Advantages and Disadvantages of Modern Technology – (Detailed Essay)
Modern technology has played a big role in changing our daily life – it has both advantages and disadvantages ”as we shall see in this detailed article / essay.
The term modern – relates to the present times as opposed to the past. So when we talk about modern technology we look at the present technologies and how they have affected our daily lives.
Technology can be described as a branch of knowledge (techniques, methods, skills and processes) used in the design, production and utilization of goods and services to meet human needs. It keeps on changing – it improves upon previous technological devices and systems.
Most of it is developed by profit-centered businesses as a way of increasing on their output and profits in general.
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Some people argue that modern technology simplifies life and it has become a necessity to every human kind. To some extent I agree with that argument simply because we use technology on a daily basis. Some human activities can’t be fulfilled without the use of technology.
For example; communication, transportation, reading & research, food processing, healthcare / medication and so much more……when you look at our daily activities, you will notice that even a person who lives in a remote area (village), uses modern technologies like cell phones to communicate.
The design and functionality of a cell phone has evolved with time. It has evolved from being a cell phone to a smart phone meaning it can do more tasks than a cell phone so a person living in a remote area can use a smart phone to communicate cheaply, read news, make research via the internet, transfer money electronically, socially interact with friends all over the globe and so much more………However, modern technology has also come with some serious effects on humanity and the environment we live in.
The more factories we build, the more we harm our environment, it has replaced humans in workplaces thus resulting into unemployment, it has made people lazy and over dependent on it which hinders creativity and growth of human skills………According to Truthhout …” The main problem with technology; is that most innovations have unintended consequences – which keep on piling up with time thus causing harm to humanity” ….This means that the main intention of new/modern technology is to solve human problems but those who invent this technology ignore the effects of these new inventions and they fail to reduce/prevent them before things get worse.
40 Advantages Of Modern Technology:
- Improved access to information: Internet technology has made it easy & cheap to access information. Since the invention of smart phones and fast internet – the number of people who consume information via these smart phones has increased. You can easily read trending / breaking news using a smart phone – at the same time you can get directions using Google Maps. Open platforms like Wikipedia have gathered all kinds of information on just about everything – so you can make research on any topic of your choice thus promoting personal education which is a vital element in economic growth. Mobile applications like Whatsapp, Twitter & Facebook have made accesses to information faster and cheaper. News reporters can use these mobile messaging applications to deliver information to the right people on-time.
- Improved communication: In the past it used to be very difficult to communicate with friends and families across borders. The main model of communication used to be ”written letters” which would take long because a carrier would take long to deliver the message so by the time you get the latter – the context in the letter is outdated. However, the advancement of communication technology in this day of age has made communication fast and cheap. A billion of people are connected in one way or another. For example, you can communicate through helectronic mail platforms, video chat applications like Skype (with Skype – you virtually see the person you’re talking too – 100 miles away from you), text messaging applications like Whatsapp (you can share photos, make cheap cross boarder calls, share videos in real time with friends & family).
- Great Discoveries:- Modern technology has facilitated research in both developed and developing societies. It is very difficult for a society / country to develop without research. Our demands as humans keep on changing and technology can help in solving specific human problems. Some of the latest discoveries that will change human history forever include; (1) Eternal Data Storage – Discovered by University of Southampton (it is a small glass disk that can hold 360TB of data and it remains intact up to 1,000°C, (2) Landing a rocket vertically – Discovered by SpaceX’s Elon Musk – it is very expensive to manufacture a rocket but it is even harder to land it vertically from space after use – so in the past rockets where landed in the ocean / get burned up while still in space – which costs governments lots of cash. But this new discovery by Elon Musk means that rockets won’t be burned up anymore and lots of cash will be saved for further investing…
- Cost Efficiency:- Modern technology has facilitated the development of cost effective tools which solve daily human problems and at the same time save them lots of cash. A good example is solar power – it has evolved with time and at this day of age, you can use solar power on just about anything at home. The initial investment of installing a powerful solar system in your home is high but in the long run – it saves you lots of cash and at the same time it saves Mother Nature. According to SolarPowerAuthority.com – standard solar system components include; (1) Solar panels which capture sun’s energy and convert it into electricity, (2) Controller – which protects batteries through regulating the flow of electricity, (3) Batteries – they store electricity for later use (4) Inverter – which converts energy stored in a battery to required voltage.
- Improved entertainment and amusement industry: Work without play makes Jack a dull boy – Right. In this day of age, an average person works for 45 hours in a week and the only way they can remain productive and creative is by getting off their jobs and have some fan alone or with friends. Modern technology has made it possible to have fan alone – for example, you can play video games on your computer or use a home golf simulator to play golf at home (this is a good virtual game because it keeps your body active.
- Convenience: The main use of technology is to make our life easier through solving day-to-day problems. We have different technologies that we use on a daily basis to make our life smooth but one of the most used technological devices is a cell phone. Not only has it made it easier to communicate, but it has also made it easy to access all sorts of information. All you need is connection to internet and everything will be in your hands. The other technological system that has made our life easier is transportation technology – its more than just a technology but a system – it includes things like people, energy, money, information etc…….its advancement has shaped / changed our lives & culture.
- Improved housing and lifestyle: Real estate industry is booming in all parts of the world due to the advancement in the construction technology. Natural forces like earth quakes are no-longer a threat towards the construction industry because buildings can be set to withstand all forces of nature thus reducing on loss of life and money. In terms of life style – people leaving in desert areas like Dubai have found a way of constructing durable world class builds which can withstand strong desert winds yet at the same time stay cool during day time. Construction technology makes it very easy to inspect a site before building takes off. This saves the engineers both time and money.
- Increased job opportunities:- People who look at technology as a threat will tell you that it has reduced jobs and increased on employment (which is true to some extent) – but open minded people (the ones who go with change) have embraced technology, learned how it works and have used it to make millions of money. In the past it used to be very difficult to start a business (it required lots of capital and chances of survival where less) – however today, it is very easy to start a business using affordable technological tools like computer & internet. For example- free website builders like WordPress, Weebly and Wix make it for a person without website design knowledge to make a website or create a blog to make money online without any need for coding.
- Increased automation of manufacturing: – Both large & small scale industries have automated their assembly and manufacturing line thus increasing on their output and profits. Industrial automation deals with automation of manufacturing goods / services, quality control and material handling process. We have been in position to drive affordable cars simply because of this automation process. It cuts down costs of production – so the manufacturer sets the price of their products / services low in that everyone can afford them – In the long run it increases on their profits and facilitates growth. Global companies like Coca Cola have automated their assembly & manufacturing process so they’re in position to produce a billion of Coca Cola bottles which are consumed world-wide.
- Convenience of traveling:- Transport is a major player in business development. A transportation system is more than just cars/ships/ air planes/ trains – it also involves other things like energy, information and so much more. Modern technology has made it easy and cheap to move goods & services from one place to another and this has resulted into increased profits & improved customer care . Let us take a good example of Amazon.com (largest online retailer), they ship billions of products in a year – according to ibtimes.com ”Amazon shipped 1 billion products during 2016 holiday season. Prime members of Amazon are entitled to express delivery and this has helped Amazon gain competitive advantage over the other online stores like Overstock.com and Ebay.com
- Unlocked geographical boundaries:- In the past it used to be very difficult for small business to reach customers across borders. The bureaucracy involved in setting up a global company is too much and a small business can’t afford it. However, technology has opened up all unreachable boarders – in that a small business in Africa can have access to European markets through the internet. Global marketplaces such as Alibaba.com have made it possible for small business in china to access locked markets. For example; I once made an order for phone cases on Alibaba via the internet – but shipping and taxes where all cleared online and I got the products in less than 5 days using DHL – mind you I did all this from the comfort of my home.
- High Return on Investment:- Both large and small businesses can use technology to increase on output, reduce operational costs and increase on profits. The initial investment of implementing technology in a large cooperation is quite high but in the long run that business will see an increase in profits. On the other hand, small businesses like florists can take advantage of the internet and sell their flowers to masses without spending too much money on advertisement. Another option for small businesses is Amazon’s ”Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service – this enables a small business take advantage of Amazon’s eCommerce technology and large database of customers. This program helps small businesses grow very fast because Amazon takes care of the shipping and customer care services – the owner of a small business all they have to do is to stock products in the Amazon warehouse and to also spend money on product promotion which is affordable.
- Efficiency and productivity: Technological tools don’t get tired of doing the same thing over and over – yet human beings get bored once they do the same thing so many times. Technology tools are never stressed (as long as they’re well maintained) yet humans have day-to-day challenges which stress them and reduce on their performance and efficiency. Once technology is used in a business, production will improve, time will be saved, more money will be made, customers will get what they want in time, supply of products & services will be smooth and the business will grow. One machine can complete a job which would have been done by 10 people and it will do it perfectly and fast.
- Encourages innovation and creativity within a business:- Even though majority of people argue that technology displaces talented people in a business (which is true) – it also creates room for creativity within a business. Those who are left behind to control and maintain its performance are forced to adapt with technology and in the long run they find ways of using technological tools & systems to improve on their performance. For example, a marketer can let go of traditional marketing methods which cost a fortune and resort to online social marketing which is very cheap and effective. We have seen lots of businesses creating Facebook Business Pages which they use to promote services & goods to targeted audiences. They also use Facebook Pages to stay in touch with their clients which strengthens the relationship between a customer & a business. Facebook pages have replaced direct mail marketing ( a business owner will always stay in touch with their audience which is not the same case with direct mail marketing).
- Easy flow of information:- The flow of information within a business can determine its success. If it is a large cooperation, mangers can communicate smoothly with employees at all levels. Information technology facilitates this smooth flow of information within an organization thus leading to growth. Employees can communicate through emails, text message apps, video chat platforms, cell phones and so much more. On the other hand, a business can still use technology to collect information from their customers. For example, a business can set up a website and collect feedback from their customers – this information can be used by a business to tailor products which feet customer needs.
- Improved customer & business relationship:- For any business to survive / succeed, it has to keep its relationship with its customers strong and always communicate with them to know what they think about their services / products. Social platforms like Facebook have made it cheaper for businesses to stay in contact with their customers. Facebook pages have an inbox section which gives your customers an opportunity to ask you questions about your business and you can reply them on instant – thus improving on your customer care service. Big companies employee experts to manage their social network pages. Platforms like hootsuite.com; can enable both small & big businesses manage their social media accounts in one place. This means you can always stay engaged with your customers on various social platforms using one application.
- Improves on Human Resource Management: Technology makes a human resource manager’s job easier. They can screen, hire and maximize employee performance with modern technological tools like computers & internet. According to Finacialexpress.com ”digitization trend and application of technology in the business world has grown and technology is more likely to unfold the work of human resource managers”. Much as technology can’t replace that personal touch – it can still be used to speed up some process in HRM (such as screening, interviewing, assessment ….etc). Online job portals like indeed.com can be used when hiring experienced workers – but still HRM’s can use technology to inspect on the performance of employees.
- Creates Mobility: Gone are the days when employees used to commute to work – internet technology has made it possible for companies to hire virtual employees. This means a company can host just a few people at its physical premises but manage the rest of the team remotely. This saves resources yet it increases on the output because virtual employees are paid for work done and they also work in comfortable environments which makes them love their job. Many online publishing companies hire talented writers on freelancer websites such as Freelancer.com & Upwork.com and the cost of hiring a virtual employee / freelancer is low.
- Improved supply chain and logistics management. A supply chain is the sequence of processes required in the production & distribution of commodities. Today we live in a global village where goods and services are produced from one end and sold to another end of the world. The flow / movement of products / services from the manufacturer to the seller – has been made smooth by technology. Transportation systems have improved and logistics companies have embraced internet technology in that companies like Shipwire .. have created online platforms to power-up commerce and fulfillment solutions worldwide. A business owner can use any combination of ShipWire’s warehouse and ship domestically or internationally. This means if I own an online business in Africa but with intentions of serving customers in Europe, Asia…etc….I can ship all my products to Shipwire’s warehouse and they will take care of the shipping task.
- Convenience in education: – There is no need of commuting to a physical school anymore. Internet technology has facilitated the growth and expansion of Online Education. The main reason why this industry has succeeded is because of convenience. It is much cheaper and convenient to study online. Students in developing countries don’t have to go through the hassle of getting VISA’s and Passports to study in foreign countries. All they need is access to internet and they will be in position to subscribe to any course of their choice in any university across the globe. According to Careetstep.com , ”Students love the flexibility & convenience of online classes – because they study when they want to and complete projects without pressure”. It gives you the opportunity to work as you learn.
- Easy access to information:- Education is wide, you can’t get all the information you need in school so you have to dig deep and learn more about a specific topic of choice. This can be a challenge if you have to move from one physical library to another and at the same time it can be expensive to buy hard-copy text books to complete your research. However, you can get all the information you need on the internet. Trusted online platforms like Wikipedia & YouTube host lots of information which can help you learn more about a specific topic of interest. But at the same time, online marketplaces like Amazon.com have made it easier for publishers to sell their content in digital form – so you can buy a kindle version of any book (at a cheaper price).
- Makes education cheap & accessible:- If you were to pay for all the information you get on the internet – majority of you would not be in position to access certain educational content. But 70% of educational content published online is free. If you’re reading this post for academic purposes, I have not charged you any penny but I’m sure it will be of great importance to you and what I will get from my hard work is a ”THANK YOU” – Isn’t that a great opportunity. I’m not the only one in the game, we have big players in the educational world i.e. edutopia.org, academia.edu, ukessays.com, Yourarticlelibrary.com & edudemic.com, – all these platforms host relevant educational material which you can use to pass exams.
- Improves communication between Teachers & Students: Educational technology strengthens the bond & relationship between teachers and students. In a normal traditional educational environment, students find it difficult to interact with their teachers freely. Fear of rejection when in need of help prevents some students from learning and it later on affects their grades. On the other hand, online platforms like Piazza.com make it incredibly easy to ask questions – it saves students time and it connects them to educational experts in real-time. Students can choose to post questions anonymously thus encouraging them to ask anything. Piazza hosts more than 50,000 professors and this database is growing year after year. Well informed teachers use Piazza to post homework, assignments, lecture slides, demonstration codes and so much. All this done in the comfort of their homes.
- Makes education fan and enjoyable: – The use of technology in education has made learning fan / more interesting. Teachers who use smart-boards to display graphic images & videos have reported that their students are more interested in learning than it was in the past. Majority of students are glued to technology so when it is integrated in the learning process, they feel catered for and thus respond in a positive way. Schools with enough financial support have provided each student with a computer in the classroom and this gives a teacher a chance to interact with each student independently through platforms like Piazza.com / Google Classroom.
- Invention of new teaching methods: Some technological tools where not invented for educational purposes but society determines the functionality of a platform so we have seen teachers taking advantage of platforms like WordPress / Edublogs (to create classroom blogs), Podcasts (to deliver educational content), Youtube (used for illustrations), Facebook (to stay engaged with their students), Pinterest (for graphical content). Majority of teachers own classroom blogs where they post homework, research notes, references….and so much more. A good example of a teacher using EDUBLOGS to interact with students is – mscassidysclass.edublogs.org (she’s based in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada) – but her students interact with her all the time.
- Supplements Teachers & Students Income: Teachers and students who are well exposed to technology can take advantage of blogging platforms and make a decent living. This content can be monetized by Adsense, Amazon Affiliate Program, Ebay Affiliate Program, Shareasale, Commision Junction, Media.net and so much more. Today many people make a living via the internet.
- Prepares students for their future careers:- Many people argue that technology has caused unemployment (which is a fact) – but the only way we can fight back as humans is to get technological skills (this means we have to change / revise school curriculum to prepare students for a technological world). Integrating technology in classroom helps students prepare for the future. A world where everything is run on technology. Continuous use of computers & internet in the classroom for learning purposes helps students understand ”information technology” in broad. Kids can subscribe to online coding academies such as ”Code.org / Tynker.com” and learn how to become programmers. Another technology which teachers can use to teach kids to code is called LEGO – it is a set of blocks which let kids build five different smart toy models…..read more here…..
- Diversity in learning styles:- Majority of Educators believe that not all learners have the same ability to learn – so they encourage the use of technology in the classroom because it helps each student to learn the way they want (it makes them feel independent). In a traditional learning environment – educators teach students the same way which is not a good thing because some students take long to understand (they need special attention to learn better). Using educational platforms for classrooms like Google Classroom & Piazza can help students engage with their teachers in real-time – also students can have an opportunity to engage with other educators on that platform thus opening doors to more information & academic relationships.
- Easy interaction between students in the classroom:- Student – to – student relationship is very important – it boosts self confidence and it also helps students build strong relationships. A teacher can use technology to bond students and improve on their learning abilities. This can be archived by creating study groups in a classroom and equip each study group with a computer (not computers). A group of 4 students can use 1 computer for graphical illustrations – since they share one computer – they will learn how to share and communicate with each other.
- Increases Students Interest in learning:- Once technology is integrated in teaching – your students will pay more attention because its fan to learn with advanced tools. For example, a smart board can stream educational videos from YOUTUBE (a technology every students uses for entertainment now being used for learning purposes). Streaming videos & graphics captures every student’s attention because they don’t want to miss anything (it sparks curiosity in a student). So if your students have been dodging lessons, try integrating technological tools in your teaching process, you will see a difference in classroom turn-up and performance. I know it might be expensive to buy some of these tools but it is worth investing in because that is the future of learning.
- Easy access to digital textbooks:- Hard copy text books are not easily accessed as it is with digital textbooks. For a hard copy textbook, a student has to go to a library which might be far away from where they stay. Yet digital textbooks can be accessed on a KINDLE., SMARTPHONE, TABLET and a COMPUTER. Some schools provide their students with free wireless both in the classroom and on the school campus – this enables all students access educational digital content while at school. If a student needs extra explanation on a topic of interest, they can use electronic mail to share and communicate with teachers on the campus. In terms of cost, a digital textbook is cheaper than a hard-copy textbook and they’re not bulky so a student doesn’t need to carry a big back pack to school.
- Improves skills: – Educational technology improves on student’s skills. It helps them learn how to use various technological tools like smart boards, computers, internet and so much more. Digital learning opens them to a new world of no limits – where they can learn anytime / from anywhere. It also improves on their communication skills – for example; a shy student can use electronic mail to ask teachers / fellow students questions. They also learn how to listen, plan, present content using slides, socialize & build teams, learn how to solve problems, be aware of the global world and so much more. So if you fear integrating technology in your classroom / school – it is high time you do so because your students are missing out on lots of skills.
- Reduces weight on students:- In a traditional educational environment – a student has to carry lots of books to school and this adds weight on the things they have to carry to school. However, a small laptop can contain all notes and books they need to use at school. Content can still be backed on Dropbox.com ( in that way – a student does not have to worry about losing their laptop / content)
- Reduces on Human error:- Advanced and well funded hospitals have resorted to robotic surgery / robot-assisted surgery. It is very expensive to implement but it saves lots of lives and there is less room for errors. Some of the advantages of using robots in surgery include; Shorter hospitalization (which saves the patient money & time), Reduced pain and discomfort during & after surgery, Faster recovery (you will get back to work in a very short period of time…), Reduced blood loss & transfusion, Less noticeable scars….etc…Some of the most common robotic surgical systems being used in big hospitals include camera arm and mechanical arms equipped with surgical instruments.
- Evolved patience treatment: The use of health technology has changed the way chronicle / serious diseases are treated. For example; Magnetic Resonance Image is being used by doctors to perform detailed diagnosis on chronicle diseases thus determine the right treatment for the patient (reducing room for errors and time). Also patients with Progeria (genetic disorder which makes young people look very old) can get close surveillance of their brain to predict aneurisms. Individuals like you can easily monitor heart rate and blood pressure by use of heart rate monitors thus saving you from accidental heart attacks.
- Improved engagement between doctors & patients: – Effective communication between doctors and patients is very essential. Online communication applications like Skype can be used by doctors and patients top share information. The good thing about video chat platforms like skype.com – is that a doctor can virtually see and communicate with the patient – a doctor can’t suggest a prescription via skype but they can follow up their patient and know how they’re doing.
- Increased medical research:- Medical scientists and physicians are using medical technology to conduct detailed research on various diseases and drugs thus finding treatments for human killer diseases like cancer and aids resulting into prolonged lives of patients with these diseases. Through the use of technology in healthcare, scientists have managed to examine diseases on a wider scale thus producing strong medicines against them. Life threatening diseases like Malaria, Polio and Aids have been controlled through detailed medical research which is supported by technology.
- Easy access to medical care & services:- Developing countries like Rwanda have embraced technology by using drones to deliver medical supplies in rural areas. Rwanda’s Health Care Ministry is working hand-in-hand with Silicone Valley drone startup called Zipline … to deliver medical supplies to hospitals in rural areas. A drone is faster than road transport – it can deliver blood / other medical supplies in less than 20 minutes. Rural areas in Rwanda have bad roads which are impassable during rainy season thus slowing down the delivery of medical supplies to hospitals in those areas. But technology has broken down this barrier thus saving lots of lives in this country. Read more about this technology here…..
- Electronic medical records:- Instead of putting & storing medical records on paper (which might be very difficult to safe guard in-case of a fire outbreak), hospitals have started using ”Electronic medical records (EMR) – these are digital charts that contain patients information and their medical history. An EMR is used for diagnosis and treatment purposes. Some of the benefits of Electronic medical records include; easy identification of patients, improves healthcare practices, saves time, tracks data over time on each patient……NOTE: Information stored in an EMR system is not accessible by strangers and it is not shared with other health care service providers. However, a patient can request for this data and it can be printed / emailed to them by the specialist.
- Easy access to medical information:- Information technology has made it easy to access medical information from anywhere. I have already talked about Electronic medical records which enable doctors retrieve information about a patient from a single database. Doctors also publish basic information about diseases and drugs online and this information can be accessed by anyone around the world. The most popular online website in healthcare is WebMD.com (health related content published on this website is contributed by doctors and specialist in the healthcare industry). They have an online symptom checker .. – designed to help you know what is causing specific symptoms in your health.
- Improving quality of life: – Medical technology has improved our quality of life in so many ways. For example, 3D scanning technology makes it possible for doctors to clearly scan & diagnose a patient thus suggest the right treatment for a patient. 3D scanning system / process is very comfortable and also the patient gets a chance to see what is being checked by the doctor.
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36 Disadvantages Of Modern Technology:
- Increased dependence and vulnerability: Modern technology is very good but humans have over become dependent on it – in that they can’t complete small tasks without the use of technology. This over dependence on technology has made us less creative and vulnerable. “Science makes all things possible . . . but it does not thereby make all possible things desirable.” Lewis Mumford ”author of” The Myth of the Machine ” – so over using it can make you vulnerable in all sorts of ways. Let’s take a small example of a shop attendant who depends on a computer to calculate prices and store product prices – once this computer is broken down, they won’t be in position to carry out any transaction. I myself I witnessed this when I went to a small store next to my home, the computer had crashed and the shop attendant didn’t know the exact price of the item so she could not sell to me.
- Increased loneliness:- Since technology is designed to improve our daily lives, majority of people have got addicted to technology – in that they never get time to play with friends or spend time with their families. Social platforms have contributed to the growth and acceptance of virtual friends – it looks cool to have 500 +++ virtual friends / 1 million followers but no real physical friend in life. This all idea of having social followers on platforms like Twitter & Facebook has made people lazy and lonely. An individual will spend most of their time chatting and sharing with a virtual friends. So they end up being lonely in real life and this has contributed to the increased use of drug use and suicides.
- Diminishes our quality of life: – The main problem with technology is that most of it is has unintended consequences and these unintended consequences are diminishing our quality of life – thus causing harm to humanity and the environment we live in. Instead of adding value to us, it ends up destroying our lives and societies. But what hurts most is that we turn a blind eye on what is wrong (such as human cloning, developing nuclear weapons and virtual lifestyles) and we presume that it’s all about human advancement. Yes, it is good to advance the technologies we use but we shouldn’t do what is harmful to the society and us as humans.
- Increases hyper-consumption:- Hyper-consumption is defined as a consumption of goods / services for non-functional purposes. Technology is addictive and many people are addicted to it (it makes them feel modern and upgraded). In the beginning it’s fun to use technology because it simplifies life – however as time goes on, you become vulnerable and dependent to it so you consume it without limit and forget the cons that come with over consumption of technology.
- Increased Immorality and loss of culture:- The level at which people are immoral and wicked is high. Information technology tools like the internet have facilitated the growth of immoral behaviors within the society. A good example is mobile communication apps like WhatsApp & SnapChat – these two mobile apps have taken immorality to the next level in that adult related content is shared freely across these platforms. Both female & males take adult related pictures ”commonly known as PRIVATE SELFIES” and share them with strangers. In societies like Africa & China, this immoral act is prohibited but there is no way of preventing it because these two mobile apps are encrypted so data can’t be intercepted by law officers.
- Erodes Privacy:- Both hackers and governments are tapping our electronic messages – the government says it does it as a protective measure against terrorists but whoever gets their hand on that content ends up misusing it thus exposing us to risks. The erosion of privacy in the digital world might not stop now but some communication applications like Whatsapp & Snapchat have implemented a strong data encryption technology which ensures whatever is exchanged via these platforms is not tapped. Truth is that it is very difficult for the government to control people without tapping their communications but this should be done with approval from the people it wants to tap. Majority is of internet software companies offer free versions of their products – but you have to give them your email to qualify for a free trial version of their software – in this process, they add you to their marketing database and start sending spam mail which is uncalled for.
- Increases Inequality:- Not everyone can have access to some technological tools so some people / societies are left behind while others move forward (progress at a very fast rate). But still we can look at inequality in terms of output and payout. Robots and machines can do more than what humans can do and they can work for longer hours – which is not the same case with humans, so the business world is more interested in robots and machines rather than humans – and those who get a chance to work hand-in-hand with machines are less paid because the all credit goes to a robot.
- Radicalization:- This is the action of causing someone adopt radical position on political or social issues. It is commonly spread through the internet. Radicalized individuals are persuaded by external forces ”groups” like al-Qaeda, Isis and al-Shabaab” to perform suicidal acts on specific groups of people. Video streaming platforms like YOUTUBE can be used to radicalize a lonely / stressed person and make them do awful acts. According to RT.COM , United Kingdom Police gets 8 radicalized people per day (that is a big number of radicalized people per day). Radicalization erodes human dignity and it results into massive distractions.
- Threatens human Identity:- Modern technology is changing the way human brains work. This crisis could change how we interact with each other and alter what makes us creative & happy. The idea of Neuro Chip technology might sound great but these brain implants might alter the way we think about others and how we behave in our daily lives. Neuro chips can be used to record brain cell activity at a higher resolution – this allows researchers to fully understand the origins of neurological diseases and cognitive functions. This is a great achievement but it might also come with some consequences; because the chip is inserted in your brain. Just imagine having very sensitive electronic tools in your brain.
- Loss of social skills:- A social skill is any type of skill which facilitates interaction and communication with others. Modern technology is killing social skills and people are no-longer attached to each other as it used to be in the past. Information technology has changed the way we interact with others – so there is no need of one-on-one interaction which is killing human relations. We started with mobile technology which allows us to communicate with others from anywhere; but mobile communication does not create strong relationships. Now we have video chat & text messaging apps which enable us to stay in touch with friends and family through text & video……much as all this is good; it misleads us – we tend to think that a video / text chat is as strong as a physical interaction.
- Health Risks: The main purpose of modern technology is to simplify our lives but that might not be the case if it is misused. Over exposure to certain technological tools can be harmful to your health. If you sit in-front of a computer for a very long period of time, you get exposed to radiation (electromagnetic fields) which is harmful to your health. Also sitting for longer hours affects blood circulation and this might result into a heart attack. I have seen addicted computer users becoming obese – simply because they eat too much and sit for longer hours programming or playing video games.
- Environmental ruin: Hyper-consumption of technology has resulted into environmental degradation (deterioration of the environment through air pollution, depletion of natural resources, destruction of the ecosystem, extinction of wildlife…..). A good example on how we have destroyed our environment through technology is oil mining – humans invented machines run on fuel and this has led to the growth of oil mining companies – The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is a great example – it occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and resulted into contamination of water and death of aquatic animals in the gulf. The explosion affected the fishing industry on the Gulf Coast – According to Britannica.com…. ” More than 3rd of federal waters in the gulf were closed to fishing thus living many people unemployed.
- World destruction weapons: – Countries like Iran, North Korea and Russia have used modern military technology to manufacture world distraction weapons which can result into the end of the world or cause another world war. These countries show case there strength through nuclear weapons, they’re a threat to the world and their neighbors in general. The war in Syria is largely facilitated by advanced military weapons and thus has resulted into increased loss of life and immigration.
- Distraction while at work:- Much as technology improves performance and output, it can still work as a distraction to employees. A good example is interment; once employees have access to each and every website online, they will cheat you by visiting websites of their interest thus falling back on the work they’re supposed to do. Social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Pinterest are real time killers. These websites are so addictive in that a person will be glued to its content for some good hours. Some companies restrict access to these websites as a way of increasing output & improving on overall performance of employees.
- High maintenance costs:- Small businesses might not find it economical to implement and maintain technological machines. Unlike humans who require less maintenance at work (humans need a good salary and a few benefits which might cover health …etc) – machines need regular maintenance to continue performing well. A small business must have a budget for this expense otherwise the machines will break down. Big companies hire full-time technicians to work and maintain machines – its cheap for a big business to have its own ”in-house” technicians but it’s quite expensive for a small business. The other thing we have to note is software update / upgrade for those who use software. Every year new versions are released and a business has to upgrade to a better version – however these upgrades are not free.
- Insecurity:- The use of computers and cloud data storage services has reduced the use of paperwork in business which is a very good thing because you can easily access business documents from anywhere. But storing your business documents on cloud servers is risky because hackers can easily get access to those files and make them public or destroy them. A good example is Sony Pictures Hack – this happened on November 24, 2014, done by a group of hackers identified as “Guardians of Peace” (GOP) – data which was release by this group included; Emails and personal information of Sony Pictures Employees, Information about executive salaries and Copies of un-released Sony films.
- Reduces ”One-on-One” interaction at work: – Communication technology has killed interpersonal communication (the process by which individuals exchanges information through verbal / non-verbal messages – it is basically face-to-face communication. Interpersonal communication bonds people – they get a chance to understand each other). Communication technology tools like cell phones, electronic mail, video & text chat apps have affected relationships at the workplace & business in general. For example, a business owner can easily make an order from a supplier via the internet / telephone – both the supplier and business owner might not get a chance to know each other physically and in the long run their relationship can end without notice. Also managers who don’t interact with their employees physically, miss out on the most important facts about each employee in the company.
- Increase in business competition:- Competition is necessary in business because it leads to growth, however, unhealthy competition can result into closure of small companies which can’t compete with the rest of the players in the market. Technology gives all companies with money a competitive advantage, in that they can use advanced technologies to out compete small companies. But at the same time – a small company can use available technology to compete with well established businesses – A good example of a small company which attacked an established company and almost nailed it down is Whatsapp – it was created and managed by a small team but it managed to shake Facebook Inc; in that the only option Facebook had was to buy them out at any given price. If at all Facebook had not paid attention to Whatsapp’s growth, it would have become a ghost database of profiles & pictures.
- Displaces personal touch: – Manufacturing companies have replaced human managed assembly lines with robot managed assembly lines. One person will monitor the performance of the robot but the all process of manufacturing, sorting, packaging and labeling is done by a robot. This lack of human / personal touch can result into production of poor grade goods. I know machines can deliver more than human beings but they don’t have brains / a close eye to see that something is wrong – some products might not come out well as it would be if someone was involved in the chain of production of goods and services.
- Errors during the production sensation:- I will attribute this to lack of personal touch. Over dependence on technology in business results into laziness – in that employees will let the machines do the work for them and they ignore their role in a production process. So they miss noticing an error when goods & services are being produced.
- Violation of business ethics:- Every business / company has its own ethics (rules which govern the business). All employees and managers of that business have to abide with the work ethics of that company. However, employees can use technology to go against work ethics. For example, a secretary in possession of a computer and internet can decide to watch videos on Youtube / Facebook Live during working hours (this could be against work ethics of that company – but still the employee will have the tool to facilitate their desires which are not related to their job description).
- Commonness:- A technological system will only do what it was programmed to do – yet humans can think of new creative ways to solve a given business problem. Humans have the ability to think out-of-the-box – yet robots can only do what they are designed to do. This lack of creativity can affect a business and at the same time it can be costly to implement new technologies which do things a different way.
- Displaces talented employees: – This is a benefit to business owners because it cuts down on their operation costs; however, it is not a good thing to employees who get replaced by machines. Some employees are assets of a business; they can deliver more than what a single machine can do. For example: A creative employee working on an assembly line can create new product ideas and marketing channels – so when you replace them with a machine to speed up the processing and packaging process ‘’they get displaced and a business losses a very talented person. Remember ‘’No machine is talented’’ – machines are just programmed to perform specific tasks.
- Promotes laziness:- Much as we encourage the use of technology in education – it makes learners / students lazy. They can’t solve simple equations without the aid of technology. The use of computers in classroom prevents development of writing & spelling skills because computers come with special software which auto corrects wrong spellings when the student is writing notes, this auto correction word software makes students lazy in that they don’t bother to learn how to write and spell certain words. Internet technology has facilitated the growth of online education which gives a student the opportunity to study from anywhere at any given time of the day – the freedom which comes with online education can be misused by a student – in that they can only study when they feel like doing so which in the long run affects their grades and overall performance.
- Eliminates the basic way of learning: – In a traditional educational environment, a teacher interacts with students physically (they get to know the student in person thus understand them fully and help them accordingly). In the digital world, a teacher will electronically interact with a student and they might not notice certain weakness points. For example, it might be very difficult to know if the student has social problems, writing skill problems, communication problems and so much more. Learning is broad; it is not attached to passing exams alone, we need to learn various skills which are essential in life – such as communication, writing, spelling, social skills, physical fitness, etc….
- Access To Inappropriate / Irrelevant Content:- Online publication is not controlled – so students and teachers are both exposed to all kinds of information. Some is right but majority of content published online is not correct and this might be difficult for a student to spot – especially when the topic they’re researching on is new to them. Search engines like Google.com & Bing.com have employed clever robots to filter content but a robot can’t determine if provided information is false / true – all it can spot is spam content – so lots of irrelevant content passes through the filter and gets into search results.
- Cyber bullying:- This is when a student is tormented, harassed or humiliated by a specific group of people online.The increased use of mobiles phones in schools has also contributed to the increased cases of bullying in schools & online. According Newtalk.com…..”One-in-ten kids experience cyber-bullying and new statistics reveal that children as young as 9 years are exposed to the tusk of being cyber bullies”. We buy computers and smartphones for our kids so that they access educational information from anywhere at any given time, however, someone with a dark mind is planning to attack them via the internet. Some schools have set up rules on the campus to stop cyber bullying but these rules can only work on the campus – because once the bullying is done while off campus, the school won’t have much to do because that will be regarded as a violation of students right to free speech.
- Inevitable Cheating:- In a traditional educational environment – it is very easy to monitor students and prevent them from cheating exams yet when educational technologies like computers are used – a teacher won’t be in position to see what each and every student is accessing. Students can use cell phone to cheat exams (through scanning of notes / texting each other during an exam). When it comes to online education, a student can do what ever they want. They have access to the internet and educational content which they can use to pass an exam. It is very difficult to manage online students. According to Usnews.com…”instructors / teachers can use webcam to cut down cheating in online classes” but a webcam is not very effective, still a student will come-up with tricks to cheat an exam.
- Distraction:- A student can easily get distracted when using computers or related devices for educational purposes. Internet / computers in general have lots of games and application which can act as distracters once used during classroom time. Some schools have free wifi on the campus – the aim of this wifi is to enable students access academic information freely but students can easily abuse this offer by accessing non-educational information. Some strict school put firewalls on servers to restrict the access of specific information (termed as distractive information by the school) but technology makes it possible to jump over a firewall and access anything you want.
- Poor Spelling and Handwriting Skills:- Auto correction applications like Microsoft Word make it easier for a student to write an essay; however, a student won’t learn how to spell and write simply because everything is done by a computer. This explains why many graduates can’t write a CV (curriculum vitae) with good grammar when applying for jobs.
- Inequality: The use of technology in a classroom can result into discrimination / inequality. HOW? Some students might not be in position to own a personal computer / smart phone so they will feel left out and this can affect their performance and interest in education. Students equipped with technological tools might learn better than those without them thus causing inequality. Not all schools can afford computers (especially public schools) and not all parents can provide computers to their children. So you will find that children who go to private schools perform better than those who go to public schools; simply because private schools can provide all technological tools required by a student to excel.
- Dependence on online medical information:- Lots of people depend on the internet for information on just about anything. Majority of people Google for medical advice and tips and most of information published online is misleading / not approved by medical experts – so you find that majority of people who rely on this information engage in self medication. We have some accredited health websites like WebMD.COM (Note: WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment) – It provides great information on health but not all health related websites work like this website.
- Medical technology has to be upgraded frequently:- Since technology becomes obsolete with time, it has to be upgraded to the latest technology and this is very expensive. A good example is a cancer machine, the latest model costs about a million dollar – not all medical facilities can afford this amount. For example: In Africa countries like Uganda … & Nigeria ….. are finding it difficult to treat cancer patients simply because the old machines they have been using are broken down and to procure new ones is expensive thus living many patients stranded.
- Technical failures in a technological system can delay treatment:- On February 5th 2017, the Nigerian Government…. reported that it lacked biomedical engineering companies who could repair their faulty cancer machines and this had put a stand on the treatment of most cancer patients in Nigeria.
- No recognition of lab / tech professionals: The doctor takes all the credit for a treatment yet those who use technological equipments in the laboratory to research about diseases and treatments are not known by the public for their great discoveries.
HAS TECHNOLOGY DONE MORE HARM THAN GOOD?
When I weigh advantages of technology with its disadvantages, technology has done more good than harm. However, it also comes with certain consequences; but people who design technological tools ignore the effects of what they have created and even those who use these tools – misuse them for their own benefits / satisfaction. You can continue this discussion below this post (use the commenting box below, please keep the discussion relevant to the topic so that it helps every one who wants to learn about this topic.) – You can also notify me of any errors in this post using the commenting box below: Thank you…
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