The Human Ideal

By Hugh McFall (Comm ‘ 15)


I’m critical of technology as it impairs our focus and distracts us from getting important things done. Because of this, I use it very particularly. For example, I only keep one tab open when web browsing, and in class I only take notes on paper, not electronically. Although I believe there’s a lot of value in doing this, there’s an obvious yet important point to consider: when used properly, technology enhances nearly everything we do. We should depend on it to help us, but not to control us.

In today’s age, people usually operate on two sides of a spectrum; those who are hyper-connected to numerous devices, and those who use little to no electronic technology at all. Both sides have different methods for getting work done and staying connected. Thus, a valid argument can be made for operating on either end of the spectrum. But why do we have to choose?

There’s an all-important middle ground that I believe is key to operating in today’s world most effectively. Staying on either end of the spectrum – a hyper-connected Internet user or tech-averse — will inhibit our ability to get the most out of life. I try to stay on the middle ground as much as possible, by only using digital technology like my cell phone or laptop when necessary. At times, using technology is much more efficient and productive, but there are times where we use it when we shouldn’t. We’re stuck on our phones, when the world – the educational world – is begging us to look up. Thus, we need to dictate exactly what we want these tools to do for us, and then let them do just that. Although we may like to think so, we’re not perfect; we forget things, we make mistakes. The tools of the modern age give us an opportunity to minimize these mistakes to the point where they’re nearly eradicated. It could, for example, help us stay punctual, remember someone’s birthday, never get lost, and always be prepared for meetings Technology’s ability to remind us and to do things for us creates a hypothetical “extension of ourselves”.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

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