Opinion: Time we stop blaming tech for our failings

It's all too easy to make tech the scapegoat for our shortcomings when really, it's us who should evolve

The sensationalist headlines and clickbait stories on how social media causes mental illness or isolation, and that smartphones are fanning societal ills, are getting a little grating.

They all rest on the assumption that we would be much better off without our phones or other communication devices. Thing is, there is no proof we would be.

The problem, really, is us. We're shallow and easily attracted to things that are shiny and distracting. Because we're human.

We're also lazy - a lot of the technology we have today, in fact, was created or is being utilised as a solution to simplify things for ourselves (how many kids out there have an iPad for a babysitter?). And let's not forget it's also brought people together, saved lives and made the world, in some cases, better. A world where we go backward, becoming Luddites and eschewing technology, won't actually help us. 

So it's not so much the tech that needs to be removed; it's our approach to it that needs to be fixed. 

Yes, the 'Like' button is a predatory invention - feeding on our need for validation and then, horror of horrors, monetising it. But isn't that capitalism for you? Even as creators should build things that address human failings instead of prey upon them, we as users have to learn to set our own limits too. Like how our ancestors figured out that a beer a day is fine and a keg a day isn't.

Learning to moderate our usage of tech in a world overflowing with it will do our hearts, minds and, yes, wallets a lot of good in the long run.