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The dark side of technology

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Remember when computers would make our lives easier? The marketing of technology was always looking to a more enhanced future for humans. Not all is a benefit, reports NBC News today.

There some areas of technology to be aware; be very aware.

Technology has brought us the electronic cigarette. The battery-powered devices that produce a nicotine vapor are quickly evolving into a growth industry. As Forbes reports, Wells Fargo estimates that the market for e-cigarettes will grow to $10 billion by 2017. Established tobacco companies like Philip Morris International and Altria Group (maker of the Marlboro) already began to roll out electronic versions of their wares in 2013. Good-bye Marlboro Man has ridden back in on a dark horse.

The Center for Disease Control and the FDA do not have enough data yet regarding any dangers to the electronic cigarettes but CDC studies shown earlier this year are proving the electronic version to be addictive.

Cities are placing bans on smoking with the New York City Council in the lead voted to extend the public smoking ban to include the new vaporizing smokes.

The next dark side of technology is ‘binge-watching’ in which Netflix leads by placing whole season episodes of ‘House of Cards’ and “Orange is the New Black’.

Its competitors are picking up on the idea, too: Amazon revealed plans in May to produce five exclusive shows for its video streaming service, Amazon Prime. Hulu had 20 "Hulu Originals" in 2013, and CEO Mike Hopkins recently announced that the company wants to double the amount of exclusive content ‘over the next few years.’

Netflix did an internal study and found 61 percent of Americans like to binge watch. More reason to become a couch potato.

Google Glass has a dedicated app store plan for 2014 to bring more to the technology. Was it any surprise that shortly after Google introduced its wearable computer to the world, a porn app quickly followed? "T**s and Glass" from the adult entertainment company MiKandi might be the first app to test the limits of Google's terms of service. Wearable tech brings new meaning to the world of technology.

GrubHub CEO Matt Maloney told Marketplace that Americans spent a whopping $69 billion online for takeout in 2011, but, as Seamless CEO Johnathan Zabusky noted in the same piece, just 5 percent of diners in the U.S. make those orders online through services like theirs.

So the two online companies joined forces in 2013 to provide service to 500 cities in the U.S.

A Duke study found that online ordering allowed a person to splurge more on higher calorie content, since no one was watching. It is made easier via the computer.

U.K.-based startup Cargo successfully completed a Kickstarter project for the Brewbot, which is basically a robot that will craft your beer for you. You can brew beer from your smartphone and become addicted.

Candy Crush became the most downloaded app in 2013. A 2013 study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 56 percent of all Americans now own a smartphone, up from 35 percent just two years ago. It's safe to say that a lot more people will be getting their hands on smartphones — and spending more money on the apps therein — in 2014. App addiction is the new technology leading to a life of non-stop hours of endless wandering nomads of gaming.

Let’s hope the new technology to come in medical science and health care will help us recover from our health ills to technology addictions. That will be a new course study in medical school.


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