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Technology: A master or slave?

By Bello John

Is technology a menace or a blessing? Are we truly the master of what we created with our sweats and reasoning? Does it still listen to our commands? Or the creation now controls the creator? Series of questions like this come into one’s mind whenever there is news that another form of technology has emerged.

Th is series of questions has brought about a debate as to “whether technology is a master or a slave.” Th ose who claim that technology is a master believe that human beings have become slaves to technology in the sense that their entire lives are fashioned and controlled by technology. In today’s world, there is virtually nothing that can be done without technology.

Th erefore, they believe that technology controls us rather than the other way round. Also, the negative eff ect and the abusive use of technology have led to increased crime rate and immorality. Th e use of modern computer which is very fast and accurate and can process data neatly and more effi ciently has displaced people indiscriminately from their place of work thereby increasing the rate of unemployment, also the use of seductive drugs which now act as the best means of controlling human attitude and social behavior are all examples of the fact that technology now controls us rather than the other way round.

Technology a science of engineering can also aff ect our brain and reasoning capabilities, a neuron scientist at Oxford University once said that “human identify the idea that defi nes each and every one of us, could be facing unprecedented crisis, a crisis that would threaten long held notions of who we are, what we do and how we behave in the society”

Th e use of specially formulated drugs, such as, “Prozac” to control our emotions, and paxil as an antidote for shyness further support the view that it is technology that now controls us meaning the essence has been abused. Th ose that believe that technology is a slave however maintain the fact that human being still have ultimate control over technology in the sense that it is human beings who developed technology and they decide how best to use it. Th e great eff ects of technology in our lives, ranging from farming to businesses, education and instruction to entertainment, religious activities to morality in the society cannot be overemphasized. In a discussion with Dr. Muhammad Jibril a senior lecturer of the Department of Computer Science, Bayero University, Kano however said, “Technology to him is very essential and the essence why it was created cannot be defeated since the creator is also the operator.

Th ink about the world without electricity darkness will ruin us. Tell me how can you even stretch your clothes before going for a particular function, imagine a religious prayer ground where you have thousands of followers listening to the encoder without a public address system?. In the economic eff ect, technology as in a great way increased the output of fi rms by making production easier and faster because with machines on ground, more quantities of goods can be produced within a short period of time. According to Mr. Saminu a lecturer Department of Mass communication said ‘in the fi eld of communication technology is magnifi cent; man had harnessed technology to carry messages from a sender in a particular geographic location to the receiver situated at another location immediately, think about government strategies without a means of communicating it with the people.

” In the fi eld of transportation, according to Mr Ibrahim the transport manager in God is Good mass transit imagine expressed his feelings that imagine a travelling from one part of the world to another without a means of modern transportation system, But with the authority of man over technology it is now possible to move from one place to another at a faster, cost eff ective and saver ways. Looking in detail to all these fact of technology in our life and cannot be compared with its adverse eff ects. It is sure that human beings still harnessed and control technology as they like, for instance “ROBBOTS” are now being developed to perform series of tedious and risky jobs which have caused death of so many people.

As an African proverbs will say Health is Wealth, technology has help us to identify the causes of diseases and how to prevent them and this has led to increase of life span of people. For those that say computer and technology has displaced people from their place of work, they should also remember that technology has provided job opportunities for them in a safer and less risky jobs like computer scientist, software engineering and so on. In fact it is easier to send message to any part of the world from inside ones room with the help of technology.

Technology has in the time past been our slaves because we developed, controlled and harnessed it according to our desire and it is going to be like that for the foreseeable future. Th erefore, technology should be seen as a tool, as a machine and also as a means of making life easy for people, the pessimistic thought that technology is our master should be totally disregarded. John wrote from Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University,Kano

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