There is no denying that the advancements of technology over the last fifty years have been incredible. Communication technology has brought us closer than ever before and information has never been so accessible thanks to the power of the internet. There have been life-changing developments in medical fields and even the manufacturing of vehicles is starting to move towards greener models to help the environment.
However, despite the countless ways that technology has improved the daily lives of the masses, it has also had its drawbacks. Too much screen-time is a distraction from what is happening around you or in terms of having a face-to-face conversation with someone. Catfishing and other online deceptions have left people feeling violated and foolish or even in danger. With a mix of incredible advancements and the darker side of these developments, how has technology truly affected our lives?
In times like these when the world faces the trials and tribulations of a pandemic, being able to video call family members and friends from all over the globe has never been so greatly appreciated. Even those who may have been camera-shy before are now happy to be able to see the faces of the ones they miss. The improvement in communication technology has been incredible and there is no doubt that this has certainly been a benefit to everyone. Even before this current global crisis, the ability to contact those who are on the other side of the world has helped individuals and businesses alike in nurturing and developing their relationships.
Social media platforms have exploded since their introduction, with an estimated 2.95 billion people around the globe having accounts. While the point of social media was to help people stay connected, there have been a lot of problems with it as it has developed. In particular, the issue of trolling and cyber-bullying has increased, and it is hard to effectively control these tactics. It is now harder for teenagers, children or any individual to escape bullying once they leave school or work as their tormentors can continue to attack them online via these platforms. Studies have suggested that social media has harmed the mental health of people due to problems like this.
Another useful way in which technology has helped society is through artificial intelligence. Although this concept might fill your head with scenes from ‘The Terminator’ and the dreaded rise of the machines, it has proved beneficial to many. It has helped to organize busy schedules, both personal and professional. By using AI to control things like heating in your home it can help to reduce energy costs and wastage. It has also helped in many industries such as agriculture, financial trading, medical and manufacturing. While people may feel intimidated by AI, it certainly has been a benefit to many. You can find more information about robotics and how to study them here.
In the age of the internet, many people use this to access information. On the one hand, search engines that are accessible on phones or computers have been brilliant for finding the answers to the questions you seek.
However, it has also allowed the publication of misinformation or ‘fake news’ as it’s commonly referred to. For many people, taking the time to fact-check or investigate the source of these claims isn’t always an option. With busy schedules and the demands of day-to-day life, spending hours tracking down the sources and facts of these articles and videos is far too time-consuming. There are professional fact-checking bodies that you can turn to when you’re unsure, but the fact that these inaccurate statements are uploaded every day has caused many problems and divided people on what is fact and what is fiction.
Another benefit of technological advancements is how it’s being applied in the classrooms. In the past, lessons may have been focused around copying out of textbooks and other dull and mundane tasks. Today kids in school have access to far more interactive learning tools, and can continue to use these at home via apps on their phones, tablets or laptops. Being able to engage students with these learning resources is essential in developing their education and succeeding in their academic goals. It has also made it easier for teachers to create better learning resources for individual students, especially those who may have special education requirements.
The pros and cons listed above are merely the beginning of a lengthy debate. It is important to remember to step away from the screens and get back in touch with the physical world each day. However, technology and its advances have had numerous benefits for society and will continue to do so.