In the latter half of the 20th Century, the world saw a new wave of revolution in the world of technology. Preceded by the Industrial Revolution, this new wave of technology seemed powerful and had a more significant impact on the world.
The 20th-century revolution did not end there; in fact, it is still an on-going process. Many claims that this is only the starting; technology which has impacted our lives so significantly already may yet have a long way to go. Even though many seem to think that this is simply the beginning, it is still evident that the developments in technology are significant. We must assess the impact that it has had in the everyday lives of the people.
Technology is a widely talked about the topic since we use it every day. It has become essential to our lives, so much so that many people cannot imagine living without technology, and would feel helpless were it to disappear from their lives. From your cell phone to a 3D-printer, technology is all around us, but do we truly understand its impact on our lives?
What Is Technology?
Technology is a hot topic, especially in modern society. Everyone loves to talk about it, but do we understand what it is? With numerous definitions of technology, it can be a little challenging to get a clear picture of it.
Before we talk about the impact that technology has in our lives, we must understand what technology is, and what are the different types of technology that we see in our lives. When we think of technology, we think of complicated gadgets; however, there is more to technology than that.
Merriam-Webster defines technology as the “Application of knowledge to the practical aims of human life or to changing and manipulating the human environment.” According to this definition, technology contains those materials, tools, and techniques which help make people’s lives easier and help them become more productive in their work.
Another way to look at technology is in terms of progress. Technology has helped advance medical science, computers, and more. Thanks to the advancements in technology we have been able to create successful vaccines for diseases such as polio, with the help of the internet we have been able to help in breaking down racial and regional barriers. Technology has also helped in making education accessible to all. Also, it assisted in opening a channel of communication across the globe.
Disadvantages of technology
While innovations in technology have certainly helped us in improving the quality of life for people around the world, it is not always the answer to global problems. In fact, according to Bill Gates, technology is not nearly as important in the lives of some as having access to proper plumbing and water. Thus, it is easy to see that technology is not as black and white as it seems. People seem to have differing opinions not only about how to define what technology is but about how useful it is to us. As with any other aspect of our lives, it is not easy to say whether technology is inherently good for us, or whether its disadvantages outweigh the advantages. As we learn more about it, the picture may become a bit clearer.
Before we delve into learning about how technology affects our lives, it is essential to understand the different types of technology in our lives. The technology which is used around the world can be inter-related, and, in some cases, they overlap to some degree. Let us take a look at what they are:
It is something that most of us use every day, and would not know what we would do without it. It has become deeply ingrained in our daily lives; however, it only began to gain traction during the 1980s. But in the 21st Century, modern life seems to revolve around computers.
While ways of communicating certainly exited before the revolution in technology, innovation in this technology have made communication more accessible to all. With the help of 3G connections, the internet, Wi-Fi technology, cell phone, and more, people all around the world have an easier time accessing information and connecting with people across the globe.
Digital formats have helped people create digital storage where they can store useful information that anybody can access from anywhere. Whether it is movies, videos, films, documents, or anything else, we can store it in a digital format.
Gone are the days when a single device could complete only a single task. Nowadays, technology has become so advanced that we can use one single device to achieve multiple tasks. The example is right in front of our eyes. Our cell phones, which seem so small, can simultaneously function as an internet browser, camera, video recorder, music player, telephone, and more!
Advancement In Weapon Technology
Innovation does not revolve around the lives of the common man. Technology has also helped advance the weapon industry, with new types of military weapons being manufactured. However, these advancements are not always met with approval and can be considered to be quite controversial. It is not just physical weapons which have advanced thought, as technology has improved, cyber warfare has emerged as a new threat that people are still trying to understand.
How Does Technology Impact Our Lives?
Technology improves our lives in many ways. However, when we talk about the impact of technology, we mustn’t just focus on its advantages. While technology has made it easier to access information from around the world, has opened a global channel of communication and advanced medical science, it also has seemed negative impacts. However, we must keep in mind that everything is not as black and white as it seems. While technology has its disadvantages, before we all band together to expel it from our lives, we must understand whether or not the advantages it provides are worth risking its adverse effects.
What are the disadvantages of technology? Everyone will be eager to point out the benefits that technology offers to people. But you rarely see people methodically list out the difficulties of technology. After all, technology is so ingrained in our lives that we cannot look beyond how they help us. But to understand technology completely, we must look at its disadvantages too. We must get the whole picture rather than a refined version of it.
What Are The Significant Disadvantages Of Technology?
From The Above Discussion, It Is Evident That Technology Is Not Always Beneficial:
1. Losing physical contact
While technology has helped in virtual global connections, it has diminished real-world contact. People become more comfortable sitting behind a screen and talking to people. Slowly but surely, virtual interaction seems to be replacing real-world interaction. Many people even prefer virtual communication rather than real-world communication. But this can increase the risk of alienation; people can feel more connected to their virtual friends. Also, feel aloof about their real-world friends as virtual interactions increase, problems such as cyberstalking, cyberbullying, and more become common.
People feel comfortable hiding behind their computers. With the cloak of anonymity, they feel encouraged to post mean comments, or harass other individuals online, which they would not be able to do in the real world without facing significant consequences.
As mentioned earlier, the modern world is entirely dependent on technology. It helps serve every purpose in our everyday lives. The modern society would be helpless if technology disappeared overnight. Whether it is hospitals, business firms, airports, power grids of the transportation systems, every aspect of the modern world revolves around technology. It is easy to ultimately bring life in contemporary society to a complete standstill with a cyber-attack or a catastrophic power failure.
3. Environmental Problems
While technology brings about innovations in our lives, it also welcomes a host of environmental problems, which are a significant cause of concern. Machines that we use in our everyday lives are often made using non-biodegradable or toxic parts. In the case of most technology that we use every day, we need to use a power source to help it function. This means that over time our consumption of electricity has increased quite a bit. Also, an increase in the consumption of non-renewable energy, such as fossil fuels.
Privacy is also compromised in the age of technology. While you do have some anonymity, it can quickly disappear. Signing-up form different websites, or filling online forms involve you having to share private information, which you would think twice about sharing with a stranger in real life. However, whenever you prompted to enter this information in the virtual information, most people provide it without hesitation. Whether you are providing your card details and home address to online shopping sites or providing your details when signing up for a new email address, you need to furnish private information, and hence, privacy is only an illusion when it comes to the internet.
5. Threat to intellectual property
Advances in technology are also a threat to intellectual property. Piracy and theft of intellectual property have become quite common. Whether it is a cracked version of a popular software or someone stealing another person’s art on social media to gain more likes, we see theft of intellectual property everywhere. While this would have been a difficult task earlier, it has become a problem in recent times. Any media can be easily converted to a digital format, and it is easy to distribute it to others even if you are not the rightful owner of the work. As a result, creative people feel disinclined to produce new work may become easily demotivated. As a result, there is a decline in the production of new and innovative ideas.
6. Value over human
Technology seems to be more valued than human beings nowadays. This is quite evident in the workplace and factories. As modern societies become more and more dependent on advanced technology, employees are replaced by machines that can achieve the task faster and at a cheaper rate. Outsourcing of work is also becoming a problem, where companies try to save money by outsourcing their work and paying more competitive prices to theirs to complete a task. As a result, not only are individuals getting paid less for the same amount of work, they are also at risk of losing their jobs to modern technology.
While these are some of the significant disadvantages of technology, these by no means encompass the extent of modern technology damage caused to the lives of the people. As technology advances, we may see worse impacts, and hence, it is crucial that we do not put technology on a pedestal as we do today. When talking about the technology we must address the bad parts along with the good, while it is quite easy to focus on how much technology has helped us in our daily lives, we must address the problems it has as well. However, before you make any judgments, it is essential that you take in the big picture and not just focus on a single aspect.
Technology seems to be a grey area where many lean one way or the other. But no matter where you stand on this debate, it is evident that technology is here to stay. Without technology, it would be impossible for us to go about our daily lives; we would be unable to complete even simple tasks. Technology is also crucial in hospitals, business firms, and more, where even an hour without technology could mean drastic results. Technology continually strives to improve upon itself, and innovations are working towards ensuring that the disadvantage of technology is kept to a minimum.
Ultimately it is how we use technology, which determines how it impacts our lives. We must ensure that we use it for our good and avoid the disadvantages of technology.