Mishandling of Technology

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Article of Lt Col Atul Tyagi retd, Lt Col Atul Tyagi retd,– Lt Col Atul Tyagi retd – 

Introduction

On the whole, technology has been a powerful force in the development of civilization. As long as there have been people, there has been technology. Technology—like ritual & values is an intrinsic part of a cultural system. In today’s world, technology is a complex social enterprise that includes not only research, design, and crafts but also finance, manufacturing, management, labor, marketing, and maintenance. In the broader sense, technology extends our abilities to alter the world: to cut, shape, or put together materials; to move things from one place to another; to reach farther with our hands, voices, and senses. The paradoxes of modern technology however are endless. It has increased the  GNP & life expectancy but injected serious maladies like environmental pollution, deforestation, inequity, vulnerability to social & nuclear disasters & above all unhappiness.  Anticipating the effects of technology is therefore as important as advancing its capabilities. In many ways, technology simplifies life & makes life leisurely. In other ways, technology complicates life. Few grey areas caused due to technology:

Ø  Pollution

Ø  Congestion

Ø  Increased probability of some diseases and disorders, such as obesity

Ø  Social separation of singular human interaction.

Ø  Structural unemployment

Ø  Climate change

Science confirms that if something is not done immediately to stop the increase in the concentrations of these gases, there will be catastrophic consequences in the next few decades. Glaciers will melt, sea levels will rise, low-lying areas will be submerged, crops will be damaged, extreme weather events like cyclones and storms will become  more frequent. In short, the world will become a difficult place to live in and millions of people may lose their lives.

Adverse Impact Of Advancing Technology On Society

We are concerned for tremendously fast paced technology driven advancements which have galvanized the world spectrum but also introduced robotic & mechanised influences threatening the existence of human kind as such. Our present generation is suffering from multipronged malnutrition-social, physical, mental & spiritual. Most people appreciate technological advancements as the same has put the imagination into reality. Cell phones that acts like computers, makes work files & documents redundant, have now taken the world by storm. Internet has made newspapers old fashioned thus forcing very many illustrious news houses to shut down altogether because news is readily available for free on the internet. Modern technology has allowed people to communicate with just about anyone they want to, at any given time however the fact remains that people do not interact personally with one another as often as they used to. SMS have long time eliminated the requirements of personally wishing family members happy birthday or congratulate them on their recent success. This has created a barrier in personable, face-to-face communication amongst people. Technology has handed over the instrument named remote in the hands of humans which has made people lazier & laid back.

Technology has altered our attitude & lives. The frenzied pace of changes is now so fast that it has almost instilled tendencies to attack symptoms instead of warding off disease in graduated manner. Personally, we tend to live with short term plans instead of long term sustainable perspective. Instead we drive technology, the technology dictates to us as to how we should plan our lives. If a satellite is disturbed due to technical reasons, the relationships & human interactions may get jeopardised as the mobiles & phones will get affected. Social skills have already taken backseats because of overwhelming domination of technology. Small things, such as common courtesy, appearance, and our ability to network with others, have all deteriorated in the workplace. We may be effective in communicating electronically, but we are becoming complete failures in communicating socially.

Technologies Always Have Side Effects

It is not only large technologies—nuclear reactors or agriculture—that are prone to side effects, but also the small, everyday ones. The effects of ordinary technologies may be individually small but collectively significant. Refrigerators, for example, have had a predictably favourable impact on diet and on food distribution systems. Because there are so many refrigerators, however, the tiny leakage of a gas used in their cooling systems may have substantial adverse effects on the earth’s atmosphere. Well the same stands true for the air-conditioned systems. One man’s cool comfort is at the cost of suffering to many more.

Environmental Issues in technology

Most people today have access to goods and services once available to only few, for example- Transportation, communication, sanitation, health care &  entertainment. The growth of agricultural technology has ensured food for all but has also put enormous stress on the soil and water systems needed to continue sufficient production. Our antibiotics cure bacterial infection only to see new resistance cropping up which any require new invention.Our mining and manufacturing efforts produce our goods, but they also dangerously pollute our rivers and oceans, soil, and atmosphere. Ozone layer is already threatened which acts as a barrier to ultraviolet rays harmful to humans. The environmental consequences could alter crucial aspects of all life on earth. Human presence has already taken control of most of the space hardly leaving space to other species thus destabilized their ecosystems which ensures co existence & sustenance of food cycle.

Decisions About the Use of Technology 

One way in which technology becomes such an issue is when a person, group, or business proposes to test or introduce a new technology, for example vaccination, genetic engineering, and nuclear power plants etc.

The key questions concerning any proposed new technology should include the following:

What are alternative ways to accomplish the same ends? What advantages and disadvantages are there to the alternatives?
Who are the main beneficiaries? Who will receive few or no benefits?
Who will suffer as a result of the proposed new technology? How long will the benefits last?
What risks are associated with the proposed new technology? What risk will the technology present to other species of life and to the environment?
What people, materials, tools, knowledge, and know-how will be needed to build, install, and operate the proposed new technology?
What will be done to dispose safely of the new technology’s waste materials?

Industries have to operate, vehicles have to run and people have to use appliances. Developing countries need more and more energy to power their industries and increase other economic activities. Developed countries might not need to increase their energy consumption now but their current consumption is already very high. It’s a vicious cycle. Development needs more industries and machines, but these lead to increased emissions. Emissions are led by technology which has remained unguided & uncontrolled in the hands of individuals from the beginning thus becoming a threat in such small period of world existence. The unravelling of modern technology juxtaposed with human values, professional & social ethics would have ensured physical & spiritual contentment & well being & thus a better world. Vivekananda was pragmatic in saying that technology is food for material progress but the same got to be harmonised with spirituality in order to see inclusive growth of the world. Gandhiji believed that technology & economics could never have been contradictory to ethical parameters. We have to pay dearly to the mismatch of technology & human values as we witness today. A holistic & comprehensively ethical based approach only can help out the process of continuance of future generations otherwise we have not spared any effort in eating out resources of theirs.

Article of Lt Col Atul Tyagi retd, Lt Col Atul Tyagi retd,Lt Col Atul Tyagi retd
Certified Trainer
M.Sc, Masters in Management,LL.B
A retired Army officer possessing 26 years of rich & insightful experience in Indian Army, education & training management & Corporate. Presently working in Bhushan Steel limited, Orissa as General Manager-Administration. The officer is prolific in writing on subjects like Human values,Ethics, Human development, Soft skills & HR.

PUBLICATION/PARTICIPATION

Subject contribution- Humanistic Growth in Annual edition of Bharat Institute of Technology, Meerut 2009.
Participated as guest speaker & panel member in National seminar on ‘Stress management’ organized by IIMT approved by AICTE.
Participated in seminar as guest speaker on ‘CSR – periphery to core’ organized by BIT, Meerut approved by AICTE.
Subject contribution- working with values in Vision 2011 of Radha Govind Group of Institutions, Meerut
Subject contribution- CSR from Periphery to core in The Horizon- A journal of social Sciences no II/2011 Vol II ISSN-0975-5535. Jan 2011.
 Subject contribution-Back to basics in ‘The Horizon’ – A journal of social Sciences no II/2011 Vol II ISSN-0975-5535.Jul 2011.
Subject contribution – Leadership in the times of complexities & chaos in The Horizon – a journal of social sciences no II / 2012 Vol II ISSN – 0975-5535, Jul 2012.
Subject contribution- CSR from Periphery to core in The Horizon- A journal of social Sciences no II/2011 Vol II ISSN-0975-5535, Jan 2011.
Corporate Social Responsibilities – Issues & Challenges in India in International Journal of Management Research & Review Vol II /Issue 9/article 19/1656 -1667 ISSN 2249-7196, Sep 2012.
Corporate Social responsibility – Essential Pre requisite in Knowledge News- International journal of Ideas Vol IISSN 2231 – 0150 dated Feb 2012.
Participated as guest speaker & panel member in National seminar on ‘Stress management’ organized by IIMT, Meerut  approved by AICTE.
Participated as speaker & panel member on business strategies in ‘Post recession Era’ in IIMT, Meerut approved by AICTE.
Participated in National seminar ‘On creating value by embarrassing change’ & covered topic of Leadership during times of complexity & chaos organized by KITE group of institutions, Meerut approved by AICTE.
Delivered expert lecture in Faculty Induction Programme at Sharda Group of Institutions on Leadership, Impact of Attitude in life & Values & Ethics In teaching & management. 11 Jul – 4 Aug 2012.

Contact – : 
Lt Col Atul Tyagi retd
General Manager – Administration  & Training
Bhushan Steel Ltd , 4L, 902, AWHO, Gr NOIDA – 201310
Mob    :  9437165396, 9540652090,  e mail :  atultyagi100@gmail.com

 

19 COMMENTS

  1. A very well researced and professionally presented article by col tyagi on the basic problems being faced in the society by us adopting technology to modernise in the shortest possible time. Gains off course are there but for a miniscule part of the populace and the majority face the ill effects .

  2. A write up of this nature is the need of hour to strike at the collective consciousness of the people including me & you. We are perpetrators of the crime against the environment & the concept of the society. Congratulations to Col who has boldly put across his views as clear as crystal.

  3. Col Tyagi carries passion for speaking as motivator & now having gone through his writing, I can only say God grant him fame which he deserves.

  4. A prolific write up contributed by Col. He has tackled a contemporary issue which if not addressed in time may cause havoc to the mankind. Keep it up with passion with more contribution on wider subject lines.

  5. Dear Colonel,

    At the onset, my heartiest congratulations to the writer as the article is an out of the box thinking which seriously merits inclusion in our daily grind by the authorities dishing out licences without consideration to the chaos created in our daily lives by the IT parks where millions are employed, best visible in the increased traffic jams in remote localities and suburbs of all metros in India.
    The author’ s keen observation on lack of human touch in personal relationship, augmented by Tech advancements must not be taken lightly, lest we start blowing kisses amongst spouses on annivs. Tech savvy folks must bridge the geographic divide and replace the tech touch with physical compassion in sharing illness and happy moments of a short and uncertain life of their near and dear ones. I, for one know many couples who haven’t seen their grown up married kids for ages. Kudos for addressing a problem likely to manifest as an epidemic in the decades to follow. Ethics, like passion ignites life, the need for which has been explained by the author. Educated societies have created a passion for ethical behavior in all walks of life, whether our XYZ government replaces the passion for votes with a stronger commitment and passion to work ethically while dealing with Tech and in other fields of governance rather than boasting of good governance is a question which society must address, by protesting when brazen corruption throws ethics in the dustbin in the name of technology.

    Monish Gaur

  6. Col Tyagi is one who raises points of concern in extremely logical manner. I wish that he writes for more newspapers & take it as professional part.Keep it up.

  7. A write up which presents vivid account of some likely to be facts.Writer has presented it in unbiased manner.Such contemporary issues require to be taken note. Good article.

  8. Very nicely written piece. Makes us wonder how technology has changed our lives and how much limit it should be used in,so that it doesn’t change from boon to bane. Looking forward to hear more interesting articles from the writer.

  9. To me it seemed to cover the adverse impacts of technology…i am not aware of the constraints. it also seems that the author was working under few more restrictions viz number of words, time etc. It is well written within limits, could be improved upon.

  10. I have heard Lt Col Atul Tyagi on social subjects more than 2- 3 times at various platforms. He is voracious & passionate speaker who carries clarity in concept & vision. His contribution can do a lot for thought refinement of many.

  11. I must say i have not read such a thought provoking article in a long time. We should have more write ups by such gifted people in this space.

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