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Pros and cons of technology

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Pros and cons of technology

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THERE IS NO DOUBT that the recent explosion in technology has brought enormous and largely beneficial changes to the way most people live, work and play.
But as has always been the case with human endeavour, this rapid technological advancement has also brought problems in its wake.
This has been especially true with the social media which, while making communications virtually instantaneous, have at the same time made it possible for the dissemination of information and misinformation with equal rapidity and extensiveness.
No one can seriously question their beneficial nature. Neither should we turn a blind eye or deaf ear to the negative purposes to which the technology has been applied.
Reputations have been, at best, damaged, and at worst, destroyed, through the technological devices and processes that have made the subjects of the communication victim of a system over which they have no control.
That’s because most people have access to a device that allows them to pass on dangerous gossip and malicious speculation that are often portrayed as “information”, without the purveyors having to subject the material to cross-checking and verification with reliable and credible sources, as is generally done as a matter of course with traditional and mainstream communications media, before rushing to hit the “send” button on their equipment.
As a result, not only public figures and celebrities, but also ordinary citizens going about their regular lives, have suffered.
The brutally painful truth is that most people who have been so offended have no chance of seeking redress of any kind, since such a remedial process is handicapped by the absence of legislation and/or sufficient funds and legal expertise to make such a recourse feasible and attractive.
Such a quandary has also come to confront Barbadians who have embraced the new technology with great enthusiasm and have also had to endure the negative factors resulting not from the devices themselves, but from how people have sought to use, misuse and abuse them with dire consequences for the subjects of these unwholesome practices.
One classic example of misuse occurred a few weeks ago when members of the Royal Barbados Police Force were sent on a wild goose chase trying to locate a “BB broadcast” that a young man had tragically fallen to his death somewhere in the urban Bayville, St Michael area.
Valuable time and energy were expended by the police, who were apparently bombarded with calls, only to eventually dismiss the whole thing as a hoax. A media house had also made matters worse when in its quest to break the news it informed the public about an apparent unfortunate incident.
It now clearly means that just like people in some of the more economically and technologically advanced societies, we in Barbados must stop believing that we are helpless, and start devising and implementing whatever frameworks are necessary to provide protection and redress for those at the receiving end.
Admittedly, there is usually some lag time between the arrival of technology and its discernible and experienced effects on society. However, we in Barbados have had enough experience with its side effects for the citizenry to start to demand that the powers that be protect the interests of the society at large.