Computing 2017, Computers 2017

Computer Aided versus Computer Addled

Are you computer aided or are you computer addled, that is the question. Is your smartphone, laptop or PC actually helping make your life better or are those things, in some way, helping to deteriorate a variety of your abilities? Or, perhaps, you are being helped and hurt at the same time.

Before we continue, it might be good to think of technology like medicine. Used in the right amount, the right dosage, it can work to make us better. However, too much medicine often proves to be poisonous and it can hurt us and even kill us.

Can you go a day without using some form of computer – this includes your smartphone?

When traveling somewhere by car, can you navigate using a map or do you need GPS?

When you need to do basic arithmetic, can you do it in your head, do it using a pad and pen or do you usually find yourself grabbing for a calculator – perhaps one on your smartphone?

Do you remember the phone numbers of people you dial frequently or is all that information in your smartphone and only available to you by using autodial or looking it up?

How are your spelling skills? Do you tend to spell things correctly or do you rely on a computer based word processing program to correct your spelling errors?

Do your friends tend to be people you meet with, eat with, do activities with or are your “friends” people with whom you share snippets of text with online?
There is no doubt that technology can enrich our lives. However, technology is a tool. Like a hammer, we can use it to build things of great value or we can use it carelessly and hit ourselves in the head with it.

As I am fond of saying, technological innovation without philosophical evolution is not progress.

I am not anti-technology. I am pro human beings. And I believe technology, used appropriately and in right measure, can enhance our lives. However, too much reliance on technology can diminish the human experience.

Simply put, the goal is not smarter phones and dumber people. We can improve ourselves using technology, as long as we employ it as a useful aid, rather than letting it become our master.

Image courtesy of [steafpong] /

*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.

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