Q) ‘We rely on modern technology too much’. Discuss. By Ali Ul Qudur

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Nowadays in this fast-moving world, it is hardly impossible to manage time and follow the timetable, teach or learn effectively, and also being there for someone on time. The solution to all this fuss, our reliance on modern technology. Since times have changed, responsibilities and time tables have also drastically changed for those who have other fish to fry. The questions that arise are: Should we really rely on modern technology? Is modern technology the new normal or should we consider the old lifestyle of getting things done? Does it have harmful effects on our society and the new generation? All these questions will be discussed in the following passage.

Supporters of the topic believe that we should rely on technology such as autopilot in modern vehicles. They believe so because it has improved for the better and so that drivers can easily interact with the passengers(mostly children) or complete a task to save time. Elon Musk, owner of Tesla confidently states, “Autopilot uses cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radar to see and sense the environment around the car.” He further states that without this, “a driver alone would not otherwise have” the awareness. Similarly, an avid user of the same technology also states, “I’ve been using this technology since the day I purchased my first self-driving vehicle and it has saved a lot of my time. I usually do my breakfast and go through the news while it drives through the highway.”

However, people against the topic argue that we should not toy around with this technology especially in crowded areas as it could damage public property or result in fatality. James Smith, a senior traffic warden, said, “In the past 2 years there has been an increase in self-driving vehicles and traffic violations. I’ve noticed that most vehicles with the self-driving feature have jumped traffic signals and stop signs. The technology still has room for improvement but drivers should not rely on it completely.” Similarly, Alexandra Clark, an ordinary citizen stated, “We should not rely on modern technology like this until it is foolproof and smart enough of its surroundings. I am devastated at the loss of my only nephew. An owner used the summon feature of his vehicle which rammed the car into the fence and over the child.”

At the same time, advocates of the topic maintain that the world-wide-web had 4.57 billion active users as of July 2020. The use of the internet has also improved our means of communication and has boosted online purchasing and trade. A mother of two and a wife, Sarah Peck, states, “I don’t have a lot of time to go to the supermarket so I purchase whatever I want online. Yes, it is comparatively expensive but it saves a lot of time and I utilize it with my family.” Likewise, the Globe Magazine stated, “Stay indoors during this uncertain time. The internet has always been there for us. It’ll be there when you need to purchase pharmaceutical drugs, it’ll be there when you’re craving for dessert, it’ll be there for your groceries. But most importantly, it’ll be there when you want to connect with your loved one.”

In retrospect, opponents of the topic maintain that we shouldn’t rely on online shopping apps/websites as those users are susceptible to hackers. They believe that dealers online do not believe in the term ‘What you see is what you get’. A parent stated, “My son’s confidence level has decreased because of the advancements in technology. He purchases whatever he wants and relies on online stores even after being scammed numerous times and this has resulted in him being a socially awkward and shy teenager who doesn’t have the confidence to walk inside a store.” Similarly, a once avid online purchasing family stated, “We used to save our credit card information on many online stores. Most of them were renowned brands too. Some dealers used to deliver counterfeit products while others, expired. Some used to have hidden charges and used to charge us extra. Since then, we have realized that we rely on modern technology too much.”

In retrospect, opponents of the topic maintain that modern technology like virtual reality and simulations on simulators is not only a very cost-effective way of teaching and learning but also a great source of entertainment. Prof. Brain May of Oaks University stated, “This is the best method of teaching my enthusiastic learners. The diagrams are three-dimensional which encourages the students to study harder as their concepts are crystal clear. It provides outstanding visualizations that aren’t possible in the traditional classroom.” Similarly, parents of two,12 and 9, stated, “We usually explain our children the subject or topic through Virtual reality and simulations. This develops their interest and find it a fun and effective way of learning.” They further added, “On the weekends, they happily watch a three-dimensional documentary.”

On the contrary, challengers of the topic claim that there is a huge difference between the two teaching methods, and that physical models should be used. A parent of a high school student claims that her daughter should actually see body diagrams and should conduct chemistry practicals rather than ‘seeing’ them. She believes that we shouldn’t rely on VR headsets as they are incomplete and lack reactions, unlike teachers. Similarly, The University of Relations mentioned in their recent research that traditional education is based on personal human communication while virtual reality is quite different; it is you and the software, and nothing else. This can damage the relationships between students and the overall human communication. Which is why we shouldn’t rely on virtual reality.

All in all, every coin has two sides; one positive and one useless/negative. The same is the case with modern technology. But in my opinion, we should be optimistic – not pessimistic – about it, enjoy the benefits that it has brought to us and rely on it if and only if it is safe for us and the society we live in. If it is used appropriately and within the boundaries, relying on it would contribute to the development of society.

About froebelianwriters

I am an English Language teacher teaching O'Levels Edexcel and CIE A Levels at Froebel's International School, Islamabad. I am also working as a Subject Specialist Literacy consultant for the same school. Writing and reading has always been a passion and I try my utmost to instill these habits and hobbies in my students as well. I can be reached/contacted at fabbas227@hotmail.com or 03365287335 Happy reading!

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