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Benefits And Drawbacks Of Technology In Fahrenheit 451

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With the average adult in the United States spending around 8.5 hours a day looking at screens, technology has come to surround everything in our society, from phones that connect all of us together to the nuclear missiles designed to protect from terrorism. As technology continues to advance into uncharted territory, many people fear that technology will outgrow ourselves and our society will mirror the society in Fahrenheit 451. In Fahrenheit 451, the society was consumed by technology and all individual ideas like books were destroyed. For example, Bradbury writes, “‘Will you turn the parlor off?’ he asked. ‘That’s my family.’” (Bradbury 48). Mildred has been so consumed by technology to the point where she considers TV characters “family” and is entirely dependent on entertainment. However, unlike Bradbury’s book, modern technology aids our society in many ways. While technology is often thought of as a detriment to an intellectual and conscientious society, especially with the current social media culture, the benefits that come from technological advancements far outweigh the negatives; medical technology has improved the quality of our lives, military technology has protected our nation from harm, and cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology has enhanced our overall productivity and efficiency.

Some might say that the current social media culture is directly causing a decrease in intellectual thought and world awareness. It’s a common opinion that the easy, skin-deep amusement and distraction that social media provides can change the way people think and process information. This change can negatively impact a person’s ability to comprehend information that has deeper and more complex material. A New York Times article states, “The bias may very well decrease the frequency of analytical reasoning by making it easy and commonplace for people to reach analytical response without engaging analytical processing” (Inc). As a result of technology providing information and knowledge at the tap of a screen, a person’s analytical ability and skill can be used to a lesser extent. Social media apps like Twitter and Reddit are the sole source of many people’s news and information. Without the use of critical thinking in obtaining the answer, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that technology and the simple entertainment provided by social media can shrink a person’s analytical ability through the decay from lack of use and stimuli. Although many people think that social media decreases a person’s skill of critical and intellectual thinking, research shows that social media can improve a person’s intelligence and creativity. Monica Nickelsburg, an author for The Week, writes, “Research suggests social media can improve verbal, research, and critical-thinking skills. Young people spend far more time consuming new information, honing verbal concision, and interacting with a diverse audience than they have at any point in history.” (Nickelsburg). Refuting the counter-argument that social media makes people less intelligent and more simple-minded, Nickelsburg says that critical-thinking skills have increased with the rise of social media. Social media has greatly increased people’s time writing outside of the classroom; people spend hours every day on extracurricular writing like tweets, captions, emails, forums, and comments. Often thought of as “meaningless” activity online, this writing positively influences people’s critical-thinking skills. Even though the average American teenager spends more than 7 hours online every day (Rogers), teens today spend far more time consuming new information, improving verbal concision, and interacting with a diverse audience than they have at any point in history (Nickelsburg). Additionally, author Andrew Selepak for the University of Florida writes, “Social media provides a firsthand account of the biggest issues facing the world today from those directly impacted. As a result, increasing awareness of an issue is where social media can have the greatest impact” (Selepak). Since social media is repeatedly utilized as a powerful tool to protest and speak out, it serves as a means to an end by spreading awareness about important world issues. Social media has brought attention to causes like #LoveWins, supporting marriage equality, and #BlackLivesMatter, campaigning against systemic racism, when traditional media has failed. Additionally, many people use social media as a way of political protest and to raise money for charity. The #UmbrellaMovement was used to support the 2014 Hong Kong Protests and #Resist is used constantly as a way to show discontent towards President Trump. When the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral in 2014, over $220 million was raised worldwide to combat the disease ALS. Through the use of hashtags, people are able to reach new audiences across the globe in a single tweet. Evidently, people can bring positive social change by using social media as a means to raise awareness and promote solidarity for a movement. While many people say that social media culture corrupts individual thought and our conscientious society, evidence proves the opposite idea that social media increases people’s intelligence and collective awareness about world issues.

Firstly, medical technology has greatly improved our lives by providing us with the means to avoid preventable death and increase our quality of life. In an article about breakthroughs for type 1 diabetes, Laurie Toich writes, “We can now generate insulin-producing cells that look and act a lot like the pancreatic beta cells in our bodies. This is a critical step towards our goal of creating cells that could be transplanted into patients with diabetes” (Villa). Innovative medical technology has had invaluable benefits by helping people around the world live longer and healthier lives. Diabetes accounts for 12% of deaths in the United States and is the third leading cause of death (Toich). Instead of treatments like insulin injections that only treat the symptoms of the disease, growing new insulin-producing cells is a cure that fixes the root problem. The merger between technology and healthcare is responsible for saving countless lives from preventable death. Next, medical technology has improved the overall quality of our lives with the inventions like robotic prosthetics that aid and support people to live more comfortable lives. In an article detailing the advantages of prosthetics, the author writes, “One of the advantages of the robotic limb is that it will improve the lives of the people who would need one. Through the use of a robotic limb, people would be able to walk, grab and manipulate objects similarly how they would with their biological limb” (Okeowo). Robotic limbs aid people that have suffered from unfortunate injuries like war veterans and or even paraplegics. In the United States, there are 2 million people with amputations whose lives would be greatly improved through the use of prosthetics (Siek). This medical invention greatly improves the quality of disabled people’s lives by allowing them to do things like walk and become more independent in their daily lives. Robotic limbs can even allow people to live without the need for a caretaker or family member assisting their day to day tasks. Clearly, medical technology has priceless benefits that include saving lives and improving a person’s overall quality of life.

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Additionally, military technology has shielded our nation from harm and attacks from other countries while also protecting the lives of soldiers better. In an article from the Clinton White House Archives, the author writes, “Science and technology help to counter special threats such as terrorism that cannot be met by conventional warfighting forces, and they underpin the intelligence capabilities necessary to assess the dangers our nation faces” (National Archives). The use of technology in our military has protected our nation from acts of terrorism. For example, our military is easily able to counter threats of a nuclear bomb from North Korea. Without the superior military technology that we have today, we would stand susceptible and vulnerable to attacks from rival nations. New military technology is what enables the military to serve its purpose of protecting the nation’s citizens and territory from any threat. Equally important, military technology has improved the survival rate of soldiers. Dr. Gareth Evans comments, “Wounded soldiers today have the best survival rates in the history of warfare, with around 92% of those injured in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan returning alive. In Vietnam, it was just 75% and in other conflicts the statistics have been lower still, but, the chances of an injured warrior making it home have undoubtedly improved” (Evans). The benefits of recent military technology are apparent in the lives it has saved in Iraq and Afghanistan. New military technology like faster transportation to a trauma hospital and better battlefield tools has greatly improved the chances of an injured soldier returning home. Without this technology, many soldiers would not be able to make it home to their families. Evidently, military technology has improved our society as a whole by improving our capability to protect our nation and save the lives of soldiers.

Finally, cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology has enhanced our productivity and efficiency by helping people perform better at their jobs. Simran Arora asserts, “Artificial intelligence can benefit the economy by helping the evolution of work. Robots and AI will help people perform their tasks better, not take their jobs” (Arora). Economies, business, and industries all benefit from the use of artificial intelligence because the AI will help employees perform their tasks better, improving the company as a whole. The reduction of human error can save millions of dollars for a company. Artificial intelligence that can perform complex tasks, even ones that require human intelligence, will help humans have enhanced capabilities. Since the most important thing to a business is money, artificial intelligence will benefit by greatly helping increase profits. Likewise, artificial intelligence technology has also improved our productivity and efficiency by significantly expanding human creativity and ingenuity by handling tedious tasks. Also according to Arora, “AI enhances information throughput and efficiency, helping people create new opportunities. AI will handle all mundane tasks, such as data entry and answering emails” (Arora). With the time saved by artificial intelligence performing mundane tasks for us, people have the time to focus on important issues that can better society as a whole. For example, Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa save our time and energy by taking care of our schedules, telling us the time and weather, giving us news summaries, and overall providing a shortcut for our lives. Since AI is essentially a machine, it can work all day and provide the same level of performance each time. Artificial intelligence also is present in our cars; auto-drive and auto-park in advanced cars like Teslas are becoming more commonly used. Through the automation of mindless labor, society can utilize time to target core issues that AI cannot accomplish. The usefulness of technology is also apparent in Fahrenheit 451 when Faber says, “If you put it in your ear, Montag, I can sit comfortably home, arming my frightened bones, and hear and analyze the firemen’s world, without danger” (Bradbury 90). Even though Fahrenheit 451 advocates against the misuse of technology, when Faber gives Montag the green bullet to communicate with him secretly, the convenience and helpfulness of technology is seen. Though it is commonly used as a tool for the government in the book, technology can also be used for the rebellion. Overall, the advancement of artificial intelligence technology only brings benefits to our society like increased efficiency at work and better productivity without the need to perform pointless tasks that the AI can handle.

Even though some say that technology impairs our intellectual and attentive society, especially in the area of social media, the benefits that come from technological advancements far outweigh the negatives. Medical technology has improved our quality of life, military technology has protected our nation from danger, and artificial intelligence technology has increased our overall efficiency. While many people think technology is dangerous, technology is rather a means to an end, not the cause of the problem. Likewise, in Fahrenheit 451, Captain Beatty says, “No wonder books stopped selling. But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive” (Bradbury 57). In the book, technology is not the reason why their society declined; the people chose to become ignorant and simple-minded. While technology can be used as a method to the stagnation of our intellectual capacity, it can also be used to better society. However, in our society, the positive advancements of modern technology has had more beneficial effects overall than detriments. Clearly, technology has many important benefits that improve our society as a whole and the progress of our innovation should not be stopped out of fear and unease towards change.

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Benefits And Drawbacks Of Technology In Fahrenheit 451. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 27, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/benefits-and-drawbacks-of-technology-in-fahrenheit-451/
“Benefits And Drawbacks Of Technology In Fahrenheit 451.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/benefits-and-drawbacks-of-technology-in-fahrenheit-451/
Benefits And Drawbacks Of Technology In Fahrenheit 451. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/benefits-and-drawbacks-of-technology-in-fahrenheit-451/> [Accessed 27 Sept. 2022].
Benefits And Drawbacks Of Technology In Fahrenheit 451 [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2022 Sept 27]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/benefits-and-drawbacks-of-technology-in-fahrenheit-451/
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