Essay-3rd-Prize-Banner Questioning


Some time ago in the age before mp3-players, flat panel monitors, online gaming and dual processors, we decided to go all in on technology.


Is technology really the answer? I don’t know for sure, but weve been betting too much on it for too long, so it must be, right? ‘Weve been putting so much money and energy in it for so long and we have yet to be severely punished, so it must be. Im hoping against my gut that were not wrong. If by any chance we are wrong, weve wasted all our time, effort and future on one horrible gamble.

Some time ago in the age before mp3-players, flat panel monitors, online gaming and dual processors, we decided to go all in on technology. Before we knew it, these new contraptions started flooding nearly every corner of our life. We were given some boxes connected to what resembled TV’s, so we could store data, subtract and divide. Soon enough we could see and talk to friends and relatives continents away, while watching our favorite newly released video clip as were transferring songs from that same album off of iTunes to our new iPod.

Technology is moving so fast nowadays that it seems that nothing is impossible, our world’s getting so much smaller, as our networks are getting bigger, media at the tip of your fingers. You can find a single spot on the planet with your GPS, you can listen to the radio via outer space. Your desk is in your lap and phone lines are invisible.

Amazing, so it seems, these new gadgets and tools keep making our life so much easier, so much less that you need to do, so little to do actually that we’re getting bored. We are not only getting bored, were also getting used to getting bored, were getting lazy. Not just too lazy to work, but too lazy to think. Children of our time are taught to function optimally in this world of chips, bits and bytes. All they should know is what button to push or what switch to flick so they can go ahead in this world. Its not important whats behind the button, its not important what the switch connects to, as long as it does what you want it to do. If thats ever not the case, we curse, we panic, we sweat, we fear the demons we ourselves created. If the computer is ever seriously infected, we cant make deadlines for school or work, we cant chat and we cant check the weather or see how the game ended. Our life is suddenly empty when one appliance is torn out of the tightly woven fiber of our high maintenance 21st century lives.

If only one faulty computer can reek so much havoc, it is almost unimaginable, the chaos that a total black out could cause over the time span of just one month. It’s needless to say wed be bored out of our minds for the first days, but wed find ways to fill our time. Looting for example would probably be one of the favorite pass times for many. Next to lootings, healthcare would be practically inexistent, school would be out and most jobs would be pointless and a complete waste of time. In little time we would have practically fallen from our fiberglass throne of technology to the bedrock bottom of the Stone Age. The pillars built by our elders would have by then cracked, and thousands of years of trial and error gone to waste.

But up until now, we’ve been on the receiving end of the technological blessings. Unlike in some countries, we have a fairly technologically advanced community and companies that can feed the hunger of our eager tech-consumers. We have the money and power to buy machines and gadgets designed in the first world and made for us in the third. Compared to enough countries, we have been blessed with relative luck and wealth. These countries I compare us to, are the countries that will be more advanced than us if technology - God forbid - should meet its downfall.

These countries that still have lives relatively uninfluenced by technology are now considered poor, but their future is much more stable than ours. They may not know what the latest MSNmessenger version is, but they do know that a minor power failure can and will neither change the mood they’re in, nor the hour at which they sleep.

Our radical advances are truly great and time and time again they seem to amaze us. Technology is great, but let’s try not to move so fast ahead that we cant look back at our own footsteps and see how we got to this empire of gold plated connectors and liquid crystal displays. Lets try to understand what were doing and not be simple button pushers. All we can do now is try hard and pray that the odds are with us.

Charles Cijntje Age: 18