Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other.” Although written long ago, these words by Ralph Waldo Emerson still hold true today. Every day in society, people are making improvements, but these improvements also have equal drawbacks. Today, we are using cutting-edge technology to improve every aspect of our daily lives. For instance, in today’s society, the fields of communication and medicine are constantly advancing, yet they both create significant losses.
Technology has helped increase the speed of communication and decrease its cost. However, at the same time, it has caused people to become more impersonal with each other. In earlier times, the major form of communication was for people to visit each other and go to public meeting places. One of the next major advances was the telephone.
Due to the telephone, people no longer went to public meeting places as often as they used to. As time goes on, new advances still allow people to contact and communicate with each other more easily. These advances, such as faxes, beepers, and electronic mail, although seemingly making life easier, each help to decrease the earlier forms of communication. The field of medicine, like the field of communication, also displays what Emerson was trying to say.
This field, which has seen many advances, has also caused many difficulties. As scientists and doctors work to find cures for the diseases we have today, they are also creating new ones. For example, when scientists went to Africa in search of a cure for a disease, they returned with monkeys contaminated with the Ebola virus. Today, in Russia, there are military bases where scientists are creating thousands of germs and viruses for use in germ warfare. These germs and viruses are capable of killing thousands of people instantly.
As technology continues to advance and society moves forward, people continue to use less personal forms of communication and create new problems in the field of medicine. The fear of becoming a society that communicates only through machines and creates new diseases is becoming greater with time. For all of society’s gains, there are equal drawbacks. So, in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words, society never advances.”