Much has been written lately about the insidious dangers of social media and the Internet. Areas of concern are how we read, think, research, and how we relate to others both online and offline. Some evidence exists to indicate Internet use fundamentally changes the way we read and think, perhaps even compromising our intellectual abilities. People become overattached to their Facebook page and email at the expense of being engaged in the real world with the person sitting with them at the dinner table.
I have heard all these ominous prophetic warnings. I have seen the shots fired across the bow. I do not discount them. They all raise valid concerns. Nevertheless, I am one who affirms we must not fearfully run from our technology, but rather we must confidently control our technology. We must understand the pros and cons of our technology. That understanding should then inform our paradigm of technology. We must intentionally manipulate our technology to serve us, while protecting ourselves from all its pitfalls and dangers.
Our technology should always be our servant and it should never be our master. If your technology has become your master instead of your servant, then you have a problem. If your technology has remained your servant, then you have no problem.
Think about how you read, think, and research. Consider how you relate to others online and offline. Assess the quality of your people skills. Analyze your interpersonal relationships. Ask yourself the question: Have I integrated technology into my personal and professional life in such a manner that everyone benefits?
For everyones sake, I genuinely hope you have. HAL must not prevail.
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