The this topic is because in recent years,

topic I have chosen for my IGCSE Global Perspectives Component#1 is Digital
World. The sphere that I am highlighting under this topic is “have technological advancements reached a limit
by which they can be called harmful”. The reason why I have selected this
topic is because in recent years, critics worldwide have raised arguments on
the reliability of the role of technology in the life of the average human.

One of the most contentious modern-day controversies
is technological advancement. We simply cannot imagine our day to day lives
without cell-phones or washing machines. We have made our selves habitual of
finding shortcuts and alternatives in order to make life easier for ourselves. But
here we must scrutinize our habits to judge whether or not we have been carried
away too far.

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The progression of new technology has been
taking place since the existence of the human race. From the creation of basic
tools like the knives, sickles and harpoons made out of rocks and stones for
hunting, to contraptions like the first steam engine or the typewriter.

The advancement in technology has been remarkably
fast in the 20th and 21st century. Technology is being created and improved all
the time. Considering this rapid pace of up gradation, it was most probable
that along with the positive attributes of these new advancements, people would
also begin to consider a critical analytical approach of the negative aspects
of new technology.

Every day miscellaneous companies
manufacture something more advanced in an attempt to win the highest purchase
rates against other competitors in the market. This consumerism is compelling
the rate of advancement more rapidly each year. The creation of the iPhone by
Apple is an example of this. All of a sudden people could call, text, browse
the internet, listen to music, watch videos and click photos all in one place.
No other cell-phone company in market could compare to it. This was certainly a
positive, seeing that people could use the phone to store data for work,
education, entertainment. But it was only a matter of realization before the
negative claims began as well; too expensive, quick battery power loss and
could a device like this stop face to face communication all together-to name
just a few claims.
Technology will always have negative aspects because it depends on what the
purpose of the technology is and who is making use it; Albert Einstein once
said ‘Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological
criminal’. 1

One of the greatest negative claims
observed on past years was against the advancement of gaming technology. A
video game called Grand Theft Auto was released in October 1997. The game was based
on violence. It included stealing cars, killing and hurting random people, to
more offensive content like the prostitute characters. Computer games were cast
aspersions on after an incident in the USA with a teenage boy who shot at two policemen
and a dispatcher, killing them in 2003. He had once before been brought to the
police station on suspicion of driving a stolen car, which is something that repeatedly
occurs in the game series. The media described the incident in such a way
‘Lawsuit: ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Led Teen to Kill’. 2 Predictably, the blame was levied on the
technology and the companies who created the game. “What has happened in
Alabama is that four companies participated in the training of Devin … to
kill three men.”3 This kind of media attention can be
seen to support the negative claims made by Jacques Ellul, a French
sociologist. He viewed ‘technology as an irresistible, mysterious force’ 4 he continued in calling it ‘menacing’ 5 and ‘has an ability to change every aspect of life that
it encounters’ 6. Concerned authorities were inspecting how the game was
changing and disrupting the young boy’s life, they quoted him to have said ‘Life
is a video game. You’ve got to die sometime.’7 This
depicted how this technology has twisted the boy’s mental state and changed his
outlook on life itself, that it is nothing but a game. The technology has taken
over the boy and controlled him into committing such an act of violence. Ellul
also described technology as ‘some kind of living breathing monster, out of control’


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