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Avery CrowerDecember 4, 2018Period 2Dangers of TechnologyOver the last decade, technology has done nothing but advance, and people, especially teenagers, have become very accustomed to using it in their everyday lives.  Gadgets such as cars, phones, and computers have all been created over time to make our lives easier and more efficient.  Yes, times have changed and this newfound technology may seem like it is doing nothing but good, but are we becoming so dependent on technology that it is taking over our lives?Smartphones have revolutionized the way we communicate. There is an immediate response on all platforms, such as find your friends using GPS, texting your parents that you’ll be late, or even jumping on Snapchat to kill an hour. These and many other examples have all made our lives easier, more entertaining and provide an endless, short term, dopamine driven feedback loop that satisfies our desires to be liked, hearted and commented on. Let’s be honest…it’s become an addiction. Ask a friend if they’d choose between relinquishing their smartphone forever or losing a pinky toe? What do you think their final answers would be? How do you feel when your battery dies or you’re at 5% and you’re nowhere near a charger? I know I feel disconnected, anxious and desperate to get back online. If you can go without your phone for a week…congratulations, you’re not addicted. But what about the rest of us?First, I’ll start with the concept of artificial intelligence and how it affects our society. In a report released by the LA Times last year, “more than a third of U.S. jobs could be at high risk of automation by the early 2030’s”. These estimates are based on the anticipated capabilities of robotics and artificial intelligence. Self-driving cars will replace human drivers someday, including truckers (1.6 U.S. million jobs), service drivers like taxi’s (180k), Uber/Lyft (400k), school bus drivers (500k) and transit bus drivers (160k) for a grand total of 2.84 million job losses and that is only in the auto-industry. Robotics and new technology have also hit the fast food and restaurant industry, where rising minimum wage has created a demand for automated order taking, automated burger assembly, and automated French fryers. While a number of restaurants have already replaced some jobs with technological creations, the head of Carl’s Jr. has expressed a keen interest in kicking all human workers to the curb completely. These automated machines are never late, never get sick, never apply for workers comp, and never steal from the register. Other than the replacement of human drivers and restaurant industries, the replacement of phone operators, warehouse employees, researchers, pilots, doctors and so much more are being assisted by robotic instruments, which will slowly turn into the robots being assisted by the humans.On to the next topic, cyberbullying. When our parents were in school, the definition of a bully was basically the big kid, two grades older, who stole your milk money. He was a real person who had a real name. Of course, those Neanderthals still exist today, but now its evolved into “cyber bullying” defined as using the internet to intimidate, threaten or humiliate another individual. This can happen to individuals at the same school or it can happen to people from different countries. There’s no borders to cyber bullying and it’s basically anonymous. According to, “Over 80 percent of teens use a cell phone regularly, making it the most popular form of technology and a common medium for cyber bullying.” Technology, specifically the internet and its apps, has created an ecosystem where you can be virtually nameless and proceed to bash anyone you don’t agree with, seek revenge, shame or even drive someone to suicide. In the past, a child may have only had to deal with one bully, but online, one bully may be able to send an army of bullies after a victim. A bully with a lot of followers on a social media site or online forum can quickly send large numbers of those contacts to harass and attack a victim. Some bullies have been known to share embarrassing photos or personal information of their victim publicly, which can inspire others, even strangers from across the world, to bully the victim. Fending off one or a small group of bullies at school is bad enough. Fending off dozens, hundreds, or thousands of bullies online is a whole different ball game.In conclusion, technology has definitely improved our lives, but at what cost? Job losses, suicide, addiction, loss of social norms and decency when behind a keyboard… I know I may seem as a hypocrite because I’m guilty of embracing technology, but as technology continues to evolve, it’s making our lives more chaotic in the process. Thank you!

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