Are we dependent on computers? NO!

Lilly one of my coauthors already introduced you to this hot topic in her post yesterday. She gave you an extensive and impressive lists of arguments that seem to prove that we are dependent on computers.

So how come I am arguing against it?

To be honest at first I reacted just how I imagine everyone else is going to react

“Of course we are dependent on computers!”

This is a natural reaction since today in our society we use computers every day, not only to do research but also to communicate and socialize.

But don’t judge too quickly! Let me ask you this:

What about the people who do not have a computer and what about the time where computers were not invented yet?
Somehow these people seemingly miraculously managed to survive.

In the beginning when computers were first developed it was mostly the military and government using them. The first Personal Computers were not introduced as late as the 1950s. Now it is the year 2012. That’s roughly 60 years with computers compared to almost 2000 years without them – and that’s only starting from our timekeeping. In reality humans have manged to survive for millions of years. So how can anyone say we are dependent on computers?! We developed towards computers but they are no necessity like air, food or sleep!

Although everyone agrees that computers play an integral part in our society today and things would be a lot more complicated, take longer, be more inconvenient and some would downright be impossible without them I believe we would still be able to function!

Our generation believes that computers are a life necessity. But that is simply because they developed at such an incredible speed that now we are used to life with them. I will dare going so far as to say that most of you reading this cannot imagine life without them.

On the other hand we have people like my dear grandmother, 92 years old, who has lived through WW II without ever touching a computer in her entire life – and still she lives in our society by herself and gets along just perfectly.

My conclusion: We are not dependent on computers to survive in this world,but we certainly would not be as evolved as we are today without them.

Nonetheless Lilly rightfully lists these advantages of computers in her post:

  • communicating everywhere
  •  studying more comfortable
  • doing business more efficient
  • new offers of entertainment
  • saving lives in critical situations

Computers not only hold these advantages but indisputably offer immense possibilities. You find them everywhere and they are a mean of making our everyday life easier, but do they also make our life better?

Joseph Weizenbaum, a German-American author and professor of computer science at MIT, strongly advises that humans should set limits for the developement of new technologies. Furthermore George Orwell, an English novelist and journalist, warns readers in his dystopia “1984” of the danger new technologies carry with them. If we take their assumption and go one step further we can ask ourselves:

Would the world be a better place without computers?

Researchers today tend to believe that many people lose previously common abilities when working with computers. These include but are not limited to spelling or mental arithmetic – The standard way of thinking: Why bother if the computer does it for you?!

In addition computers are known to create antisocial behaviour or at least reduce social interaction. Studies show that instead of meeting friends young people increasingly stay inside, play computer games and chat on facebook.

This directly leads to another bad impact of computers – people practice less and less sports and group activities.

Just ask yourself how much time do you spend on your computer?

Moreover scientist believe that the constant availability we now live in can be very stressful for individuals and consequently lead to a spreading of psychological illnesses. This reminded me of when I first got my new smartphone. I was not prepared for the constant ringtone of yet another email or whatsapp message every five minutes. I felt like I couldn’t relax, so I started turning my phone of for 3 hours every day, which relived me enormously.

In the end I found that maybe the question we truly have to ask ourselves is not are we dependent on computers but do we even want to be?

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About Nicpic

My name is Nicola but I usually go by Nicky. I'm 21 years old and study International Business Management at the HWR in Berlin. Before moving to Berlin I spent a year traveling around Southeast Asia as well as Australia. I am very passionate about different cultures, languages and exploring the world, which is partially due to the fact that I lived in Jakarta, Indonesia for four and a half years. Apart from that I am a huge music fan and love doing all sorts of team sports, whether it's Basketball, Soccer or Volleyball. Fastexposure is my first Blog, which I am really enjoying so far! I try to offer a great variety of topics always with a hint of humour and some personal experiences since I find those stories are easier and more enjoyable to read! Still I hope I can also always offer some interesting new facts. If you have any further questions,input, ideas or would like to be included as a part time Blogger just contact me! Cheers and enjoy our Blog!
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5 Responses to Are we dependent on computers? NO!

  1. katharinakueppers says:

    Very very nice idea to connect your post to one of your ‘blogmates’. It makes me curious as to what your ‘blogmate’ wrote, I’m gonna go and check hers out too, right after leaving this comment 😉 I enjoyed the pictures you chose to portray your opinion, I think they were very well chosen! I have thought about this topic very often, too. I think that computers are necessary to keep up the standart of living we developed in the ‘western world’. On the otherhand I think that this development is very scary. Kids don’t play outside anymore, but sit in front of gameboys and computers (nice picture for that). When I remember my childhood I remember climbing trees and playing with dirt, not electronic devices. But I think that development is mostly their parents fault, they don’t want to bother with having an eye on the children playing outside, but rather quieten them with a gameboy…
    I think your rhetorical question at the end was a really nice finish and stimulated the reader to further think about this topic.
    However actually I think it would have been nice if you included a few more facts, to give the article a little more substance, f.e. how many computer exist around the world or how many people own one or more than one.
    Just a little proposal for an even better post next week 🙂

  2. lilmeu says:

    Hey Nicpic!
    Although I´m of a totally other opinion with respect to this issue, I have to admit that I also really like your blog post and style of argumentation. As I already said while our discussion, I cannot imagine to find some GOOD contra arguments against the question “are we dependent on computers?” But you disabused me.
    Right now I´m rethinking my opinion about computers. Of course, I still think that we somehow are addicted to computers and technology in general. However, I really agree with you when you state that people survived 2000 years without computers! Food, water, air, a house/flat and security are the main vital factors which are necessary to survive. But please note that those people never got to know a computer. I´m of the opinion that you can survive without an object easier, if you never were in contact with it. Personally speaking, I was somehow afraid about diving because it´s a very risky sport and you may die, if you make even small mistakes. Finally, I was persuaded by my family to do my diver´s license; and it became the greatest and most impressive experience ever! I cannot imagine a life without diving. Of course, I do not dive every year (because it´s a quite expensive sport). But I think you get my point. If I never had tried to dive, I would not be somehow “dependent” on it. Don´t be afraid, I´m not an “adrenalin junkie”; it´s more about a passion I would never have experienced, if I had stack to my fear.
    Maybe my personal experience is not comparable with the addiction to computers but I just wanted to point out this phenomenon that you are dependent on something easier, if you get to know it.
    All in all, nice blog post, Nicpic! 🙂

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  4. tankennethhh says:

    I enjoyed reading the two contra blog posts. And especially your point on how we had survived for the past 2000 years without the computer. But it is still hard to combat the fact that computers are all around us now, everywhere you turn. The whole Financial structure is dependent upon on Computers, as well as the Government and think about our BusApps class. I would like to see Dr B teach without a Computer. Society as a whole is dependent on computers, I do not see us moving back to primeval days. If we follow Moore’s Law(http://www.webopedia.com/term/m/moores_law.html), we are moving towards more technology and even more computers. It would be hard not to say that we are moving towards Computer dependence.

  5. Nicole says:

    Hi Nicky! First of all: Well done!
    You should know that I love the topic you and Lilly talked about: Dependancy on computers! This is something I recently thought about but rather in the direction of “a world without internet”.
    Anyhow, thumbs up for your approach! Here I can just repeat what tankennethhh already said: It is interesting that you both wrote about the same topic but with different points of view and that you include the fact that we survived 2000 years without computers. Also, I liked your description of how your grandmother survives without a computer, it adds something personal.
    Similar to you, I often feel sometimes a bit “overconnected” and addicted to the computer, the internet and my smartphone.
    Nevertheless, I think that there are worse dependancies than the one on computers;-)

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