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Megarrity, Lyndon: The recovery: technology and society

Lyndon Megarrity

The recovery: technology and society‘, Australian Policy and History, 9 April 2020

During the CV-19 pandemic, the use of Information Technology has enabled millions to work from home and gain some relief from social isolation while avoiding potential exposure to the virus. After the crisis has passed, however, Australian society will need to reflect carefully about its digital interactions and how best to balance them with wider social engagement. The very benefits of technology—speed, efficiency, cost-savings, immediacy of information transfer, its capacity to cater for individual preference—can actually come at a cost to the community if ‘online’ is made to be the only viable choice …

Essentially, I argue that while increased use of the internet has been useful in keeping society functioning during this era of social distancing, consideration needs to be paid to the balance between our use of Information Technology and other means of human interaction when the present social restrictions are lifted …

The future cannot be just digital. For it is more important for children to appreciate the natural and social world around them than to master ‘computer coding’. It is more important for an adolescent to be able to relate to others sensitively face-to-face than to hide behind a screen. It is especially important for adults to have an appreciation of a rich past which informs the future.

Lyndon Megarrity has reviewed Richard J. Martin’s book on the Gulf Country and written about Whitlam government minister, Rex Patterson, and historian, Geoffrey Bolton. His book on Northern development is Northern Dreams.