There are many things that people take for granted in their day-to-day lives, things such as electricity, satellite television and the telephone. However, we often take these for granted and fail to realize just how valuable they are to our everyday lives and how easily we could have had them if we had only used them properly. This is especially true if the technology is not being properly used. It can be seen like a double-edged sword – the more we use it, the more we need it and the more expensive it becomes.
A perfect example of the misuse of technological systems by humans can be seen with GPS tracking. In this case, the GPS tracker was mistakenly left behind when an Air Force soldier went missing in Afghanistan. Since his disappearance was widely publicized, a number of missing soldiers have been found using GPS trackers. This led to an increase in the use of the GPS tracker and the subsequent search.
How was this misused of technology? The GPS tracker was installed in the wrong place and the wrong person had control over it so it was continually giving out incorrect coordinates. Because it was faulty, it was also added to the misused items list.
One question that always comes up is – can misuse of technology in general be used to prevent or stop a disaster? The answer is yes and no. Yes it can because as already stated, there are many ways that technology can be misused but also yes it cannot. As an example, many people believe that if a plane crashes it will automatically land in a nearby town where people are aware of it and can thus prevent any damage. However, many towns are far from each other and in case of a crash there will be very few survivors. Therefore, it is very risky to expect that area residents will know about a plane crash and therefore provide help.
How is this misuse of technology prevented? There are various security measures which can be taken against misuses of information technology by both governments and private corporations. Unfortunately, these measures are often not enough because technology is often used to its utmost potential and without any safeguards. In the case of the airplane example mentioned earlier, this meant that people who wanted to sabotage the plane could go and get the information on the internal computer systems of the airline company and then bring it back to the cockpit and disable all the safety systems.
How is this misuse of technology prevented in the home? By using security measures such as home security monitoring. While this technology may not prevent all possible ways in which technology can end up harming us, it will at least allow us to have more control over what type of technology we allow to be used in our home.
How is this misuse of technology dangerous? In the case of the airplane example mentioned earlier, this can mean the destruction of the plane if the people who intended to disrupt the plane’s systems were allowed to gain access to it. It can also mean the loss of life or serious injury due to the misuse of technology. It can even be dangerous for the freedom of the individual to be able to use certain technologies in order to protect themselves from harm.
What can we do to prevent this misuse of technology in our lives? One solution is to limit the amount of time that we are online. Another option is to make sure that we understand all the technical details of a technology before we purchase it. Finally, it is important to realize that while technology can sometimes be misused, it can also be an incredible gift, allowing us to have more control over many aspects of our lives.