How would you characterize the dangers of modern technology? How do your concerns compare with Heidegger’s?

Technology provides immediate access to knowledge about everyone and everything. There are some groups who resent this accessibility and protect themselves from the influence of others. Because some of their group members do access knowledge with technology, these groups feel they need to retaliate to protect their ways of life. Conflict is created between different collectivities. Heidegger says , “It is also impossible to ignore these difficulties simply by ‘opting out’ of technology.” (Heidegger: The Question Concerning Technology | Overview) Opting out or censoring technology is a bandaid solution for dealing with disputes between people. If some members of a group decide to embrace technology and others do not, it becomes more difficult to find cohesiveness in the lifestyle of that group.

Technologies like social media have changed the way we interact in community. For every positive there’s a negative. What will the negative effects be? I wonder if relationships will become more superficial with everyone spending more and more time being plugged into their vast networks. Are we sacrificing quality for quantity? Even though some people may reveal themselves more rapidly and intimately using technologies, online relationships lack a spirit that is shared through spending time face to face. Will the positives of social media outweigh the negatives in the long run?

I think we were created to spend time in relationship with God, each other, and nature. One danger of modern technology is the possibility of never being separate from it. As humans, we need time to just “be”. I think the integration of technology in our lives encourages us to “do” and not “be”.

We create new technologies to help us solve problems and be more efficient. However, those new technologies just create new problems. Heidegger says that we “tend to think that by making the technology better–better able to ‘get things done’–we will master technology and solve the problems that accompany it.” (Heidegger: The Question Concerning Technology | Overview)

I think technology can be highly addictive and can control an individual’s life. We need to remember to use everything in moderation. As our society becomes more addicted to technology, we increase our chances of hurting ourselves if glitch in the system occurs. I think of the year 2000 and the millenium bug, when everyone thought our computer systems would break down. What kind of chaos would’ve resulted from that?

It is human nature to pursue immediate satisfaction. Using technology without conscious thought to the long term effects on the environment, community or individual is dangerous. “Modern technology which exploits and exhausts–in Heidegger’s terms, ‘challenges’–our planet’s resources.” (Heidegger: The Question Concerning Technology | Overview) As humans, we have insatiable appetites. I feel like we’re running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to stay on top of the newest gadget, to keep up with the Jones’ or not be left behind. However, there will always be new technologies because we will never be satisfied with what we have. As Heidegger observes, “The will to mastery becomes all the more urgent the more technology threatens to slip from human control”. (Heidegger: The Question Concerning Technology | Overview) In the name of progress, we will always try to get more and be better. In the meantime, life just passes us by.

Humanity’s overinflated sense of its power over the natural world will result in humanity’s coming to believe that humanity has control over all existence. (Heidegger: The Question Concerning Technology | Overview) I think Heidegger is saying that the creation of technology is feeding our ego as humans. We think we are unstoppable. Once in a while nature intervenes to humble us. I like how Heidegger shows the interrelationship we have with nature. We have the capability to control each other. It is dangerous to provoke nature with our technologies because we don’t know what the reaction will be. “If we reflect upon the enframing as the essence of technology, we will find not only that we are a part of the world, but that the world ‘needs’ us to care for it.” (Heidegger: The Question Concerning Technology | Overview)

Heidegger: The Question Concerning Technology | Overview Retrieved from:

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