Technology and Us

By Jeenat Walia. Jeenat is a young writer from Hong Kong, China, where she is a student at HKMA David Li Kwok Po College. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

“Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.”

This is a quote from R. Buckminster Fuller, some simple words to summarize the truth about today’s technology, where it came from and where it’s going to go.

Regardless of whether one has the intention of making someone else’s life easier or of taking innovation to a whole new level, technology has undoubtedly become the foundation of today’s world for all the wrong reasons. No matter how hard we try to find a corner where no form of technology exists, it is simply impossible. What’s worse is the realization that most of the existing technology is for the convenience of lazy and dependent people. I’m not necessarily suggesting that the advancement of technology is something that is detrimental to humankind, but I am saying that so far, the majority of it is simply pointless when compared to the potential and needs of our entire civilisation.

The world is so much more vast than people perceive it to be. There are countless people who are starving, people who are traumatized by war, people who are suffering from incurable sicknesses. Instead of helping these people with our scientific knowledge, we choose to simply build a multitude of useless rubbish.

Escalators, weight-loss machines, air conditioners, these are some of the many things that, instead of pushing people forward into the future, have actually hindered their development. Humans weren’t given such great intellectual potential just to tumble over backward into something that gives them an excuse to be lazier, more dependent, and, most importantly, more ignorant to the needs of those that are suffering. We have the capability to do so much more than simply building machines that help us reduce the amount of physical effort we require in day-to-day life.

As the ones who are privileged enough to have ready access to technology, we have to open our eyes and realize that we need to be doing so much more with our gifts. Rather than focusing on how to be more beautiful and thinner, we should be pooling our resources to innovate for the 1 out of 9 people without clean water, 9 out of 10 people without pure air and 1 out of 9 people without enough food. These innovations are the ones that actually matter, the ones that we should be putting effort into so as to help the rest of our world.

To conclude, technology is a basic privilege that every single one of us should be able to enjoy. However, it is obvious that many of us aren’t that lucky and probably never will be, unless we realize what honestly matters most to the majority of society. We can’t change what we’ve done in the past, but hopefully in the future we can understand the importance of creating technology for the right reasons, especially to assist those who are helpless. There is so much out there that isn’t necessarily visible at first glance, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore difficulties and pretend that our appearance or weight matters more than peoples’ lives.


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