The age of technology has ushered in countless conveniences that have shaped our lives in more ways than we can probably even imagine. The late, great Steve Jobs likened technology to a bicycle, in that it helps us get to where we want to go more efficiently. If you want to know how very much technology adds to your quality of life, then try just for a moment to imagine your life without it. Difficult, isn’t it? But just like everything, the benefits of technology come with some costs. Consider these negative effects of technology:

Changes in business. As technology has ushered in all of this convenience, it has also made it unnecessary for people to perform certain menial tasks that computers are now able to accomplish in a fraction of the time. This can be a good thing, unless you’re one of the thousands of people whose job has been replaced by a computer. Moreover, print sources like newspaper and publishers, as well as media retailers like music and video rental stores, are shutting down in large scale because their goods are no longer needed now that people can easily access information and media online.

Intimacy. Technology allows people to communicate with others on a mass scale, and from one corner of the globe to the other. While this may be good in some ways, it also serves to alienate us from true, intimate connections. We have less face-to-face conversations with people in favor of texting via our mobile devices, and we make “friends” with people we’ve never met before, sometimes communicating with them online more than we even spend time with our families.

Laziness and instant gratification. When things come too easy to us – when we no longer have to pay our dues to get a return – we become lazy and complacent. One day, it’s a thrill just to be able to access boundless information on the Internet, and the next day we’re complaining that our pages aren’t loading fast enough. Where does it end?

Technology has made it possible for us to do things we never before could’ve imagined, and it seems we’re only just beginning to understand this fascinating frontier. However, has the advent of the age of technology taken us further away from ourselves? Are we forgetting what’s really important? It seems that today’s culture is, more and more, becoming more about the machine and less about the man. It’s time we take a good, hard look at what we are making of all this technology, before it makes something of us that we no longer recognize.

About the Author: Odette Maupredi is a communications specialist with an avid interest in technology. While she enjoys using email fax services and online sites to better run her business, she is consciously aware of how changing technology is making it more difficult for people to communicate face-to-face.