that it’s perhaps not nearly as effective as the real McCoy. Opponents of this argument propose we disconnect from technology in order to experience biophilia, and that technological replacements to nature are in fact causing further reliance on technology to solve problems, therefore defeating the principle of biophilia entirely. In the wake of Arianna Huffington’s new book, Thrive (Harmony Book, 2014), this has many people reconsidering their technological dependency and unplugging to get back to nature and set positive examples for their children. Environmental generational amnesia is the description of the compounding disconnect that future generations experience through lowered standards of natural conservation, and their diminished attitudes towards what’s healthy for our biodiversity. This effect could lead to serious obstacles over time due to this psychological issue that may not even be recognized as a root cause of the problem.
A Perfect pH Balance
We need to find a way to sustainably infuse human technology into our daily lives while still remaining conscious of the possible negative effects it has on our ability to live with fulfillment. Technology can be a great way to enhance our existence as long as we continue to develop in balanced manner. It’s our responsibility to teach upcoming generations of the power that technological evolution holds in how our future will eventually play out, and show them the role they too will one day play. It’s in this instance that as human beings we’re all the same, but it’s what we do with our knowledge and understanding that makes us different.