Ten Traits of Modern Technology Not to Hate

My mother-in-law gave me the article Ten Traits of Modern Technology I Hate by Michael J. Rayes and I read it mostly out of curiosity. Here's a link to the article. While I agree with some points in Mr. Rayes's article, I disagree with many of them. I'm probably about 10 years younger than Mr. Rayes (judging from his website and short biography) and I grew up at the tail end of Generation X. Although Mr. Rayes is well versed in technology, I believe I have a different, more positive view of technology because I grew up with it as an integral part of my life in the consumer sense.

So, without further ado, here are my 10 responses to Mr. Rayes's Ten Traits:

10. Technology has always created an "artificial" generation gap
Every generation in the 20th century has had some kind of technology that separates generations. When the car was invented, I'm sure the grandparents and parents who were used to horse-and-buggies had no clue how to drive them. Were their kids impatient with them? Probably. There was a generation gap. How about the first TV? Or how about the first radio? I'm sure kids were impatient with their parents who had to keep asking them how to turn on the device or change the channel (this still happens to this day, BTW). Kids will always be impatient with their parents or grandparents who don't know how to use modern technology. I don't think this is a generation gap that was artificially created by technology, I think it's a gap that has always been there and it will always be there.

9. Technology is easier for youth to learn
It's a fact that kids can learn better than adults do. This is not to say that adults can't have a well developed learning skill, and many do, but kids neurologically have an advantage. Because kids nowadays grow up with technology, they naturally can learn it better than adults do. This doesn't mean they're smarter, of course. But I believe it would be easier for a kid to learn hacking than a fully grown adult.

8. Technology is being treated better by corporate
Corporate personnel are constantly improving their relations with IT. I don't have IT experience with a big corporation, but the companies I've been with have been very favorable towards their IT personnel. Because technology is still a huge growth market and more companies are in need of good technology, corporate personnel are warming up more towards IT people. And it's up to IT people to stand strong for what they believe is needed.

7. Everybody must keep up with changing technology
Technology is constantly changing. IT people need to constantly keep up with more up-to-date technology and information. Is this any different from other professional careers? All professionals must keep up their education so they can perform their jobs more effectively. With the internet, keeping up-to-date with modern technology and information is much quicker and more accessible than ever. Yes, the tech sector changes more quickly than any other sector, but as long as the IT personnel like their job and have a desire to keep learning, they will keep up.

6. A casual workplace is just another workplace
When you're a programmer or technology worker who sits in his or her cubicle all day and doesn't have any meetings except with your manager, does dressing up really matter? It depends. Apple computer is one of the most innovative technology companies in existence and they have a casual workplace, and the CEO Steve Jobs has presentations in his jeans and turtleneck. Microsoft presents a more "professional" image with their CEO Steve Ballmer dressing in the traditional slacks, collared shirt, and tie. Both companies are innovative and professional. The way they dress in the workplace is not a factor in their work ethic.

5. Technology isn't broken, but it needs better quality control
Technology is improving all the time and companies are trying harder now than before to make technology more accessible for more people. The mouse is a perfect example. Sure, it's bad for the wrist, but more people use the mouse as their main interface with the computer rather than the keyboard. Technology companies are taking a cue from Apple and are now emphasizing usability and well thought out design . . . just look at how the cell phone industry has changed since the iPhone came out. Technology is still in its infancy and it will become more and more transparent as time goes on.

4. Using a computer is as social as using any other means of communication
Using email, instant messenging, chat rooms, and social networking sites (Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter come to mind) is real communication. Like the telephone for early 20th century people, the internet is just another means of communication. And I don't think hand writing a letter is really any more social than typing an email on a keyboard. Communicating on the computer is just another method of communication.

3. Addiction is a product of the person, not the object
Yes, it is easy to get carried away with technology. There's no arguing that. But addiction is a whole other subject. If someone gets so addicted to something that they exhibit the same symptoms of an alcoholic, then there's something wrong with the person, not the object of addiction. Not everyone becomes addicted to alcohol, and those that do become addicted have an addiction problem. The same is true of narcotics, food, and computers.

2. Technology isn't as expensive as it used to be, and it gets cheaper all the time
Technology and computers are constantly dropping in price. Netbooks are low cost laptops as low as $250. A complete desktop system can be bought for as little as $399 now. You can get a free cell phone with a service plan. And there's a huge used and refurbished market out there where older technology can be bought for much cheaper than the new price. Yes, technology is another fairly big expense. However, unlike other big expenses (like a new car), technology is constantly improving and today's $399 computers have more power than a $2,000 computer did a couple years ago.

1. Technology can connect people to God like nothing else before it
Cars help people get to church all the time, helping people come to Church to connect with God. Cars are man made from elements directly from the earth. Are cars less God's creation compared to horses pulling a buggy? Technology can't be made without elements from the earth, which was created by God, so to say a computer is less God's creation than linen (which is also man made) is absurd.
And there are many, many resources on the internet which can help anybody to connect more to God. There are websites about saints, there's a Catholic encyclopedia website, there are many websites on apologetics, and even the Vatican has its own website and YouTube channel. Technology makes it possible to connect with the Church and with God more now than at any other time in history. Like so many other times that God calls to His people, you need only seek Him in the right places.


Anonymous said…
Very well said, Jonathan!
It would be nice to see the original "Ten Traits" author's response to this.

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