Critique Prisoners of the Wired World

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For a moment, I was thinking about what if someday out of nowhere technology was gone, evaporated somewhere else and we were not able to use it anymore? Our lives would be transformed in a chaos and we would have to learn how to start “living again” without it. Technology plays a big role in our daily lives. We use it to interact with each other, to express our thoughts, to get information and to help in education, health and economy. Society cannot ignore the fact that everything that is sold or that is invented in modern times, has something to do with technology.

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It’s everywhere, even if we try to avoid it or run away from it, it’s not possible. Even though I agree with Lightman’s idea of technology and capitalism working together and how technology has bad and good effects, I disagree when he cites the idea of loss of inner self. In the text, Prisoners of the Wired World by physicist and novelist Alan Lightman he addresses the different types of technological advances and their impacts on humans throughout time, he also expresses his concern about how society is more and more dependent on technology. He emphasizes that the need that people have to be connected to technology gives them little to no personal time. The text shows us how human society overall have their minds closed because of what they find inside technology.

Like everything we use or have now a day, technology also has its disadvantages and advantages. Depending on how people use it, it can be harmful or helpful. In the text Lightman uses studies and cites different experts like Marx, historian of American literature to proof and sustain what he is stating throughout the text, he also uses them as an example of intelligence. He makes connections between his life and how avoiding the use of technology made him think more about it and how it turned out to be something not important anymore and how it made him think more about the loss of inner self. Lightman uses his personal experience when he is sitting down in his desk and thinking about everything he did without being connected to the internet and away from technology, he states that he felt like he wasn’t wasting his time anymore in things that weren’t worth it. In the other hand, he also knows that technology has helped humanity with many different tools to help humans in different situations. For example, when he cites technology and capitalism working together as a whole.

Capitalism is a huge part of products, and we humans are the ones who buy those products that somehow was made or has something to do with technology. So, it is almost impossible to separate capitalism and technology. When he mentions capitalism, he talks about the period during the Industrial Revolution when machines, factories and canals were finally emerging. After this period and with the arise of technology, factories would gain more money, machines were built with more technological advances and in a faster way, and canals were built more precisely and with better materials. After reading this article, I can agree and relate to most of the things that Lightman is stating, I can see the both sides of technology and its use. I believe that today’s society is so attached to technology that we sometimes loose our perception of the use of our own knowledge.

Technology, and even more cellphones are being used today, at anytime and anywhere. It has consumed humans and leaves them in a dystopian world. For example, everything that we studied or learned about writing in school didn’t helped us, because when texting we right words in the wrong way, like the word “YOLO” which stands for “YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE”. Instead of writing it the right way, we start creating short words and shortcuts so we don’t waste time to right the whole word. This is when our knowledge and our capability of rationalizing comes to play. It’s just like American writer Nicholas Carr said (“Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing”. )

He expresses the thought that he knows that technology is making something different to his brain, but he doesn’t know what it is. For example, in many occasions we may write with the wrong vocabulary or in the wrong way, but we must know when or where to use it, when talking to friends, family or non-formal place, then it is not such a big deal, but in a job interview, in a paper for college or anything that has to do with important things you may not write with “shortcut words”. For other people, it may show that you don’t know how to write well or you don’t have the capacity to write or talk in the right way that it is supposed to be. That is the part where humans must use knowledge to know that machines cannot replace our intelligence, it is not intelligent as we are, we cannot let machine control us, it is the opposite we control machines.

Furthermore, I believe that even technology has its bad sides like everything in life, not everything is perfect as it seems. But I must also say that technology has helped us advance and achieve many things. It helps us keep in contact with family and people that are far away from us or makes us feel “closer” to them without being literally close. It also has helped us in the subjects of education, science, politics and health. I believe that if we use our intelligence and our critical mind than we are not going to lose our inner self and what we believe in is the truth. Technology is not making us loose the sense of our inner self’s, we are the ones that is causing that.

We must blame ourselves for that, because we are the ones who are plugged in the internet and social media 24 hours a day. We can make our own decisions and know what is wrong or right and what to or not to do, so we should know what are our priorities. Humans must understand that we don’t live in a dystopian world where government and higher power and technology control us and that we can’t do or say anything we want and that we serve technology or that everything is perfect. That is not our reality, we have our freedom of speech and our way of thinking whatever we want when we want it, but without doing bad to our own and other people in our society. We know that technology don’t substitute people, but it helps us get more knowledge on things that we don’t know or we want to know more about. With more technology, we are able to be even more intelligent than we are, we have the ability to expand our knowledge to new horizons.

Technology without the human brain doesn’t work, it’s just like Stevie Jobs; Apple owner recited, (“Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them. ”). In conclusion, I think that if we have a critical mind and we know what is wrong and what is right, then we will know that if we use the internet and the technology appropriately and wisely we can be more protected and take more advantage of it. Instead of using it for wrong things that might cause us problems in the future. Technology for bad or for good is a part of our life that we cannot ignore, it’s everywhere. Overall, technology lets us speak through our minds and make right decisions. It has made us overcome ourselves and any obstacle we may find in our way. Technology, in my personal opinion has made us, humans, more intelligent and more open-minded about certain topics. Technology has many advantages when it comes to human’s intellectuality. People should not overly depend on technology, they need to understand that sometimes it is not the right answer for a situation. I think people need to take advantage of this and start using technology more, in the end, we are the future and so is technology.

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