Are We Too Dependent on Computers?
The development of computers is one of the most remarkable processes in the modern world. Computers evolved from gigantic machines for complex calculations developing into compact devices with limitless possibilities of application. The main function of computers has not changed over the years: they still remain a valuable tool designed to assist people in many spheres of their lives. However, as technological progress continues, people find it harder to live without the benefits provided by computers. In fact, many specialists throughout the world believe that this dependence on computers is a potential weakness that poses a threat to the future of mankind (Lague).
Computers Are Extensively Used In a Society
Nowadays, computers are extensively used in society, and it is difficult to find a sphere of life that develops without them. The benefits of computer use are the main cause of the growing social dependency on them. One of the reasons why computers are so widespread is that they make different activities significantly easier and faster. For example, computers enable the automation and highly precise execution of many routine processes, especially in different industries. As a result, computers help to reduce production costs and increase the quality of production, which leads to a higher income for manufacturers and, consequently, a beneficial position of the whole country on the world market. In view of tight competition on the world market, it would be highly unreasonable not to further develop an industrial implementation of computers whenever possible. Therefore, the dependence of businesses on computers is constantly increasing.
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Computers Provide Easier and Faster Access to Stored Information
Another invaluable benefit of computer use is that computers significantly enhance all types of data handling, including accounting, registration, classification, creation, and maintenance of databases for various purposes. These processes are vital for many areas of society ranging from health care and policing to trade. Computers provide easier and faster access to stored information as well as much more reliable storage of information in comparison with traditional record-keeping based on paper and writing. In addition, the use of computers for these purposes significantly reduces the amount of paperwork and, therefore, helps to protect the environment by reducing the amount of litter and saving the forests that otherwise would be cut to make paper. Environmental problems became one of the greatest concerns for humanity; that is why people’s dependence on computers is further increasing.
Computer-Based Technologies Promote Communication
Another reason for computer dependence is that computer-based technologies promote communication. Most people have at least one account in social networks as well as an e-mail address to communicate with other people. The technological progress merged functions of a phone and a computer in a smartphone, thus creating a device that has become an integral accessory of many modern people, old and young alike. A recent survey published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System indicated that approximately 87 percent of the United States adult population has a mobile phone, and 52 percent of mobile phones are smartphones with access to the Internet (“Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2013”). The basic human need for communication is another cause of people’s dependence on computers that led to the creation of different types of portable computers: notebooks, PDAs, etc.
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People Could Not Afford to Stop Using Computers
Steve Wozniak, a co-founder of Apple company, stated that people have already become addicted to technology and have lost a lot of control over it (Milian). The dependence on computers will continue to grow as it will be more involved in every aspect of human lives. Nowadays, people could not afford to stop using computers even if they want to eliminate this dependence. However, society would consider the very idea of living without computers to be a definite setback because of the high efficiency and other benefits they provide.
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