How does technology influence our life, and is this a good thing?
In many ways, we are as reliant on technology as the society depicted in Fahrenheit 451. Perhaps we do not interact with technology on the same level, largely because independent thoughts and freedoms are still valued within our culture, but much of what we do is regulated by technology. This forum is the perfect example of how we have allowed technology to be a defining factor in our lives.
As with every advancement within culture and society, there are positive and negative influences. Technology has opened the world of communication in a way before inexperienced. It also allows for more tasks to be completed in less time. In essence, technology has made the world smaller. The danger is when we get so reliant on technology that we cease to do things ourselves, limiting our activity and interaction with the world around us. This extreme is shown in the novel.
As recently as 15 years ago, email was considered a supplementary luxury; an item that was frivolous but fun, and allowed communication in one more way beyond telephones and snail mail. Today, email accounts are as necessary to our existence as oxygen, for some people. There isn't a day that goes by when the email isn't checked by those in business, education, or other fields.
The same could be said of some social networking sites. To be considered "in the know," it is virtually mandatory to establish a profile within one of many possible social sites.When we as humans become so concerned with our "digital lives" or "Facebook friends," the stage is set for conditions similar to those exhibited in Fahrenheit 451 -- where humans become the slaves of their own technology.
Technology has made our lives more comfortable and easy. It has removed the drudgery of hard manual work in factories and homes. It has given us so many items of luxury and enjoyment. It has also helped to improve our health and lengthen our life span.
But technology has also tended to make our lives somewhat fast paced, leading to mental stresses and strains. Surprisingly many of the inventions of the modern technology that are designed to give us more free time, have ultimately resulted in making us more busy.
Take the example of transportation system. The speedy transportation system is intended to reduce the total time we need to spend on commuting to work and travelling to different places. But the the total time an average citizen spend commuting and travelling today is significantly more than what it was a century ago.
One specifc problem created by advance of technology and economic advance is the environmental pollution. The greenhouse effect, unless controlled, threatens to submerge large part of our land due to melting of polar caps. Smoke and other polluting gases in crowded cities and industrial areas is already causing serious health problems.