TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT AND A BETTER SOCIETY

TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT AND A BETTER SOCIETY

Since the industrial period, technological advancement has had a lot of change on the way society perform various tasks. Quite a number of inventions and innovations have been witnessed. In other words, technology can be said to have brought about societal revolution. Today, society enjoys more freedom because of technology. More can be done relatively easily with less effort and time. People communicate faster and easily without necessarily travelling to meet one another or sending letters through postal mails which would take days or even weeks. All sectors of society have been affected by technological advancement. These include; business, agriculture, governance, sports, education, transport and communication among others. Whereas technology has claimed a significant share of positive societal impact, it is also associated with a variety of negative impacts on society ranging from social, cultural, economic, political and environmental effects (Fingerman 2011, 348). Therefore technological advancement does not necessarily lead to a better society.

Advancement in technology has brought about many social as well as cultural problems. On the cultural front, communication technology has caused erosion of some cultural practices as people tend to copy cultural practices of others hence abandon their own. On the social front for example, the internet has remained a problem to children because it exposes children to pornographic content hence largely contribute to erosion of societal morals. Today, children begin to engage in irresponsible sexual behavior at a very tender age hence end up being infected with HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases because of trying out what they see on the internet (Hatch, 2011). Again, with the advent of social media platform, commercial sex workers no longer need to wait for prospective clients in the streets. Instead, they lure them easily through Facebook for instance and arrange to meet at a place convenient for the client. It becomes even more difficult for governments to control such activities since platform is global (Copes and Vieraitis 2009, 329-349).

Advancement in technology also contribute to social crimes especially fraud. Bank frauds have been on the increase in the recent years. Fraudsters have continued to perfect their Art through the use of technology. They are now able to crack into and access Bank accounts through ATMs and transfer or withdraw funds altogether. Furthermore, due to technology, many such operations can be done within a very short time (Gadzheva 2008, 60-74).

In the education sector, advancement in technology has a number of negative impacts. First, technological advancement has led to over-reliance on the internet for any information. This means that people are no longer as innovative as before. Scientific research is therefore no longer original, but a repetition of other people’s ideas researched years back. Today, people can be said to be relatively lazy. No one wants to venture into critical thinking in order to come up with answers when they can find massive information with a click of a button. The problem associated with this is that even the quality of information available on the internet may be compromised as well. As such, the future society risks becoming much a compromised society than it were before industrial revolution (Fingerman 2011, 348).

Technology was meant to improve how people work. This means that people need to control and use the technology for easier and faster performance. But technology has taken control of the people’s lives instead. In fact, the more the advancement in technology, the more peoples’ lives get controlled by it. Today, people spent much of their productive time on the internet. People work online, they study online, they express love online, and they chat and play online, and eventually shop online. But maybe they forget the saying that too much of something is poisonous. For instance, spending too much time on screens may affect a person’s eyes and also tend to lower ability to think effectively. It is common to find couples fight one another for failing to recognize and pay attention to one another simply because of devoting their time to social media such as Twitter and Facebook, or watching movies on Television. In other words, technology has changed how people used to behave. The times when people used to meet and sit together to share and abandon solitude are long forgotten. Today, people communicate online and are more accustomed to sitting alone in their screen world. Put differently, they have been socially and psychologically disconnected from the friends in cafes and clubs, (Megan 2006, 32).

Technological advancements have caused negative impacts on economic development as well. For instance, the use of machinery has led to more capital intensive means of production as opposed to the labor intensive means. Consequently, unemployment continues to pose one of the greatest challenges globally. Many youths graduate from colleges and Universities but fail to find jobs. This has also contributed to the rising level of social crimes in society (Eatwell 1996, 175).

Technological advancements have introduced political challenges too. Wealthy countries have tended to invest in manufacturing sophisticated nuclear weapons and have become a real threat to international security. Off course such weapons of mass destruction are not meant for exhibition. They can be put to use at the slightest provocation leading to ‘massive destruction’ as it were (Dittmer 2005, 70).

Finally, technological advancement has bought with it environmental damages. Industries emit substantial amounts of chemicals in the air on a daily basis. Some of these substances are poisonous to plants; others are poisonous to animals while others are poisonous to both. Some chemicals cause erosion and corrosion of materials such as iron sheets. Better still; some machines actually emit gases that disturb the rainfall cycle. Global warming is one of the lives threatening environmental impact also associated with technological advancement (Martine 2008, 154).

In conclusion, technological advancements do not necessarily lead to a better society. Although technology has introduced a revolution in the way society works, it does not exclusively produce positive effects. As discussed in this essay, advancement in technology has caused many negative impacts on society alongside the many positive effects. The negative effects can be social, cultural, economic, political or environmental. Some cultures have been eroded as people copy other cultural practices aided by communication technology. Overdependence on computers has been associated with reduction in innovation and critical thinking. The social media and internet is associated with erosion of moral values and exposure of children to dangers of pornographic content. Together with negative economic effects related to use of capital intensive technologies, political effects of nuclear weapons development, and environmental effects of pollution by industrial emissions, advancement in technology does not necessarily lead to a better society.

References
Copes, H. and Vieraitis, L.M., 2009. Understanding Identity Theft: Offenders’ Accounts of Their Lives and Crimes. Criminal Justice Review, 34(3), 329–349.
Dittmer, L., 2005. South Asia’s Nuclear Security Dilemma: India, Pakistan, and China, New York: M.E. Sharpe.
Eatwell, J., 1996. Global Unemployment: Loss of Jobs in the ’90s, New York: M.E. Sharpe.
Fingerman, K.L., 2011. Handbook of Life-Span Development, New York: Springer Publishing Company.
Gadzheva, M., 2008. Privacy in the Age of Transparency: The New Vulnerability of the Individual. Social Science Computer Review, 26(1), 60–74.
Hatch, K.E., ‘2011. Determining the Effects of Technology on Children. Available at http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1212&context=srhonorsprog (10/8/2013)
Martine, G., 2008. The New Global Frontier: Urbanization, Poverty and Environment in the 21st Century, London: Earthscan.
Megan, L., 2006. Environment, Health and Sustainable Development, Understanding public health, London: McGraw-Hill International.

 

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