Technological change has always had significant impacts on society, both positively and negatively. Each new invention has affected the way people relate to each other and communicate, especially because of the revolutionary Internet and mobile technologies. A dynamic technological change has had many positive changes to society (Rogers 8). The automation as a result of advanced technology has enabled us to save our human efforts and time in addition to bringing some distant places much closer into what is now widely known as a ‘global village.’
We are currently being in the period of an immense technological change being the change to us. Given the difficulty to come up with some new ideas, scientists in laboratories or academic settings and fictional writers often refine the existing technologies. These technologies are later made faster, added more features, and are cheaper to appeal to our present generation. We are being in love with technological innovations.
Technology has not only brought the automation of processes at the workplace but also in the household. We have been relieved of some tedious and cumbersome manual efforts that we had initially put in to undertake a basic industrial process (Sims 45). Machines are increasingly performing tasks that are not beyond human capability as evidenced by robotics and artificial intelligence. These technologies have proven to be helpful in such life-threatening activities as space exploration and mining.
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However, the greatest technological change in the history of mankind can be said to be the development of the computer and the Internet. These ones have greatly transformed the way we are communicating and accessing the information. Computers have greatly changed the way we store, organize, and manage our data. The software industry has also emerged because of it. It has enabled humans to perform several tasks with a single program (Verbeek 217). The Internet has built some ideas of computer networking to produce the largest information base and the most effective communication tool that the world has ever seen before. We have changed the way we are doing our product or service promotion by taking advantage of Internet advertisement.
We have also transformed the entertainment media so much that today watching movies, listening to music, and playing games is possible over the Internet and the small electronic gadgets, i.e. iPods and iPads (Sims 78). The digital age has set in. There the huge amounts of information are being digitalized and stored in a compressed form. Digitization also has improved the quality of the data that we store. Similarly, digital images and digital voice we have because of the technological change are of superior quality. Our user experience with the technology has been further enhanced by digital cameras and TVs providing high-quality pictures.
The technological change has also widened the function of the state to include such functions as health, care, protection of the disabled and aged people, and providing the state-funded education for the minority, among others (Dholakia 278). The modern technology has also strengthened nationalism as governments have greatly impersonalized their human relations through some government websites, for example.
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With the dynamic changes in technology, this often implies the changes in human behavior. Since the agricultural periods several centuries ago, the changes in technology have seen the humankind taking the fast and short steps towards modern civilizations. The changes have been characterized by significant social and behavioral changes among people (Miller 402). However, these are the rapid technological changes in the 21st century that have had many impacts on human behaviors. The technological change is, to a greater extent, responsible for lots of secular trends in such basic elements of human conditions as education levels, life expectancy and the size of the world population, as well as the nature of work, the standards of living, transport, communication, healthcare and impacts of human activities on the natural environment; as also, this includes peace and war (Sims 130).
Technological change can be said to be any use of new ways of turning resources into useful products or services. The word ‘technology’ itself simply refers to the new machines. However, the definition can be broadened to include all new techniques regardless of whether they involve some new machines or not (Sims 291). Some rapid technological changes have continued to appear across the world as a result of the high technological potential to considerably reduce the production costs, boost productivity, and improve quality. In order to take full advantage of technological change, human beings must have the appropriate structural and behavioral changes. Compared to the technical change, behavioral changes often occur much slowly (Sims 291).
We also are greatly influenced, both directly and indirectly, by the technological change in such areas as governance, human relationships, entertainment, our perspectives on morality, mind as well as our own human nature. In general, therefore, the characteristics of every situation are modified every time there is technological advancement (Miller 402).
It can also be argued that the rapid changes in technology have changed the lifestyle and culture of human beings. Thanks to the information and technology, human beings in a daily race make money, take fast food instead of the traditional home-cooked foods, using the air conditioner instead of the natural air, among others.
On the other hand, the dynamic change in technology has resulted in the change in human behaviors to be leaned towards the social shift. The social movements come up with an objective to bring about the change in existing values, norms, and ideologies. Social movements, therefore, are working to modify the models or images that people have of their own culture. Thus, they change in their human behaviors (Miller 412). Yet, there are other social movements being formed to oppose the changes as they favor maintaining the status quo.
The Problem with Technology
Even though the technology has had a positive impact on various fields, it has its challenges. Humans are becoming slaves of technology. People are increasingly bypassing the real world and getting a digital quick-fix (Rogers 12). The current generations act, react, think, and behave, in general, a lot in a more different way compared to the earlier pre-connected generations.
There can be no argument that the dynamic technological change over the years has impacted greatly on our modes of life or human behavior. The rapid changes in technology have significantly altered the institutions of family, marriage, state, religion, and property. The modern technology is fast in changing a family organization by stripping it of the industry. This means that more agencies are taking over the functions of the family because of the advancing technology.
Marriage has been reduced to a civil contract being opposed to a sacred bond. This is because in the time the technological change has been raising the status of women, it has also resulted in growing levels of stress in relations between a woman and a man at home (Verbeek 220). Similarly, religion is threatened by technology because more and more people are becoming secular, scientific, and rational though being less religious.
The overexposure of technological gadgets by individuals at every level of their lives has meant that technology is being used to perform even the basic tasks at home and at the workplace. At home, for example, iPads are today used for babysitting or pacifying stubborn children being at the age of 4. Smartphones have a characteristically user-friendly interface, being colorful and highly engaging as well as the entertaining apps that attract the attention of young children.
Technology has made people inherently lazy resulting in less innovation. It has increased the health-related problems due to fewer exercises and many other problems. As human beings become increasingly dependent on technology, the social fabric is being slowly broken. People are all the time preoccupied with their gadgets. They fail to talk to each other in the real world. The lack of communication between spouses has led to a growing number of fights, arguments, and divorces. Technology has, therefore, slowly crept into our lives and successfully formed the glass walls between people.
They can communicate with each other in a healthy manner but instead, opt not to. Advancing technology has also made many of us so busy that we hardly have time to spend with our family members or dear people (Verbeek 244). This is indeed a problematic issue considering the fact that as human beings we are social animals. We should use communication to exchange information together with the development of our emotional and mental kinds of growth.
The other major problem that we are facing as a result of advancing technology is the development of weapons. Rivalry among some countries can be blamed due to the rapid technological advancements as the competition intensifies in the development of new and lethal warfare equipment and techniques. In fact, even the countries the people of which are haunted by famine and inhumane living conditions, their governments have invested heavily in developing the weapon industry. A good example of this is North Korea.
The changes in technology have also made a growing number of people around the world becoming extremely lazy and inconsiderate. Even for distances, more people today prefer driving their own cars as opposed to walking or riding a bicycle or even taking a commercial bus. They have lost the concerns for the environment due to the emissions from their personal vehicles. In so doing, they contribute to the depletion of an ozone layer (Dholakia 275). The result of this is the increased global warming that is harmful to humans, animals, and plants on the planet. In terms of laziness, for example, more students are opting to use calculators to do the simple tasks that they can comfortably do by themselves.
Technological change has also resulted in an increasing displacement of people from the workplace. This is especially considering that more and more machines are coming up to do the work previously done by people. Machines are, therefore, doing away with the need for human efforts at the workplace.
Again, the greatest problem of the dynamic change of technology has been posed by the Internet. It presents an ocean of information to us, i.e. the kind of information that distorts our personality, habits, and behaviors. The Internet has virtually eliminated the reading culture among students and even adults. This is because of the reality that is Google where any answer can be searched and retrieved almost immediately without researching and understanding the content (Dholakia 268). As a society, we have become accustomed to relying on the Internet for almost everything. This is something that kills our ability to think critically as well as eroding our creativity. The general human behavior change that has resulted from this habit is the one that we expect everything to come to us. This means that we have grown more impatient.
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The dependence of this speedy process is also negatively affecting our brainpower. As it has come to be claimed, “Google is making us stupid; the Internet is rewiring our brains.” It is clear that the Internet is indeed rewiring our behavior via social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. Cyberbullying has emerged as a major issue in the world because of our intensified activities on the Internet and social networks (Antonelli 323).
Unlike before, adolescence is now characterized by popularity contests, name-calling, and general mean-spiritedness over social media in real life. This is made worse by the fact that the modern electronic version presents us with greater anonymity. It makes users writing comments without any fear of responsibility. This sort of electronic aggression is responsible to a greater extent due to the behavioral challenges students are showing both at home and school. The fact that we are not being face-to-face with those we are in communication over the Internet. This makes us exhibit negative behaviors for which we often go unpunished.
Speaking of bad behaviors, the Internet, and the media as a technological phenomenon has contributed to the erosion of morality especially among young people. Young people are becoming more violent from watching violent movies and playing violence-themed computer games. The youth is also increasingly visiting adult sites where they watch pornographic videos and then practice them with their peers (Gallop 34). Such reckless behavior has contributed to a high number of HIV infections among them.
The invasion of personal privacy has also become a major issue in today’s world of advanced technology (Antonelli 324). The personal information of individuals in social network sites as well as in phones is now being at a higher risk of being hacked using sophisticated software. Still, on morals and values, the technology has twisted the behavior of people in that more of them have lost concerns for their fellow human beings. They are more mindful of paying their electricity and cell phone bills. In this respect, a person no longer cares if his or her neighbor is hungry as long as they have met their technological needs (Gallop 45).
Many modern children have become addicted to the computer. It has negatively affected their eating, playing, and sleeping habits as well as their general behavior. The addiction has made us disregard the importance of their physical activity, i.e. such behavior leads to the increasing cases of obesity.
Arguably, the most problematic issue related to the growth of technology has to do with genetic engineering. Human behavior is being altered by genetic engineering more than other reproductive technologies in existence. Cloning, that has the exact copies of a genetic ancestor created, is the most extreme type of genetic engineering (Antonelli 325). Technology is enabling scientists to alter the behavior of any person. By doing so, away with some undesired traits and at their place, they replace genes with the desirable traits. Most of the genetic engineering technologies represent immoral practices because they serve to eradicate the human individuality as well as deny diversity.
Significance of the Problem
The solution to the aforementioned problems bears significant importance. It will help to understand and give direction to how human beings should logically look at the issues with a view to solve or reduce some negative impacts.
One sub-claim is that technology has impacted every sphere of our lives. The truth of this statement is strongly supported by the article The Technological Advancements and Its Impact on Humanity written by Philip Yiga. The paper technology has evolved over the years and changed the way people are purchasing products, our ways of living, communicating, traveling, and learning, among many other changes.
They have been the products of some technological advancement. The changing lifestyles and demands have resulted in high demand for the advanced type of technology (Winston 12). This piece of evidence supports the thesis by showing that technology has brought some changes into all spheres. In addition, that is constantly evolving. Another source that equally supports this claim is the book titled Media Technology and Society, a History from the Telegraph to the Internet by Brian Winston.
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Another sub-claim is that technology has impacted on society. On this, there are some assertions in the article Technology Can Have Positive and Negative Impact on Social Interactions by Human Kinetics. It supports the claim that the change in technology has negatively impacted on our social relationships. It is regretted that while there is the proliferation of technologies with the ability to overcome limitations of both time and space, they have contributed to maintaining and strengthening our familial relationships (Harrington 2). They have also not improved our ability to communicate effectively with other people and help us to become more socially adaptive. It is evident that some technological advances have left people more stressed and distracted.
We are living in the age of robotics, where machines have the ability to learn, adapt to new things, in addition, to perform tasks almost like humans. Our behavior is changing along with the dynamic changes in technology. The Internet has emerged as an effective tool for both visualization and simulation. It is affecting every aspect of our lives starting from personal growth, communication, scientific discoveries, and entertainment. However, there is some sort of resistance to technological change. This is due to the fact that while humans are being good at adapting to new technologies, there is the preference of the status quo and simplicity.
While technology has made human beings more beautiful on the outside, it has contributed to our destruction from the inside. There is no doubt that our behavior will keep on changing as new technologies are being introduced to us. Technological change is the one thing that is guaranteed to around as long as humanity is being still around. New technological devices will be released and recycled even when we have run out of some resources. The space race demonstrates our great desire to seek some sources from other planets so as to continue our technological innovation.