GRE Issue Essay 103

“The primary goal of technological advancement should be to increase people’s efficiency so that everyone has more leisure time.”

Starting from the Stone Age, man has been exploring different ways and means to make his life comfortable. There have been numerous technological discoveries and developments which have aided in making the world what it is today. The modern man has access to various technological gadgets which have made his life much more comfortable as compared to the life led by his forefathers. Moreover, man has become more efficient as he now has the assistance of technology to carry out his routine work. There is no doubt that the primary goal of technological advancement should be to increase people’s efficiency, but creating more leisure time cannot be related to either the technological developments or the increased efficiency of man.

The advent of technology has definitely made life better by improving various aspects like communicating and traveling across the globe. People can now access information on any subject from the internet at the click of a button rather than having to search through books and libraries. Has the time that has been saved, utilized by the internet surfer for leisure? On the contrary, he would be busy searching for other information on the internet which perhaps is not all that important for him. Moreover, he may start looking for some opportunity on the net to work part-time and earn some money in the additional time that he now has. This indicates that the technological development in the form of internet services has made people more efficient, but this increased efficiency of people has not led to the creation of leisure time for them.

People can fly to any part of the modern world in a matter of hours. Compare this with the people in the past who took several weeks or months to sail from one country to the other. Have these technological advancements created more leisure time for people in the present world? On the contrary, people are much busier than their ancestors were in the past. People can fly to their destinations easily and this has led to an increase in the number of conferences and corporate meetings that are held in some other part of the country and employees are expected to do extensive traveling to meet the company’s requirements. People spend hours traveling to their offices due to the traffic congestion on roads because of the numerous vehicles which are a result of technological advancements. Therefore, it can be seen that technological development has made man efficient, but its goal could never be to provide leisure time as that would lead to the dilution of the standards of the technology being developed.

If technology had been developed with the aim of giving leisure time to people, then we could not have reached where we are today. People would have leisure time if they could not travel to distant places easily and so the companies would be restricted to carrying out their conferences locally, thus giving their employees leisure time which they would have otherwise spent in traveling. If there were no internet, people would not have been hooked on to the internet till late in the night. They would have utilized the time thus spent for relaxing or going out with their family. In other words, people would have got leisure time only if these technological advancements were either non-existent or they were of a lesser magnitude. If we wish to see man more efficient in the future as compared to what he is today, then the technological developments will have to be planned keeping in mind the efficiency of man with total disregard to his leisure time.