Thetopic I have chosen for my IGCSE Global Perspectives Component#1 is DigitalWorld. The sphere that I am highlighting under this topic is “have technological advancements reached a limitby which they can be called harmful”.
The reason why I have selected thistopic is because in recent years, critics worldwide have raised arguments onthe reliability of the role of technology in the life of the average human. The progression of new technology has beentaking place since the beginning of human history. From the invention of itemslike the knives and spears made out of rocks and sticks for killing animals forfood, to contraptions like the first printing press and the computer.The advancement in technology has been remarkablyfast in the 20th and 21st century.
With electronic technology and machinesbeing produced and improved all the time, it was most probable that along withthe positive attributes of these new advancements, people would also consider acritical analytical approach of the negative aspects of new technology.Every day miscellaneous companiesmanufacture something more advanced in an attempt to win the consumer waragainst another company. This consumerism is compelling the rate of advancementmore rapidly each year. The creation of the iPhone by Apple is an example ofthis. All of a sudden people could call, text, browse the internet, listen tomusic, watch videos and click photos all in one place. No other cell-phonecompany in market could compare to it. This was certainly a positive, seeingthat people could use the phone to store data for work, education,entertainment.
But it was only a matter of realization before the negativeclaims began as well; too expensive, quick battery power loss and could adevice like this stop face to face communication all together-to name just afew claims.Technology will always have negative aspects because it depends on what thepurpose of the technology is and who is making use it; Albert Einstein oncesaid ‘Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathologicalcriminal’. 1 One of the greatest negative claimsobserved on past years was against the advancement of gaming technology.
Avideo game called Grand Theft Auto was released in October 1997. The game was basedon violence. It included stealing cars, killing and hurting random people, tomore offensive content like the prostitute characters.
Computer games were castaspersions on after an incident in the USA with a teenage boy who shot at two policemenand a dispatcher, killing them in 2003. He had once before been brought to thepolice station on suspicion of driving a stolen car, which is something that repeatedlyoccurs in the game series. The media described the incident in such a way’Lawsuit: ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Led Teen to Kill’. 2 Predictably, the blame was levied on thetechnology and the companies who created the game. “What has happened inAlabama is that four companies participated in the training of Devin .
.. tokill three men.
“3 This kind of media attention can beseen to support the negative claims made by Jacques Ellul, a Frenchsociologist. He viewed ‘technology as an irresistible, mysterious force’ 4 he continued in calling it ‘menacing’ 5 and ‘has an ability to change every aspect of life thatit encounters’ 6. Concerned authorities were inspecting how the game waschanging and disrupting the young boy’s life, they quoted him to have said ‘Lifeis a video game. You’ve got to die sometime.’7 Thisdepicted how this technology has twisted the boy’s mental state and changed hisoutlook on life itself, that it is nothing but a game. The technology has takenover the boy and controlled him into committing such an act of violence.
Ellulalso described technology as ‘some kind of living breathing monster, out of control’8