Technology has affected society in many ways through the years, including machines during the industrial revolution and computers in the information age. Some of the biggest social impacts have resulted in benefits while other cases could have had a better outcome. Let’s take a look at several areas where this is most prevalent.
Less Face Time
Individuals spend less time together as a result of many technologies becoming available at lower prices. The television, for example, has received mixed reviews through the years about the impact on society.
When televisions first came out, they were expensive, and most homes could only afford to have one in the main room. Families spent time together watching programs with everyone else. Later, the price of televisions became so inexpensive that one could be available in every room. Not only was there a television in the main room, but also in the kitchen, and all bedrooms. Everyone can watch separate programs in isolation instead of together with their family.
Before televisions, a similar thing happened with old-time radios. Expensive at first with everyone huddling around a speaker to listen to stories. Later, radios became compact and included headphones. Everyone could then listen to personalized music. These days podcasts and audio books are popular which further reduces time spent with the family.
Some argue that television is a passive medium where the viewer just sits and watches without having to think. Yet, there are interactive programs allow viewers to vote for on-screen participants.
The incorporating of social media and television has increased in recent years. Broadcasters encourage viewers to use a specific hashtag to express their feelings about the program. It has allowed people with related interests to share a common bond.
There used to be a time when making a long distance call was expensive. People would communicate either by phone once a month or would travel to meet face to face. With the advent of social media, one can discover everything that is going on with another person’s life in real time. Later, when the two meet in person, there’s nothing to talk about because everything is already known.
There have also been benefits of technology, for example in some countries a new device can pre-screening for eye diseases. It has allowed remote testing of individuals away from medical facilities.Now
Another efficiency is in the area of education. Students can learn about almost any topic just by logging onto a website and watching videos. Online communication has allowed students to ask questions of the instructor or peers without having to get in the car or wear proper clothing.
This efficient method of learning has reduced face to face time in the classroom. Some have even chosen to learn in solo without any interaction neither in person nor electronically.
The impact that technology has had on the business world allows information sharing among many countries. One no longer has to put postage on an envelope and mail a letter or for that matter even pick up a telephone.
With the complexities of international transactions, it is also harder to resolve disputes. If something happens locally, one side can take the issue to the city board or get authorities involved. A local judge and attorney participate and legal decisions are enforceable.
When there is an international dispute, a business must submit to a court and a licensed attorney in the other country. Even if a judge in the other state rules in favor, it’s harder to enforce decisions across international boundaries.
In the United States, call centers are appearing on former farm lands. Businesses are setting up where wages are low. Hiring former farm worker for a few dollars more than their previous salary is less expensive than the prevailing wage in the middle of a large city.
Businesses can build a call center for less and also receive positive exposure for keeping jobs in the United Stages. This is a reversal from when call centers had relocated overseas to take advantage of cheap labor and international communications.
Innovations in renewable energy are affecting society in many ways. Both solar and wind power has become more popular but has also resulted in fierce debates.
A large farm of solar panels and wind blades is a visual annoyance in some places. Another concern is the impact on the environment with some flying animals killed by the blades.
Another visual impact from technology is that of cell phone towers. Initially, cell phone towers stood alone and became unsightly. Some areas need a dense collection of towers to provide full coverage.
Eventually, businesses got smart and found innovative ways to hide cell phone towers. It included the design of a fake tree inside financially strapped locations such as schools and churches. The facility receives payment from owners of the towers in exchange for hosting it.
The downside of this is increased concern about the impact radio waves have on people. Parents and schools have come into conflict over whether such antennas should be located on school grounds.
The impact that technology has had on society has been both positive and negative depending on who you ask. In some cases, it means less face time between individuals or efficiencies in health and education. In other cases, international business relationships have changed, and the visuals are different and in many areas the impact has been significant.
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