Sigh. I have a love hate relationship with technology. I love the amazing things that keep coming out, I love touch screens, I love iPods and I love that I can write posts like this and people I’ve never met can read it.
Yet I hate what it’s doing to the cornerstones of our culture. My CD collection is dwindling while my iTunes library is 5684 tracks strong, my bookshelves are full to breaking point but I look around me and I see so many people with eReaders in their hands, art is so readily available online that no one need go out and discover classics in galleries.
The very roots of our culture are being dragged from the depths of history and digitized in the superficial present. I’d rather go to a library than have one in my pocket, I’d rather go to the Tate Modern than stay in my front room and I’d rather crack open the cellophane on a brand new CD than click my mouse a few times.
However, this rant is not the main point it is merely a prelude to another reason I dislike technology.
It’s dangerous. Social networking, while keeping you in touch with friends it can also introduce you to strangers who might be dangerous. Your email can send a virus to your contacts and you might get your card details stolen while you pay for something online.
Yet this doesn’t even touch upon how dangerous the cyber world can be. While we use it to browse the internet, talk to people and do some research, others use it for their own malicious means and according to Eugene Kaspersky, who founded an internet security empire, we are on the brink of a cyber war.
Even Prime Minister David Cameron has piped up with regards to cyber terrorism. He states that not only is it ‘real’ but that it is also a ‘pressing concern’ and in the last Strategic Defence and Security Review £650 million was set aside to fortify defences against cyber terrorism.
Now if you’re there thinking ‘I bet it’s not that serious. It’s just a lot of fear-mongering’ then let me say that in the last two weeks alone two separate pieces of malware have been discovered targeting major industrial companies. If someone were to hack into and either control or destroy a major computer then they could control national infrastructure, which is anything from traffic lights to nuclear power plants.
Of course, the danger with the latter is pretty obvious, after all nuclear power plants are already dangerous enough without being in the hands of someone malicious. But traffic lights, could you imagine the chaos?
There’d be car wrecks everywhere and god knows some people are dangerous enough behind the wheel as it is.
Now, I’m not saying these threats are going to come into fruition tomorrow or even next week, but it is a reality that we might have to face soon.
But with technology everything is uncertain, while you’re on a computer you have no idea what another person might be doing on theirs. A person’s persona online can be completely different to theirs in real life. There are so many risks online that it feels it would be safer to cross the road without looking (not that I condone that of course. ALWAYS look left and right before crossing. The amount of times I’ve saved my friend from walking in front of a car and her excuse is often that she doesn’t have eyes in the back of her head!).
This is why I like burying my nose in my books or drowning out everything with music, they’re safe and they’re fun and with them there’s nothing to worry about…..apart from buying a new book or CD.