Whether you are at a coffee shop or a bus stop, the changes technology has brought to our lives is undeniable. Technology evolved over time – the initial idea was to make survival easier. Over the last 2 decades, we have witnessed a radical shift in which technology has taken over a number of tasks. Life without computers and cell phones would be unimaginable. Skeptics wonder if technology is replacing face to face communication and interaction between people and leading to isolation. The current generation is part of a huge social experiment, the results of which are yet to be revealed.
Impact on society:
Technology and society have evolved in such a way that people have become dependent in quite a few areas. Technology has impacted every aspect – communication, learning, travel, doing business and even everyday activities like cooking, laundry and so on. The fact remains that technology while helping our lives become easier has come with its challenges. The biggest challenge that people have to deal with is to decide the kind of future that we want and create relevant technologies. The cost to the environment and society has to be considered as well. For example, corn can be used to make ethanol and fuel cars. The downside to doing so is that a lot of food is diverted to alternative causes and given that many people are going hungry, proper use of resources has to be given importance.
The fact is that technology in itself is not harmful to society – the way it is used is what causes problems. Energy is required to manufacture products, to power vehicles, light homes and offices, make machines work as intended. Technology has helped in making all of these efficient – positive and negative impacts are two sides of the same coin.
Positive impact of technological advances:
- Agriculture: Technology has made agriculture more viable – to grow food on a large scale and offer a great return on investment. Subsidies have made it easier to grow and technology has offered us genetically modified crops which not only grow fast but also pest resistant. Technology has also helped arid countries to grow their own food and become self-sufficient where water needs are concerned.
- Transportation: One sector with the biggest impact is transportation – vehicles of all types, whether it is cars, planes, buses or even two wheelers have helped people and materials get transported efficiently. Technological advances have made these methods fuel efficient too, bringing roads and development to outlying rural areas.
- Communication: This is an area where the marvels of technology are most evident – electronic media like phones, the internet and television have revolutionized the way people and businesses reach out to each other. The influence of media in bringing about social change is also evolving. Technology has helped people get better services across the board.
- Educational opportunities: Technology has made education and learning more accessible to people across the globe. An educated workforce means a well governed economy and also well run businesses. What is important is that visual learning aids have become easier to provide along with other learning tools.