Is There Some Technology or Device You Wish Hadn’t Been Invented?

We could easily fill up an entire article with the devices and technology that we’re thankful were invented. But what about the opposite? Surely there are things that are the bane or scourge of your existence. Is there some technology or device you wish hadn’t been invented?

Ada couldn’t think of a single technology or device, but she does consider Windows Vista to be a blunder. At the same time, she has to be thankful for it, as “it made me ditch Windows completely and switch to Linux for everything.”

Ryan feels fitness trackers “lull people into a false sense of security when it comes to their overall fitness, diet, and health.” He sees people feeling because they walked 10,000 steps in a day that it means they can eat whatever they want. He realizes that in the hands of people who understand the metrics they can be a useful tool but thinks “a lot of people lack the general understanding of how their bodies function and how a multitude of lifestyle choices contribute to overall health.”

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Phil realizes it’s controversial, but he’s going with the Internet. While he loves it and needs to look up obscure facts 24/7, “it’s also responsible for everyone being addicted to instant gratification.” He feels having to wait to get answers “built anticipation and commitment” and that you got the most out of that information because of what you put into it. “Ease of acquisition makes it more disposable.”

Andrew feels there’s good sides and bad sides to having seemingly every technology available to us – “nuclear power, but nuclear bombs; faster travel, but more pollution; a worldwide network of human knowledge, but less privacy.” Some technology has cost more than it’s given, “but given that any new technology tends to have an impact on future technologies, it’s arguable that their indirect value actually increases over time.” He doesn’t think we would have lost much in human value if the ENIAC project was killed at the time, but to go back in time now and kill it, leads to a paradox of coming back to a different reality.

Yet there are also things that could have been done better. He wishes there would have been a focus on nuclear power using Thorium instead of Uranium/Plutonium, but the incentive was on developing weapons. He’s not a fan of the way big data turned out – “it developed in a very piecemeal, siloed way where we were pretty much just patching holes in the silos as we found them.” He hopes that there will be a way to give people control over their own identities and data, but we have an entrenched system. There will always be unforeseen consequences, so he’s sure “we’ll be running into double-edged technology for quite some time to come.”

Alex wishes land mines weren’t invented. He feels “as a society we need to think about what future technologies might exist and start thinking about the kind of role we want them to play in our lives.” He uses widespread facial recognition as an example, with it being on the verge of becoming a reality. Should facial recognition be permitted by private companies? He figures we should start deciding now before it’s too late.

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Damien has the “for the win” answer with “guns.” He doesn’t see a use for them other than killing. He adds he “wouldn’t be surprised if a ‘smart gun’ is already in the works.”

I’d like to piggyback on both Damien’s answer and Andrew’s. It’s true, there are good and bad sides to all technology. It’s like human nature in a way. We become gluttonous. We do such wonderful things with technology – we’ve saved lives with it – but we also seem to push it to its limits to where it then becomes harmful and takes lives. Yes, guns are made for killing, but they were used to kill animals that provided food, yet now that killing has become sport. And once we developed semi-automatic rifles, the sport has become killing humans.

This topic has gone much deeper than I ever intended it to when I initially asked it. It became so thought provoking on a number of different levels. We’d like to hear your opinion, whether it’s a simple device you wish didn’t exist or whether it’s the ideas brought forward by a technology that has gotten out of hand. Is there some technology or device you wish hadn’t been invented? Join our thought-provoking conversation in the comments section down below.

12 comments

  1. I will vote for smartphones.

    The military and the exigencies of war are the biggest/strongest drivers of technology.

  2. Facebook, plain and simple. Social media has just about destroyed the art of conversation and verbal interaction within the family structure.

  3. I feel that virtually all social networking has caused more harm than good. When I see many coworkers constantly checking there Facebook or Twitter accounts instead of doing something productive, I am annoyed. Now our company has established an internal Yammer tool that constantly bombards me will useless trivia from any one of the 75, 000 coworkers in my company. The other day I saw someone posting a picture of their dinner. What a waste of time for both the send and the many receivers! This sort of behavior trivialized our society and is creating a generation with chronic ADD.

  4. Guns? Seriously? How about all the times they protect people? The bias/ignorance is exceptionally strong with this comment. How does a 100lb woman stack up against a 200+lb man when he’s intent on robbing, raping, or murdering her? How about someone who is in your home attacking your family? Or even someone is trying to rob you or your family? A gun is the ultimate equalizer. Very rarely does someone protecting themselves with a gun actually need to fire the gun.

    The comment about guns being used as a “sport for killing humans” is probably one of the most idiotic things I’ve ever read. The media sensationalizes gun violence. “If it bleeds, it leads.”

    Before you mention anything about school shootings, there are several reasons for that:

    • Lack of discipline in children. If they are disciplined at home, the chances of them becoming monsters are much less.
    • Stop bullying. Every one of the school shooters claim the reason why they shot up the school was because they were bullied.
    • Media (social and news) both show how awesome it is to get their “15 minutes of fame”. Stop giving them fame.
    • Get more help for the mentally unstable people who are considering doing these things. Don’t let them snap and then later blame the guns or NRA.

    Why do we protect celebrities, politicians, banks, and many other things with guns, but our children with “Gun Free Zone” signs and then call someone with a gun to stop these horrific acts? We need to focus the blame on those who commit the acts as well as those who promote it (media).

    • Let’s not forget all the kids that have been killed or injured while playing with the gun that Daddy uses to protect the family. Some protection!

      • While this is true, it’s because they aren’t taught gun safety…you know, the thing that the NRA started and constantly pushes. That is the parent’s fault. If you aren’t taught how to use something, chances are you’re going to use it improperly.

        Watching actors in movies and on TV glorifies the uses of guns. Unfortunately, without being taught how to use a gun, gun safety, and what could happen if an accident happens, things like that *WILL* happen. Instead, there is now a push, by people who don’t own guns, to remove them. The 2nd Amendment protects *ALL* other amendments from being removed. Once the 2nd is gone, the 1st will be *RIGHT* behind it.

        • You’ve hit on something very important. Of course, safety and education are very important. Unfortunately, all gun owners aren’t responsible.

          I come at this with guns in my home. My husband owns a pistol and some shotguns, and they’re safe. He’s a responsible gun owner. When our kids were younger, they weren’t as accessible, and when our home had tension in it, we stored the guns at someone else’s home.

          I also come at this as the sister of a shooting victim. The man who shot her was a felon and had his guns illegally. Interestingly, despite 300 rounds of ammo and three guns with him and 18 people shot, ONLY two people died, so it is not technically a mass shooting.

          But it’s a misnomer to suggest that there is a push to take away the 2nd amendment or to take away all your guns. No one wants that. I know that’s what is reported and spread by the NRA, but it’s untrue. Because of the shooting in my family, I am in touch with many, many people interested in a change in gun laws. There isn’t one person who wants to take guns away or abolish the 2nd Amendment, though this is what the NRA wants you to believe.

          • “There isn’t one person who wants to take guns away”
            That is not what the rhetoric from the anti-gun crowd tells us. The first, and seemingly non-negotiable, step to reduce gun violence is to eliminate, or at least reduce the number of, guns. That would seem like a simple and elegant solution – no guns, no gun violence. However, it is nothing more than a simplistic solution. It only works if there are ABSOLUTELY NO guns in existence.

            Humans are very inventive. Even without guns, they still managed to kill each other on an industrial scale. Cain did not use a gun to kill Abel. Stalin starved tens of millions of people in the 1930s. Nazis killed millions in concentration camps by using gas. etc. etc. etc.

          • Again, I’m part of the “anti-gun” crowd, as you call it. The people who are marching, demanding legislation from lawmakers, etc., and not one single one of them wants to take guns away. Sorry, that’s not rhetoric from the “anti-gun” crowd, that’s rhetoric from the NRA, POTUS, and Fox News. The only guns they are interested in eliminating are the AR-15s, etc., which are responsible for many mass shootings, aren’t used in hunting, and aren’t used to protect a family.

            Sure, humans are inventive, but then they should be able to invent a way to fix this. Yet someone at Fox News has proposed their great answer to school shootings. They want to arm police forces with giant water cannons that shoot water bottles. They propose that when a school shooting happens, the police are called, and they roll out t his giant water cannon that will shoot a giant hole into a wall so that people can escape. That’s what humans have invented to fix this. That’s the best they have been able to come up with so far. And by the time police get there? There’s already several children dead, but I guess they see them as expendable.

  5. Things I can’t stand are Twitter and Facebook – so called “social media” that goes beyond the use it was originally intended for and has morphed into an absurd platform for blathering dimwits, who spew lies, twist the truth, and dispense spiteful comments about people, race, religion and just about anything else that one can think of, according to the weird and often confused world they live in. Granted everyone has an opinion, but some are beyond the pale. There are other sites also, but you get the gist. Something that we can (and did for a really, really long time) do without.

  6. Get your facts straight on guns. Semi-automatics are not “machine guns” which is what you seem to insinuate. Semi-automatic means pull the trigger once for each shot, but only load the fist bullet into the chamber. They are essential for self defense in a very violent world. I’m not a sport hunter but I respect the rights of those who are.

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