Fighting Back Against Technoligism


Here I thought I was making up a word and then I found that the Oxford English Dictionary actually defines it as "Belief in the power of technology to shape or improve human society".

So much for being original.

But that wasn't the point. The point was that we are now fighting back against the popular consensus that seemed to dominate for a while that technology was the solution to all of our ills. It was even going to lead us to the future in education.

I have already made my case in opposition to that idea in a previous post in this blog. But what caught my eye recently was a story from a local TV station that jumped at me through my Twitter feed. When I saw that Apple investors were insisting that something be done to address the high levels of addiction that many kids now have to their screens (including iphones and ipads), I was surprised. The New York Times had a more thorough piece which documented the growing concerns of many regarding tech addiction with young people and the expanding corpus of research that indicates that all this tech poses some very serious social and emotional problems.

It can be very alarming. But what is one to do? I mean, after all, isn't technology the wave of the future? Isn't the future now? Won't I be setting up my kid for failure if they can't navigate all of the gadgets, apps, and machines that will be needed in the workplace of tomorrow?

Well, this is where I would suggest that an education that is more centered in the liberal arts will provide the greatest benefit for the future. The ability to think deeply, to problem solve, and to work with others will always be necessary for any profession. The classical approach, offering the ability to read well, write well, speak well, and think well will always be needed. Yes, having a working knowledge of certain technological skills is valuable. But it is not more valuable than learning what it means to be fully human. To be formed in wisdom and in virtue.

Photo courtesy Google Search and Office Space

We don't need to destroy all of the machines. But we can't let the machines destroy us. There is a certain essence that exists by simply being human. That's something that can't be learned from a machine. It is learned from the experiences and thoughts of other human beings. It is learned by reading those great thoughts of humans from the past and listening to the thoughts of humans from today.

Fight back against technologism. Technology won't shape or improve human society. Intelligent, articulate, and faithful people will.

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