Effects Of Technology In A Utopian Society
The television has turned into a technological baby sitter. Parents simply place their children in front of the TV while they perform other household tasks or even step out of the home. A family no longer gathers at the dining room table for dinner. Instead, dinners are eaten in front of the TV. It is evident that without making a conscious effort to balance technology and its effects on social interaction, there will indeed be a “dumbing down” of society. It is not uncommon for utopias to become dystopic. As seen in “The Machine Stops,” as the Machine gains strength, inhabitants become more subservient and Vashti and Kuno’s seemingly utopian world quickly crumbles. Forster illustrates that the Machine has progressed to the point where humanity is being sacrificed/destroyed when he writes, “But Humanity, in its desire for comfort, had over-reached itself. Quietly and complacently, it was sinking into decadence, and progress had come to mean the progress of the Machine (p.20).” Forster shows us that in an effort to maintain a utopian society by providing numerous conveniences to its inhabitants, the level of humanity is compromised. This is clearly a case of too much of a good thing is not necessarily good. It is here that the message of Forster’s story becomes quite clear. It is simply not possible to have technological advances without carefully monitoring and balancing so that humanity and social interaction are not compromised.