These Cons of Technology Will Make You Think

Rachel Lark - February 20, 2024

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Technology has undoubtedly extended life expectancies, improved infrastructure and increased conveniences. However, there are also numerous cons of technology that have harmed the planet, resulted in worsened mental health and exacerbated societal problems. Awareness of some of the biggest issues can help people become more mindful while using technology of any sort. 

Significant Resource Usage

Today’s world is one where people can instantly download e-books to their tablets or watch a streaming film. However, many individuals who do those things don’t account for the associated energy usage and emissions. Data centers and information transmission networks comprise 1% of energy-linked greenhouse gas emissions.

Additionally, an hour of streaming video needs up to 12 liters of water. Some people also argue that the land required to build a data center is substantial, and decision-makers often seek potential locations with looser local laws. 

Data centers increasingly have sustainable features such as beehives and renewable energy. However, concerned parties believe people haven’t thought far enough ahead about how the current and future resource usage associated with technology impacts the planet. 

Households may overlook the smaller cons of technology in their residences, too. Every time someone buys a new high-tech device, it’ll probably need electricity to work, or at least get recharged. 

The resource usage also extends to the mining of critical raw materials that are part of everything from smartphones to airplanes. Extraction of these resources also primarily occurs in only a few countries. For example, all heavy rare earth elements used in the European Union come from China. Turkey also provides 98% of the region’s boron, a material used in wind turbines. 

Streaming services, data centers, and gadgets will remain part of our lives for the foreseeable future. Still, it’s time to mitigate these cons of technology by exploring alternatives and staying aware there’s a cost to much-loved tech products and services.

A Broader Reach for Bullying

Not long ago, people mainly faced bullying in person, such as at school or work. Such instances still happen, but bullies now also wreak havoc online and while using connected devices. 

Some bullies even harass victims without ever meeting them. Many enjoy the relative anonymity a screen name provides and say things more damaging than they might in person. Some bullies continue causing trouble even once moderators ban them. Doing so is often as simple as using a different device and internet connection, and then creating a new account. Statistics indicate more than 1 in 6 high schoolers experienced cyberbullying within the previous year. 

The internet and its associated connectivity have also added a layer to domestic violence. Many people use smartphone apps with location-identification capabilities. Although those can make it fun to “check in” at a music venue or restaurant and share the news with friends, they can also increase challenges for someone in a harmful relationship trying to escape. 

Some domestic abusers are also using connected devices to terrify their former partners. As long as the perpetrator still has the login details for the associated apps, they could crank up the thermostat or blast music, even without being in the house. 

Although these cons of technology may seem startling, people must keep a balanced perspective and realize tech advancements can also help those being harmed. For example, using a phone’s voice recorder or screenshot-capture function allows grabbing evidence of wrongdoing. Apps also exist that allow users to broadcast their real-time location to trusted friends. Some also feature digital panic buttons people can press to indicate something’s wrong. 


Forward-thinking people are using technology to tackle problems, such as ocean waste. However, technology also contributes to excess through e-waste. Discarded laptops, televisions, and lithium batteries are some of the most common types of this electronic garbage. Things also get complicated because people can’t throw these items away with the rest of their household trash. 

However, some do, resulting in hazardous chemicals leaching into the soil. This harms the environment and can pose human health dangers. 

Individuals familiar with the matter also point out how e-waste is often less noticeable. It makes up 9 billion kilograms of trash worldwide. Electric razors, power tools, and remote controls are some examples of things people use often but probably wouldn’t immediately think of as e-waste. 

The best way to conquer these cons of technology is to locate the nearest disposal points in a community. Many electronics retailers accept used products, even if users originally bought them elsewhere. Some even provide perks such as credit toward a future purchase when people bring their electronics to in-store recycling points. 

Social Media Downsides 

Social media can connect people to friends who live across the world or help them find others who share their interests. However, it’s like almost anything else in that it has downsides worth discussing.

One of the problems is that people tend to present their best selves in social media posts. They might show the gorgeous shots of an island vacation or excitedly mention the new car they just got. However, it’s far less likely they’ll discuss their faltering relationships or financial struggles. Then, when people scroll through social media and see all the evidence of people living seemingly perfect lives, they’ll feel upset when theirs isn’t the same. 

A 2022 University of Arkansas study revealed a strong link between social media use and depression, regardless of someone’s personality type. A related issue is that some people get too caught up in what they see on their screens, preferring it over what’s happening in the real world. That could mean they don’t spend as much time getting fresh air, maintaining their friendships and doing other things that could help mental health. 

Curation and Distraction

It’s also problematic that social media feeds are highly curated. Firstly, users choose the profiles they want to follow. However, for several years, Facebook tweaked its algorithm to prioritize posts most likely to get strong reactions from people. More specifically, content that made people angry achieved a broader reach than those that didn’t trigger such feelings. 

Social media can be a distractor, too. Most people have gone for a dinner out or to another public space and seen the majority of others glued to their phones. 

That’s worrisome in one way because those people aren’t living in the present and appreciating their current surroundings. However, it can also become dangerous if social media’s pull makes someone an easier target for an assault or otherwise under threat. Many people use social media to fill time, such as while waiting for the bus. That’s understandable, but the associated cons of technology caused by social media could prevent someone from noticing risks. 

Curb These Cons of Technology With Awareness and Moderation

The purpose of highlighting these cons of technology is not to encourage people to do away with all the tech products and services they love. However, being aware of the downsides and actively minimizing them are keys to making a difference. Do you really need to splurge on that electronics item? Are there better ways to spend your time than a Netflix binge? Considering questions like these is the first step to making positive changes. 

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About the author

Rachel Lark

Rachel serves as the Assistant Editor of A true foodie and activist at heart, she loves covering topics ranging from veganism to off grid living.