Is today's society controlled by technology?  When you evaluate the question whether or not society has become "controlled" by tech, the answer seems obvious — yes we have. But are we really? It's not so much that technology has become so developed that it makes decisions without human input and has "taken over".  It is more or less people heavily using technology by their own volition.

In some ways, we've become so dependent on tech, it can be said we've allowed it to dominate our lives. Overall, we give the commands to technology and computer systems and/or devices simply to get the job done. Or, we use it to make live easier and also to tap into the other advantages it offers. There is no doubt technology has enhanced our lives in many ways.

Connected world
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Our world is filled with technology everywhere we turn. Do we control it, or does it control us?

Today's Tech Dependencies

As we continue to invite technology into our lives we, over the past few decades, have steadily nurtured it to grow. As a result, it has matured and become immersed in most aspects of life. How many of us are dependent on the Internet? How many of us find ourselves constantly checking our mobiles or unable to go out without carrying it? 

How many people would have a hard time living without electronic entertainment? Whether it is a mobile phone, iPod, video game console, television or other gadget, for many people, these devices are a part of daily life. 

Many people cannot envision life without having access to the technology in which they've become accustomed to. Statistics in recent years seem to support this trend. One study says people collectively look at their mobile phones 8 billion times a day - and this particular study covers just the United States. [3] Imagine how much higher that number would be if the global population were to be added to these results? Or if tablets, computers, laptops or other devices were also included in this figure?

mobile and apps
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How many of us use multiple screens at once? If phone use statistics are so high, imagine how high this number would be if all the technology we use is figured in?

Additionally, businesses and social lives use technology to run themselves and life has evolved to the point where it depends on tech's existence and availability. When a computer system goes down or a smartphone is lost or broken, we are halted until things are fixed and/or up and running again.  Overall, we've become accustomed to the convenience and ease of everything being available at our fingertips. People even sometimes react with panic if one of these services or an Internet connection suddenly becomes unavailable. What happened to the days when we were self-sufficient and knew how to manually complete tasks?

Technology has provided society with a great number of benefits, but with it does come a cost. By giving technology the opportunity to run the show, in many ways haven't we lost sight on how to do these tasks on our own?

That being said, how far should we let our technology dependencies go?

Have We Become Too Complacent?

The way technology has crept into society — has it become a partner with dependency? Society has reached the point where it is so used to technology running things, how often are we even aware of its existence? For instance, we walk up to ATMs to get cash, probably giving little thought to how this transaction actually takes place. We log onto the Internet, pay bills, do banking and shop, and all of these transactions seem to magically occur. Not to mention all the other machines we use and/or rely upon on a daily basis.

Credit: Leigh Goessl

The invention of ATMs opened up a whole new world for us back in the day, especially considering banking hours were no longer limited to 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and, if we were lucky, maybe a few hours on a Saturday morning. Who would have thought a couple of decades later technology would really take off and open round-the-clock access to not just banking, but so much more in our daily lives?

Do We Allow Tech to Do 'Too Much'?

Some might say technology has "dumbed down" society, has it really? It is not that technology has depleted our brain cells (well, relatively speaking...), especially considering the fact humans have created the very automation which "runs" (or tracks) us, this is innovative in itself. Not to mention we continue to further develop tech with the goals of making further improvements in our daily lives.

Society has cultivated, grown and encouraged technology's integration, welcoming it with red carpet treatment. The problem is we've become less aware of its existence and rely upon it rather than use our own judgment most of the time. Perhaps therein lies the real problem?

And tech has provided a great number of incredible benefits to society. Although, in many ways, it seems society is content to allow tech to run the proverbial show and, as a result, we've become very much dependent on it. Dependent to the point where, in a sense, perhaps we are "controlled".  However, we do have the power to live upon our own free manually performed and gadget-free will, but, for the most part, we choose not to.

Technology is here to stay, and it is moving at a rapid pace. But does it really control us? Not really. At least not yet. It will only control us as much as we let it. This is probably something to keep in mind as new tech developments arrive and technology gets "smarter" and more integrated into our homes and lives. Progress isn't going to stop, it can't.

However, do we want to live in a world that is completely run by technology?