The downside of tech
BUSINESS MATTERS (BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE) - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - September 26, 2020 - 12:00am

I love gadgets. If you look at my home, you will see gadgets and devices of different kinds. My daughter-boss Rachel says I am “very techie,” she may be half-right about that. I love using gadgets, but I do not have the patience to learn how to configure it, but she does, and she is so good at it.

I remember how excited I was with phones many years ago as phones got smarter and smarter. I would not miss out on the latest phone with the latest features. Now that we are at that time of the year when phone companies start introducing their “best phone ever made,” I got to think a little bit deeper about this. Why am I not that excited anymore?

I find my phone indispensable, and I do a lot with it. But today, something within my subconscious has realized what my phone has done to me. I have a feeling that I love what it does and can give FOR me, but I do not like what it has done TO me. And it is not just phones; it is the whole of technology. I appreciate what technology can do for me, but I have seen how it has affected many. Phones, the web, and tablets are mere tools; they are not of itself bad. All these are moral-neutral. But what people have done with it messes up things. What was meant for productivity and truth dissemination has resulted in robbing people of meaningful time and activities and replaced truth with falsehoods and fake news.

Technology enables quick access and facilitates the spread of both the good and the bad. Negativism is a lot more prevalent today than it did a decade ago. Today it appears that we no longer own our devices, but our devices have owned us. Today, the argument is that individuals did not have the means to express their views and opinions in the olden days. True. But have you ever considered that with technology, there are just so many people who are holding and expressing passionate opinions about things and issues they know very little about? As one philosopher would say that these people rant, rave, and grunt and express their views so strongly, but they are just a few questions away from their entire worldview collapsing.

Worst is, the uneducated opinions laced with spicy words and strong pathos are passed on to many, and soon, the whole thing gathers clicks and fame, are now assumed as “truths.” Talk about the “wisdom of the crowds?” Technology makes this happen. Here are a few thoughts I want to share with you that I hope can help equip us to use technology more carefully and responsibly.

1. THE RANTING, THE CUSSING, AND THE BASHING IN SOCIAL MEDIA DOES NOT ADD VALUE TO YOU OR ANYONE.

Young people comment (some politely and some ignorant of what politeness means), “But Francis, are we not to express our voice and speak out the truth?” Of course, you are entitled to your opinions and views but have you done due diligence in ascertaining the truth from what is not? If not, then your voice is mere noise, and it does not help.

2. THE QUALITY OF YOUR WORK IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE QUANTITY OF YOUR “LIKES.”

Sometimes, good work is not immediately recognized, and there are many instances when shabby and unreliable work gets a million “likes” and clicks. Do not seek instant validation. But you continue to churn out quality work. Never allow the quantity of “likes” to shape the quality of your work.

3. MANY THINGS ARE HAPPENING BUT ARE NOT.

“Breaking News.” News follows you, conditioning you to believe that there is always something happening that pumps up your heart, robs you of peace, and puts you in a state of perpetual agitation. You encounter endless triggers for outrage, anger, sorrow, empathy, and disappointment that older generations never had. Still, wonder why many young people struggle with mental health issues, and a great more are not doing well in emotional intelligence?

Use technology and refuse to let it use you. Be wise and be discerning, and when you come across a dramatic item, do not share or pass it to others. Be responsible. You never know how damaging that item might be, as it could trigger someone who is not mentally healthy enough to handle it.

(Connect with Francis Kong at www.facebook.com/franciskong2. Or listen to “Business Matters” Monday to Friday 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. over 98.7 dzFE-FM ‘The Master’s Touch,’ the classical music station.)

 

 

TECH
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with