Should We Be Afraid of Science and Technology?
By Brent Haney
Should we be Afraid of Science?
The argument that, “should we be afraid of science and technology” has been around for a long time. It might not have the same vitriol as the Romanticists before us had, but with anti-vaxxers on the rise and climate change deniers taking root, it is a topic that is more important than ever. There is one piece of technology in particular that has been a subject of debate for years, as it’s grown in importance in our culture. The iPhone.
There are two sides to every argument, however. Corporations advertise that this new technology will help people with researching, entertainment, and more—what could be better? And, the new convivence that you now have a computer where-ever you go. That this new type of technology will not affect children’s mental performance, emotion levels, or affect their speaking skills at all. But, parents have a different story. Quotes such as “the iPhone is destroying my child’s brain! She is on that phone all the time!” or, “my kid is so impatient, if we wait for 2 minutes he gets upset,” and a bunch of other concerns. Most parents are saying that the iPhone is, in fact, affecting children. One side is saying that this invention has helped humanity greatly. The other is saying that this new technology is affecting generation of children greatly. Now that we have heard the argument we must turn to data and news reports.
What is The Data Saying?
According to studies, children around 3 to 6 years old should not use the iPhone for more than 3 hours a day. For example, the website https://www.livescience.com/61367-apple-smartphone-addiction-letter.html reports that, “Apple takes a direct and research-backed role in safeguarding the health of their youngest customers. The letter cites a collection of studies that show that as little as 3 hours spent on smartphones every day can harm children's physical and mental well-being.” But that does not affect the argument about technology being fearful since the parent was the one letting his or her child looking at phones. Especially since they are at a young age it makes since why the risk might be high for when children ages 3 to 6 are using apple products. The real question is how is the “new technology” affecting adults and teenagers?
This family across the street from my house in MN have conducted an experiment seeing how they would react when they are without their phones. Their goal is that they are supposed to play board games or card games every single night and only use computers for school once homework is finished, no computers at night. Their results were that everyone was in a happier mood. Everyone was calmer, easier to talk to, and everyone was happy. This affected not only 3 to 5 years old, but it also affected the teenagers and adults. Adults were using the phones for work and whenever they get notifications it would stress them out every single night and day, but when they stopped getting notifications, they felt calm. Teenagers were using the phone for entertainment, but they were watching said entertainment by themselves. The teenagers were sad that they were by themselves. Then when they were not alone, they felt much happier.
I do agree that we need to make sure that we need to be cautious about what humanity discovers because it might hurt our human body. We should take a page out of Mary Shelley’s book, and some things should remain undiscovered. However, I do understand that we need these types of tools. The iPhone is used for almost everything; entertainment, work, contacting people, and more. However, I believe we need to use these tools with care. It is not the fault of the iPhone. As a tool, it isn’t inherently good or bad. It is the fault of how parents or people use them. Taking another look at Frankenstein, the Monster could have been a decent living thing, if Victor had taken care of the Monster better than instead of being afraid. That is the problem in today’s society. We only want to blame, not take responsibility for our actions.
“Are IPhones Bad for Kids? Two Investors Are Urging Apple to Investigate.” LiveScience, Purch, www.livescience.com/61367-apple-smartphone-addiction-letter.html.