Technology’s Dark Side – How It Can Be Used Against Us

September 2, 2014Diana Lengerson

Few can argue about the benefits of technology. It has allowed us to save time, work on the go, and get more done in a day than our grandparents ever dreamed of. There are many benefits that technology has brought us, such as locating lost children, assisting patients en route to hospital via ambulance, and detect dangerous illnesses long before they can become life-threatening.

But what about the dark side of technology? That last web site you visited to kill a few spare minutes may be really interesting, but it may also be a way for someone to keep tabs on you. While there are many sites out there that outline common (and not-so-common) conspiracy theories, this article isn’t meant to become part of them. But it certainly will make you wonder.

Google Earth

While this incredibly-interesting internet distraction can take you all over the world when you need to unwind after a busy day, another way it can be used is by criminals who are looking for the easiest way to enter your home. However, you do have the option to block your home’s image.

Charity and Activism Using Social Media

There are thousands of organizations on Facebook who urge society to take action for a specific cause. But getting a certain number of people to sign a petition or pledge their support is only half the battle. The next step is to effect true change by getting people to take real action, something that a Facebook group may actually hinder. This is largely because those who sign up for a particular cause feel that they have done their ‘duty’ and no more action on their part is needed.

Mobile Phones

Today’s mobile phones represent the center of the universe for many people. And it’s no wonder, with all of the apps, bells and whistles available on today’s devices. A mobile phone is a digital Swiss Army knife, but it does have its disadvantages. Many researchers have published reports about how mobile phones are changing the way humans interact. One study cited the fact that many people pretend to be busy on their mobile phones while in public places, so as to not have to make eye contact or interact physically with anyone. Too much attention paid to mobile phone screens has also resulted in many accidents involving distracted drivers and pedestrians.

The Internet

Just as Google Earth can be used by thieves to stake out your home for a future robbery, so can the internet be used by unscrupulous individuals for sinister purposes. Today’s teens not only have to worry about the dreaded bully finding them in a deserted playground after class; they now also have to worry about how their network of friends on social media will react to comments that bully posts. Cyberbullying has become a popular way for teens to harass and belittle one another, and has resulted in tragic consequences for many families.

Child luring and child pornography represent yet another dark side of the internet. Pedophiles lurking in teen chat rooms can easily convince any teen that they are a teen themselves, building trust and eventually a relationship that can culminate in a 3D meeting that is anything but safe. The good news is that law enforcement officials often lurk in these chat rooms as well, waiting for the opportunity to discover pedophiles and make arrests.

Most of us would rather not think about the dark side of technology, especially when it’s become such an important part of our lives. But keeping the disadvantages in mind can increase our awareness of what’s out there and cause us to be more cautious, which may actually help to keep us safer in the long run.

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