Is technology a cancer or a cure?

Ask yourself this: is technology changing us for better or for worse?

This question has been asked and debated by the greatest minds. My take is that we are changing for the better. Technology is a major influence and necessary in today’s world. However, it’s a double-edged sword. It has just as much potential to hurt us as it does to help us, and most often that tech is found within our own homes.

In those cases, what do we do? I’m not suggesting we live off the grid. I’m not suggesting we let technology take over and run our lives for us. I’m saying we embrace and welcome the changes and benefits of our personal tech as well as keep in check the ways we’re hindered by it.

The advancements we’ve made in technology have propelled us forward in ways that have never been done before. Outside of the growth in the medical field, transportation and industry, tech plays a role in our own homes. Our smartphones have access to any information we may need to call upon in a moment’s notice. Our computers and phones make it easier to communicate with family, friends and work.

Those who have access to smarthome devices make living space more efficient and even helps homeowners save a little money from time to time. Having a security system helps us feel safe when we’re home and away. Personally, my devices help me with organization, reminds me when to wake up, go to sleep, helps me stay motivated to accomplish a goal, and often when to get up and stretch my legs if I’ve been sitting all day.

All in all, our tech has made life easier, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s difficult to imagine a world without it. However, that said, what can be pulling us forward can also be our downfall.

We rely on technology to do things for us. Nearly everyone in the United States, and many other parts of the world, have a smartphone or a computer of some kind. We rely on them to tell us the time, teach us something new, and make us laugh when called upon, but is it possible that we rely on and use them too much?

Chelsea Greenwood, a writer for Business Insider, highlighted ways that our personal tech has been downgrading humanity. Posture is poorer from slouching over devices, poorer eyesight, insomnia, addiction, sedentary lifestyles, relationships suffer in some cases, and we’re becoming less self-sufficient.

These are just a few and are a result of us spending excessive time on our smartphones, computers, TV or other devices. Consider this: if this is the path we’re on now, imagine how much worse will it be in five, 10, or 20 years from now. Will we find ourselves interacting with each other at all? Will we give in and let our tech do everything?

The human experience is all about being conscious and living life. How much can we live if we let the tech do it for us?

Please do not misunderstand, I’m not saying technology is bad, it’s not. That said, I didn’t use the term “double-edged sword” lightly.

Take the time to examine your uses of tech, both personal and professional, and decide where it is necessary and where it is not. Continue to introduce technology into your life, but make sure it’s there for the right reasons. Take the time to consider when you can put your phone, computer, or the remote down and perhaps do something better. Let us grow together with our advancing technology, and not let it grow on us or for us.

BRETT NELSON, Provo