Written by Connor Jewiss
Social media. Ads. Fake news. Is the ease and convenience of modern technology worth the propaganda? After all, what we scroll past doesn’t really change what we think, does it?
We often see the ugliest parts of modern technology in Sci-Fi horror stories. AI takes over the world, and robots are in charge of humans. As many technology experts, most notably Elon Musk, have said, this is becoming reality rather than only fiction. It’s often claimed that AI will ‘take over’ when it overtakes human strength. In this sense, AI has already taken over, as it has surpassed human weakness. After all, if you can beat the weak parts of any defence, you’re in. AI in the way of machine learning controls what we do on the internet all the time. The initial code that was written so you could scroll through your Instagram has changed itself to be more efficient – the definition of machine learning.
The internet is designed to give you more of what it thinks you want (which you usually do) so you stay on it for longer. And that’s the whole point; the code says it might be a good time to show you this ad, and ping! The longer you spend online, the more ads you see, and the more ads you see, the more companies benefit from your attention.
And then there’s the infamous fake news. It’s been reported that fake news spreads on Twitter six times faster than real news. The problem arises from people not seeing the same information in the first place. Readers see the stories that the internet thinks are most relevant to them. You can try it for yourself. Google: ‘Climate change is’, and then again with someone else. It’s incredibly likely you’ll both see different autofill results. When the internet is showing people the news it thinks they want to see, it’s because that’s what they already believe. So, is it any surprise that misinformation spreads across the internet six times quicker than any other kind of news?
But after all, what we scroll past doesn’t really change what we think, does it?
But it’s not all doom and gloom; don’t worry. We can’t ignore the good in the presence of the bad. Not everything on the internet is out to get you. Besides, it’s nothing personal. It can’t be, when we’re all seen as just a bunch of numbers.
We can’t ignore the fact that modern technology has brought us incredible benefits. For example, it has helped us to develop machines that can detect and help in the treatment of diseases which we could never treat before. It’s created a way to instantly connect and converse with others; particularly useful when we were all stuck at home. Technology allows us to instantly order a taxi from our current location to wherever we want to go. Technology can even help us find a future partner. Or gain work experience, helping us to make money while studying at university.
Modern technology has brought us all of these astonishing advances which continue to improve our lives. 50 years ago people wouldn’t have been able to imagine some of the things we can do today.
Being connected with those who are close to us is imperative to our day-to-day lives. It’s a basic human need, and, in the instances where physical connection isn’t possible, digital connection is what gets us through. Say, for instance, we all had to stay indoors for a number of months as a result of a global pandemic, and you can’t check in on your friends and family throughout those months. Or maybe you’re living on the other side of the world to everyone you’ve known your whole life. How much harder would that be if you couldn’t send them a text or pick up the phone? An impossible task. Granted, it’s not the real deal, but it’ll do when it needs to.
And of course, we’ve been brought all of this convenience to make our lives easier. Being able to hail a taxi instantly. Ordering food to your door. Finding your next romantic partner. And being able to find work to make you some extra money while you’re studying. This certainly makes our lives so much easier.
Not to mention, the medical advances we’ve made through modern technology have saved lives; no question about it. Being able to use a machine to help treat somebody who’s ill is undoubtedly one of the most revolutionary technological breakthroughs. When there’s so much good that we’ve managed to achieve, with a little bit of the bad and ugly hiding around the corner, surely we win.
How We Can Help
And as one of those apps that can help you with work and earning money, Phavour unarguably falls on the ‘good’ side of modern technology. Phavour connects university students with one-off tasks, freelance and part-time work in their local area. In a world where finding work, especially for students, is harder than ever before; technology that can ease this experience and provide assistance is no longer a pipe dream; it’s a reality.
If you would like to find out more, or have any queries, comments, or concerns; we would love to hear from you. Simply head over to the Phavour website to get in contact with the Phavour team.