No, technology isn’t bad, nor it is good. It just needs education

From Unsplash, by Alex Knight@agkdesign

It’s been a while since a want to write an article like this, talking about my way of approaching technology, and the way other people use technology.

First of all, let me introduce myself. I am Kevin, aka Ilphrin, a 22 years old French student in IT, doing mostly Web development.

I first discovered computer and video games when I was about 1 year old, with my dad playing and me watching. Later, I learned myself how to play video games, and played a lot. Since then I continued to play, and finally learned how video games were made.

The computer wasn’t anymore a big box with magic stuff in it, it was a computer. A big box with a GPU to manage video, a CPU to manage common calculations, cables, ports, etc. Very early in my life, I understood that I know more than the average in my family about computer but I didn’t know why.

Now, I want to work with the Web to help people create, learn, and share. And I know why.

What is Technology?

Wikipedia will say:

Technology is the collection of techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectives

According to that, technology does not depend on time, country, or type. When something is created or built, it can be called technology. This definition sounds well in my ears.

When you use a computer, you use a technological device. It has been designed, produced, distributed, bought, and finally you use it.
But when you cook pastas, it is also technology. Pastas has been conceived, produced, distributed, bought and used, like your computer.

The only differences are what are in the definition from Wikipedia: techniques, skills, methods and processes. (Note to myself: Find a better comparison that Pastas — Computers)

With that in mind, you can pause this article, and finish it a day later. Do your everyday stuff with an idea in mind:

Everything you use, touch, or interact with, is technology

New technologies

I focus more about “New technologies” in this article, but it applies to everything in fact.

When we talk about New technologies, we think about Iphone, Google’s services, Windows 10, Alexa, etc…

And these new technologies are exactly what led me to write this article. This, and a thing that someone told me earlier…

New technologies are bad, they are made for two purposes : make money, and make us more virtually dependent. We don’t need smartphones and TV, we don’t need to go to Mars. They are virtual needs created from scratch

Technology is not bad, nor it is good

We saw earlier, that technology characterizes any tool that has been built. Tool.

A hammer is a tool created a few millions years ago. Everyone knows what a hammer is I guess, what is its purpose and how to use it. Lets take this one for example:

Well, with this age we can’t say it is new, but it is technology. A technology that evolved with years, by changing processes and by gaining more skills.

Now, you’ll agree with me that this hammer is not a bad tool. It helped many people build houses, doghouses, repair roofs, etc.

But, on the other way, you can use this hammer for bad things. One can kill people with a hammer. When we hear this, we think “Theses people are weird and bad”.

We don’t say “This hammer is a bad thing, we should had banned it from our country, or control its usages”. And that makes sense, the hammer is a way of achieving something, controlling it will not reduce the problem, it will just make weird people change their way of doing weird things.

Now lets put down this hammer, and take another tool, that we should not less know:

Photo by Samson Vowles on Unsplash

With the arrival of the new iPhone X, all medias talking about it, and a lot of articles on Medium,you and I know pretty well this tool. ;)

Again, this is a tool and can be used both for good things like for bad. You can use your iPhone to keep in touch with your friends, write your notes on the cloud, or prepare article on Medium.

On the other way, Apple can use your iPhone to store personal data from you and feed commercials and ads with this data without your permissions (well, in fact with your permission as your agreed to the contracts when you first launched your iPhone).

A “millenial” (I hate this term…) may be dependent to this iPhone, and be less careful about his real life, have bad marks at school, don’t socialize, etc.

Anyway, smartphones exist today thanks to the first iPhone. Thanks to this we saw the first piece of IoT (Internet Of Things) heaven.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I don’t have an answer to this question. It depends on what we do with IoT.

It depends on what people do with these new capabilities.

People are bad, good, wrong, right, or do not realize

I think nobody is naturally bad, but people become bad when comes bad experiences in their life, as we tend to repeat the experiences we learned from.

I prefer the idea that people do not realize the impact of their action. (Lack of empathy, comprehension, calm. etc…).

When a friend sees an insult on Youtube, he/she says:

“What a moron!”

Then I may say (or think): Maybe the author is a moron, but maybe the author just don’t realize the impact of this kind comment.

This is why we still have fake news, why Facebook is used by so many people. (I don’t really like Facebook, you guessed?)

What is needed is education

Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime

Some people are insulting on Facebook/Youtube/whatever? Ok, teach them why their behaviors are bad, instead of just banning them.

You little brother broke your phone? Teach him why it bother to you and why his behavior is wrong. (Instead of kicking his ass, I need to learn to do that myself)

This is A solution, not THE solution. With education comes think. With think comes a lot of other good things.

Like empathy, calm, creativity, debates, evolution.

This is great, but do we do that?

There is already a lot of solutions, right here and now, depending of who you are, and what you want to do.

You want to help people understand, and use computers the right way? Teach them digital privacy, security, Web, etc. Like Framasoft, Mozilla or LaQuadrature are doing.

You rule a website, or a forum? Create a new kind of moderators, that will discuss with the people instead of banning them. Ask the users why they don’t respect the rules.

You are a graphic artist? Share you thoughts and discuss them with others, create debates through art.

But the most important is, don’t see technology as a bad thing, it is only a subway train, where people are walking in.

Some will sit, some will run like children, other will crouch or jump to get something. Some may even go back or turn around themselves. But don’t let people put explosives on the subway because “People don’t sit right in it”.

Thanks for reading this. If you enjoyed please clap your hands, and share your thoughts in the comments section. Do you like articles like this? Please tell me, it is the first of the kind I ever wrote, but I have over ideas in mind :) I often write more technical articles on my website ilphrin.com.