17-Jan-2022, Updated on 1/17/2022 5:19:51 AM
Balance Between Use of Technology and Morals in Youth Through Education
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The tussle between technology and morals is not something entirely new. In the Victorian era in England, the ushering in of science changed the demographics. Earlier, while books on morality and ethics were popular for their dialectic nature, the scientific revolution in the form of Darwin lead people to question their existence. Darwin’s theory shifted the dependence of existence from religion to scientific evolution and made some abandon morality, shifting their focus on pursuing the path of science. This culminated in ushering in industrialization which redefined our reality. Creating employment opportunities and the chance to discover the world, scientific discoveries became popular day by day. This was the advent of science. And it was just the beginning.
We hardly know a child in today’s day and age who has grown up without the influence of gadgets and social media. While technology has made our life easier through the decades, it has been impinging upon our ethical values. Earlier, while books and family remained the core source of teaching to a child, now a child grows up dancing in front of the screen for TikToks. Now, there is nothing morally wrong with dancing and sharing every aspect of one’s life on social media, per se. But the breaches in privacy and the unethical usage of social media as in cases like Cambridge Analytica have alerted the world to the ill-usage of technology.
This isn’t all. Entrepreneurs and tech giants like Elon Musk have predicted that Artificial Intelligence will take over humanity in the coming years, and our reliance on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning hardly refutes these predictions. Nowadays, when every platform is using AI to collect user data and predict consumer behavior, we are practically handing out our lives to technology.
Those who support the place of technology in our lives blindly, give arguments based on the impossibility to survive in the absence of technological advancement. According to them, the complete banishment of technology would deprive mankind of progress. However, it is important to understand that in order to live and flourish, one does not need to completely banish technology. All we need is a balance, a sort of visiting back our ethics and moral values.
Many have emphasized the need to strike a balance between technology and morality in order to facilitate efficient and harmonious living. But the question arises, how does one strike a balance between two seemingly contrasting notions.
Education is the answer. An efficient and well-organized education system has the ability to inculcate in the minds of a student the desire to strike a balance between technology and morality. Morality is essential to remind one of one’s roots, even when technology has entered the picture. That is why we find subjects like Moral Values, Mind Check, and the study of Vedas in school timetables. In my own school, Ved Paath (the study of scriptures) and Moral Education were two compulsory electives. While children found themselves elated to run to the computer labs in the Tech period, they were equally excited to learn about the Indian value system. Both were taught with equal enthusiasm, with the hope of improving the lives of these children.
The pandemic, however, has put an abrupt halt to the designs of the education system. As everything has shifted online, technology has become an essential part of teaching itself. Since young children can not even attend classes without the aid of a smartphone or laptop, they have been getting influenced by social media and its façade. They are being roped in to assume the fake character of an Instagram personality, an unabashed gamer, or a “woke” critic of shallow issues which concern nobody. All this is the advent of technology. All this has been forced upon young, developing minds by the allure of a world that is mostly made-up and is not based on ethics but marketing.
The responsibility has hence fallen on the schools and the parents to keep a check on their children. While schools must implement a better teaching plan keeping in mind the current dependency on technology to warn the students of the ills of social media and privacy breaches, parents must communicate with their children to know about their daily lives. If the parents sit down and talk with their children, focusing on quality family time, children might find an original value source to develop their ethics and morals. They might learn to balance technology and morals in their lives and find an alternative way to avail of the benefits of the balance.
Technology is certainly a boon to mankind. It is we who let it grow big enough to hinder our lives. It is us with whom lies the power to create an efficient lifestyle built on a balance between everything. Especially for the youth, which is the future of any country, the need to find this power is imminent.