Although a decade has barely passed since the invention of the smartphone as we know it, there are many people who can’t imagine their lives without being constantly connected to the global network we know as the Internet. This pocket-sized supercomputer has become such an important part of our lives that, as the joke says, some people when they fall and hear a cracking sound hope that it’s their bones, not their phones, that is broken. Millions of people across the country have smartphones in their pockets, updating their social media accounts, reading the news, browsing Betway sports betting, making payments, and shopping day after day.
Modern technology can truly make our lives easier. It is helpful, useful, sometimes even vital – but like all other things, it is not without a dark side.
The invention of the computer was one of the most important achievements in humanity’s history – on par with the discovery of the fire, the wheel, and the steam-powered machine. This time, in turn, the evolutionary step came in the way we store and access information. Modern technology increased productivity in almost all industries, shed new light on data collected over the centuries. It allowed us to create machines to do the heavy lifting for us, our workers to produce more goods than just decades ago, to be more productive and spend less time doing the same job. In short, modern technology makes almost every aspect of our lives better.
The problem is, we are becoming more and more dependant on modern technology in our everyday lives. Why would you need to calculate the sum of two numbers in your head when you have a computer in your pocket that will do it easier and faster than you ever could? Why remember any information when the same computer in your pocket will bring it to you with a simple internet search? New technologies are introduced day after day, storing and processing more data about the world, about our lives, about ourselves. And our rules and laws have trouble keeping up with them.
When Uber introduced its innovative ride-sharing system, the regulators in the US – the birthplace of many modern technologies – had a hard time handling this new service. The same happened in many other countries where the service was launched: on one hand, it clashed with the traditional transportation services like taxis, on the other, it has worked unregulated for a while because the lawmakers simply didn’t know what to make of it. This is the case with many other achievements of modern technology – they run rampant without any oversight.
Technology is evolving at a never-before-seen pace. New services are emerging as we speak – and neither our society nor our lawmakers know how to handle them.