The world we live in is a strange, ever-evolving place rife with intense contradictions, full of abnormalities and wonder, surrounded by the dense fog of countless and constant society-defining tectonic shifts, the epicentre of which is the modern world, the Western world that most of us live in. These changes have brought and produced an insanely high number of revolutionary inventions and world-altering and grotesque paradigm shifts. The most significant changes of the 20th and the 21st century are all related to the development and utilization of modern technology.
Altering The Modern World: Technology and Men
Technology has always, in one way or another, been an integral part of our society. What we consider and call technology nowadays can be traced back to the late 19th century, but men have been utilizing technological inventions since ancient times, albeit primitive technological inventions. The worryingly (or not?) fast development of technology has been occurring over the course of the 20th century and this trend has continued and sped up as time has gone by, so it is safe to say that the older we are, the faster technology is developing.
All of this poses a few legitimate questions, perhaps even concerns. A cynic probably thinks all of this modern technology that we have today is stumping our growth and dehumanizing our society, but that logical fallacy of sorts is a mere expression of our generation’s nonchalantly ignorant rebellion against modern achievements or, if nothing, inevitable changes. Every generation has a need to rebel and disobey and this hypocritical rebellion against modern technology seems to be the defining moment of our times – we try to fight technology even though we cannot live or function without it.
What Has Changed? How Is Technology Defining The Modern World?
Arguably the most important technological invention of the 20th century, that we are truly getting to reap the benefits of in the 21st century, is the World Wide Web. The internet has managed to connect the planet in a way that it has never been conjoined before. A simple, effortless click of a mouse can change, destroy and improve a person’s life. Are we able to deal with the infinite power of the internet is a question for another time, but the fact that we are still trying to come to terms with the power this broadband connectivity has given us is, to some, a reason for concern, while to others just a logical consequence.
The World Wide Web has directly affected the way we conduct business, go about finishing our daily task, gather and digest information and, in many ways, the way we live. The internet is an abundant sea of information, available to virtually anyone living in the modern world. Kids nowadays have their eyes glued to their smartphones, while their parents shop for groceries and read news online. Students attend classes over the internet and entrepreneurs run firms and make million dollar deals online. The way we think, communicate and act has been changed, condensed and neatly packaged thanks to modern technology and the ability to connect and communicate it has provided us with.
Do we need to grow into technology and accept it for what it is or has it already become a part of us? Are we inherently inclined to reject anything to do with change or are we reluctantly learning to accept change? Are the mistakes that we make a part of our technological evolution and is our yearning to abuse technology an innate, almost instinctive habit or nothing more than an elaborate defence mechanism?
The Modern World and The Modern Man VS Technology
The modern world is far from perfect and our civilization has always been a battlefield of ideas, concepts and philosophies. Our acceptance, or lack thereof, of technology has been the subject of debate, the spark of controversy and a dominant dilemma of our times. Will all of these new technological developments ruin and enslave us, or free and emancipate us? As with anything else throughout human history, it’s up to us to decide what to do with these technological tools that we have. Are we going to bestow an illusion of freedom upon ourselves or are we going to truly use technology to enhance our collective experience and to positively impact the lives of those that will come after us? That remains to be seen.