Technology…Friend or Foe?

I find it to be a coincidence that I was asked to write a paper discussing the internet and technology when I was recently asked to complete a similar assignment, the only difference is the assignment was in Spanish. Apparently technology is a topic of discussion across the globe. Although I find technology to be extremely prominent and beneficial in my everyday life, it terrifies me. It terrifies me that there are times where I can sit in a room with all of my roommates and not a word will be spoken for as long as 10 minutes because each of our faces are buried in our phones, it disturbs me that the amount of time a simple homework assignment can take because I can’t stop checking my phone. There are nights I stop and internally ridicule myself because I know should have been asleep hours prior but instead I decide to scroll through Instagram. Starting off with random people I don’t even know, and end up on their second cousin’s girlfriend’s page about fitness. I wasted an extra two hours of precious sleep to watch someone I don’t even know explain how important it is to have an hour glass shape rather than a pear…who even am I and what is my issue tends to be what I mutter at myself. I can remember my friend saying one

day “its like a drug, we need our daily fix”. A drug. She referred to social media as a drug, I wanted so badly in that moment to argue against her but I couldn’t. She was right. Just like drug addicts, we need our daily fix, and until we get that fix we are just itching to get it.

As technology has advanced, so has the number of ways to access the internet. If a person is not on their desktop they are on their laptop, if not the laptop then the tablet, and of course the smartphone is within reaching distance and if that isn’t close enough then some people even have a smart watch on their wrist…what’s next? A screen built into our hands? When I was in middle school leading up to high school technology influenced my life, but looking back the access I had was very limited in comparison to right now. My friends and I would obsess over AIM (instant messenger- for those who were deprived as a child). Heyyyitskateex3 was online talking with her pals way more than I’d like to admit. For what reason? What could have possibly been so important that middle schoolers were instant messaging from the second they got off the bus to the moments before bed time. “OMG Julie did U C the pizza they srved @ lunch today… gross!!”. The fact of the matter is my desktop was down stairs in the basement, so once I was up stairs I was cut off. No secretly texting under the dinner table, no scrolling though social media while watching a family movie, and once I was in bed there was no source of internet or technology within reaching distance. Well… except for my alarm clock because if that wasn’t in reaching distance I’d never get out of bed in the morning. Once I got a cellphone that thing did not ever leave reaching distance, always on my nightstand or even at times under my pillow. My cellphone could be the death of me…literally. One time I woke up in the morning with the charging cord around my neck, what an interesting headline it could have been: “Plymouth State University Student Tragically Dies from Strangulation of Cellphone Cord”.

If I can say one thing about technology and the internet it’s this: boy is it nice to have a reason to get away from it. I also hate myself for saying I need a reason to not have my phone rather than just putting the damn thing down. About a month ago my Instagram account was hacked and I have not been able to log back on, it has been an interesting experience. But don’t worry I wasn’t completely deprived of my social media cravings, I of course have Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook to fill the gapping void. Parts of me want to make a new account so I can get back on the grid and see what friends, family and even the randos I don’t know are posting but on the other hand I get nervous. When I say nervous I worry I will become obsessed again, constantly worrying what people think of my photos or who likes which post at what time. Constantly critiquing every photo, I take, “I can’t put that on Instagram look at how awkward my hand looks” or “I love this picture from the weekend but I just posted a photo in this outfit a few weeks ago”. I over analyzed every little detail Instagram presented, thats right even worrying what the photo caption should be. Caring too much about what others think is a problem within itself but adding social media only fuels the constant worry. I want to be better with my social media tendencies and interaction with technology. A person can easily buy physical things now and in the future, but you won’t always have the here and the now with the people you hold close to your heart. I need to remind myself life is precious, and to live in the moment rather than through a computer screen.

Don’t mind me while I type here and pick my brain…

Research Article

What is mission work?

  • Explanation
  • History, description, key players, roles, policies, and controversies
  • The Humanitarian Charter
  • Theoretical Framework
  • Sphere Process
  • “Do no harm method”
    • 47 Ethical Challenges of Humanitarian Assistance
  • Making lives better or worse?
  • Religious vs non-religious
  • White Savior

Who are the people doing mission work?

  • Specific people, groups, organizations
    • Are any notorious for something good or bad?
  • Touch more in depth on a person with a religious motive vs without religious motive
  • Explain the roles of a missionary, humanitarian worker, donor, or field worker
    • What do they do that could be seen as controversial or beneficial?
    • What have they done in the past that could be seen as controversial or beneficial?
  • What are specific experiences from these workers? Both good & bad.

Who are the beneficiaries?

  • Who is benefited or hurt by humanitarian work?
  • Are there specific groups “targeted” to receive this type of work?
  • Why are certain groups seeing larger amounts of aid compared to others who are not?
  • Touch on unequal exchange (it will be magnified in the “cons” section in arguments)

Relations between “donors & recipients”

  • Start this section with the quote on interaction followed by the 3 effects
    • 425 When is Foreign Aid Selfish, when is it Selfless?
  • Laws and regulations
  • How are interactions for the donor? What are their benefits/consequences?
  • How are interactions for the recipient? What are their benefits/consequences?
  • “Strategic importance”
    • 423 When is Foreign Aid Selfish, when is it Selfless?
  • What policies or models are used when giving/receiving aid?
    • “Remain in office by engaging in an aid-for-policy deal”
      • 423 as well
    • What is the ultimate goal the relationship wants to achieve?
    • What is a consequence the relationship wants to avoid?
    • Use both highlighted sections as a transition to Disasters and Humanitarianism
      • 358 Humanitarianism and Unequal Exchange
      • 359 Humanitarianism and Unequal Exchange

Disasters and Humanitarianism

  • “The Humanitarian Gift”
    • Use as a Segway from relations to this section
      • 358 Humanitarianism and Unequal Exchange
    • Incorporate roles of the NGOs
  • “World Systems” approach
    • 357 Humanitarianism and Unequal Exchange
  • Sociological & anthropological perspectives
    • 357 Humanitarianism and Unequal Exchange
  • “Event-centric” & “state-centric” studies

Arguments (Pros vs Cons)

  • Humanitarianism & Unequal Exchange
    • Use as Segway from Disaster & Humanitarianism to this section
      • 359 Humanitarianism and Unequal Exchange
    • Touch back on “The Humanitarian Gift”
    • Exemplify the term through the disaster in India
      • What were the consequences & benefits?
    • Introduce “public-private partnership”
      • 359 Humanitarianism and Unequal Exchange
    • Are we damaging or improving someone else’s country/culture?
      • Examples of good vs bad
      • Case studies
      • What policies come into play?
    • Touch on the idea of cultural relativism
    • When is imperialism present?
      • Is it beneficial or harmful?
      • How does Relations between “donors & recipients” come into play

Applied Project

Using knowledge from my work with, I will build a page informing people on ways to create their own mission trip based off of personal experiences this summer and years in the past!


  1. Touch on RA and segway from how humanitarian assistance can be helpful rather than harmful, explain why it is important to have humanitarians in the world.
  2. Walk the reader through a step by step plan on how to create your own service trip. Be sure to go in depth.
  3. Explanation on how important it is to be aware of the term “dignity”. Preach the importance of representing yourself and your country while in another person’s culture. Talk about privilege and its effects. Incorporate your own experience with privilege and how it impacted your own values of wrong vs right.  Explain what it means to be human and how resources are effective.
  4. Talk about how to be a “conscientious humanitarian”. Guidelines on, what to do, what to say and how to act when immersing yourself in another culture.
  5. Lastly, talk about your experience as a conscientious humanitarian, include “casa digna”. Create a hyperlink from interviews you had with board members from the organization you volunteer for.