Technology and human life cannot be separated; society has a cyclical co-dependence on technology. We use technology; depend on technology in our daily life and our needs and demands for technology keep on rising. Humans use technology to travel, to communicate, to learn, to do business and to live in comfort. However, technology has also caused us concerns. Its poor application has resulted in the pollution of the environment and it has also caused a serious threat to our lives and society. This calls for the proper use of technology. The biggest challenge facing people is to determine the type of future we need to have and then create relevant technologies which will simplify the way we do things.
It is impossible to explore how each new advanced technology has impacted our lives and how it will impact the future. Technology impacts the environment, people and the society as a whole. The way we use technology determines if its impacts are positive to the society or negative. For example, (POSITIVE IMPACT) we can use corn to make ethanol and this ethanol can be used as fuel. Fuel can be used to run machines and cars which will increase the output of manufacturing industries at a lower cost. (NEGATIVE IMPACT) However, if we decide to shift large quantities of corn to fuel production from food production, humans will be left with no food and this will cause world hunger which even is a worse situation.
Basing on the example above, technology by its self is not harmful to the society, but the way society uses technology to achieve specific goals is what results into negative impacts of technology on the society. Humans need to use energy to process products in factories, to run cars, to light homes and also run technological machines like computers, but the only way we can do this without affecting the environment and society is by shifting from exhaustible energy sources to renewable and inexhaustible sources like Solar / Wind energy.I have listed both positive and negative impacts of technology on our society.
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Positive Impacts of Technology on Society
- Technology Has Mechanized Agriculture
Technology has mechanized agriculture: Modern agricultural technology allows a small number of people to grow vast quantities of food in a short period of time with less input which results into high yields and RIO ”return on investment”. Through government subsidies, small and medium-sized farmers have managed to acquire plowing, sowing, watering and harvesting machines. The use of technology in agriculture has also resulted in the manufacturing of genetic crops which can grow fast and they can be resistant to many pests and diseases. Also, farmers have access to artificial fertilizers which add value to the soil and boost the growth of their crops and enable them to produce high-quality yields. Farmers in dry areas have been in a position to grow healthy crops, they use advanced water pumps and sprinklers which derive water from rivers to the farms, the all process can be automated to save time. A good example is Egypt, this is a desert country which receives little rain, but small and big farmers have used automated sprinklers to irrigate their farms. In Egypt, they grow a lot of rice, yet this crop needs sufficient water to grow well. The water is pumped from River Nile to the rice fields on a daily basis.
- Technology Has Improved Transportation
Technology has improved transportation: Transportation is one of the basic areas of technological activity. Both society and businesses have benefited from the new transpiration methods. Transportation provides mobility for people and goods. Transportation, like all other technologies, can be viewed as a system. It is a series of parts that are interrelated. These parts all work together to meet a certain goal. Transportation uses vehicles, trains, airplanes, motorbikes, people, roads, energy, information, materials, finance and time. All these parts I have mentioned work together to move and relocate people and goods. Technology has helped in advancing all the four types of transportation and these include ; (1) road transport used by automobiles ,(2) air transport which is used by airplanes , (3)water transportation which is used by ships and speed boats and (4) space transportation used to go to the moon. The most used of all these is Road transportation, this one facilitates the movement of goods and people. Technologies like automobiles, buses, and trucks have improved the way humans move and how they transport their goods from place to another. Also, developing countries are getting funds from wealthy countries to improve their road transport which has resulted in the development of rural remote areas.
- Technology Has Improved Communication
Technology has improved communication: Communication is used for a number of purposes. Both society and organizations depend on communication to transfer information. People use technology to communicate with each other. Electronic media like radios, televisions, internet, social media have improved the way we exchange ideas which can develop our societies. In many countries, radios and televisions are used to voice the concerns of the society, they organize live forums where the community can contribute through mobile phones or text service systems like tweeter. During political elections, leaders use radio, television and internet media to reach the people they want to serve. A good example is the recent presidential election in the USA, ”President Barak Obama ” has embraced the communication technology to reach and voice out his concerns towards the development of America. Communication technologies like Televisions, radios, and internet can be used to persuade, entertain and inform the society. Small businesses have also used the internet and mobile communication technology to grow and improve their customer service. Learn more about Communication Technology here >>>
- Technology Has Improved Education and Learning Process
Technology has improved education and learning process: Education is the backbone of every economy. People need well and organized educational infrastructures so that they can learn how to interpret information. Many schools have started integrating educational technologies in their schools with a great aim of improving the way students learn. Technologies like smart whiteboards, computers, mobile phones, iPads, projectors, and internet are being used in classrooms to boost students moral to learn. Visual education is becoming more popular and it has proved to be the best method of learning in many subjects like mathematics, physics, biology, geography, economics and much more. The business community has invested money in various educational technologies which can be used by both teachers and their students. For example, on iTunes, you will find many educational applications which can allow students and teachers exchange academic information at any time, this has made learning mobile. Also, programs like Long distance learning have opened boundaries too so many scholars around the world.
Negative Impacts of Technology on Society
- Resource Depletion
The more demand for new technologies and advancement of current technologies, the more pressure we put on earth’s natural resources. Look at the total number of mobile phones and computers being manufactured today, our population is increasing every day and all these billion consumers demand either a mobile phone or a computer in their homes or offices. This is good news for the manufactures, like Apple or Samsung, the demand for their gadgets is high, but to sustain this demand, they have to exploit Mother Nature for resources like aluminum, once these resources are extracted from the earth plates, they will never return back because it took them a billion years to mature. That means that at one time, we shall be left with no natural resource which can be a problem to the future generation and economy. Likewise, the intensive farming practices will deplete the soil. This makes heavy applications of commercial fertilizers necessary to yield healthy harvests, but also these fertilizers have chemicals which are dangerous to the soil and human lives.
- Increased Population
Technology has helped us live longer by improving health facilities and aiding in the research for solutions for most health problems which affect humans. This is good news for developed countries but is bad news for developing countries which have not been in a position to access these health care benefits brought by technology. In developed countries population growth is controlled by advanced birth control methods, this has helped them balance their population in relation to natural resources and other opportunities which come with a planned population. This is different in developing countries, the rate at which people produce is very high, the mortality rate is high, food is scarce and health care is poor.
- Increased Pollution
Pollution affects the land we grow crops on, the water we drink and the air we breathe. The increased demand for new technologies and advancement of technologies has resulted in many manufacturing and processing factories. As they work so hard to create the best technologies for both society and business, they release harmful chemicals and gasses which have polluted our environment and this has resulted in climate changes (global warming). So the more technology we enjoy, the more we harm our environment. Experts have tried to implement ways of reducing this impact by encouraging factories to go green, to a small extent, this has been achieved through the development of green technologies like; green cars, green computers, but a great effort is still needed to reduce the pollution of the air and the earth.