Technology Affecting Society Essays

Image Credit: Christy B., Lewisville, NC
Everyone has seen the moody, withdrawn kid with music blasting out of his white earbuds, or the girl rapidly texting on her phone. The youth of today are constantly immersed in technological advancements that promote nonstop communication and instant gratification, whether through cell phones, gaming systems, laptops, or MP3 players. But are these technological advancements a good thing? I believe that the growth of technology has negatively influenced the social interactions of today's youth because it isolates individuals from reality, hinders communication, and perpetuates the concept of immediate ­satisfaction.

Technology is a negative influence on us because it separates individuals from reality. The iPod is one example; by putting in your earbuds and immersing yourself in music while in public, you are disconnecting yourself from the real world. “For some people, the main appeal of the iPod is that it preoccupies you so that you do not have to deal with the uncontrollable factors of everyday life,” writes Krystle Song, a University of California, student on her website “Attack of the iZombies.”

The ability for people to surround themselves with the familiar by using their iPod is appealing because it rarely provides the listener with something unexpected or unknown. However, it can be argued that this is a bad thing. By constantly being cut off from personal interactions and new experiences because of a technological device, a generation with substandard social abilities is being groomed. If we do not have to face reality by experiencing new things, making personal relationships, and problem solving, then we will never be able to function as adults.

Technology hinders personal communication, which negatively impacts our age-group. Although “our culture heralds the Internet as a technological wonder, there are suggestions that Internet use has a negative influence on individuals and their social skills,” writes Bob Affonso in his article, “Is the Internet Affecting the Social Skills of Our Children?” Data shows that those who use the Internet frequently spend over 100 minutes less time with friends and family than non-Internet users, according to Norman H. Nie and D. Sunshine Hillygus in their paper “The Impact of Internet Use on Sociability.”

The Internet actually detracts from the communication abilities of society, especially the young. When our communication skills are gradually lessened, we begin “spending less time talking to families, experiencing more daily stress, and feeling more lonely and depressed,” writes Affonso. In our formative teen years, lack of personal communication due to excessive Internet usage can have an overall negative effect on mental and physical health. Communication skills are critical for everyone, yet use of the Internet is undermining this development.

Technology negatively affects us by perpetuating the mindset of immediate satisfaction. The creation of various portable technological devices has slowly ingrained the idea of instant gratification. With gadgets like the PS3 or Nintendo DS, which allow users to play games anywhere, or cell phones that let us keep in touch virtually everywhere and at any time, we grow up learning that whenever we want pleasure or enjoyment, it will automatically be granted to us.

Some argue that the Internet has a positive effect on social interactions because it allows us to form friendships online. However, the capacity to meet “a virtually unlimited number of people through chat rooms, bulletin boards, and other services,” is actually extremely negative, write Jean-Francois Coget and Yamauchi Yutaka in their paper, “Untangling the Social ­Impact of the Internet.” There are dangerous people on the Internet who are a threat to young people. The ability to access anything and everything someone posts without knowing if their intent is malicious is a downside to the open transfer of information available on the Internet. While Coget and Yutaka claim that “the Internet can foster openness, self-confidence, and a greater sense of ease and comfort in dealing with others … the Internet can even provide opportunities by freeing those who are too depressed to conduct a social life in the real world,” it is extremely unhealthy to make and sustain all of your social interactions online. We will not be positively impacted by communicating through a computer screen if we already do not have the self-confidence to socially interact in reality.

I believe the advancement of technology has negatively impacted our social interactions because it detaches us from what is happening around us, obstructs communication, and spreads the concept of instant gratification. Society must be able to utilize technology while not allowing it to impede social interactions, particularly for those who are easily influenced during our formative years. Our world must learn to embrace technology without allowing it to negatively impact the creation of functional adults in society.

This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

This piece won the March 2011 Teen Ink EBSCO POV Contest.






How technology effects our society? Is technology boon or bane for the society? Read the article to know the impact of technology on our society.

The technological growth taking place in the world today is doing so very rapidly and there are new advancements being made with each passing day and this is possible owing to the large number of extensive programmes of technological research currently being done by  a large number of researchers working within non-profit research organizations, business and universities. The developments being made today are very strong and are very pervasive forces in the business environment today. Technology can easily be referred to as the scientific knowledge to the practical problems we are experiencing in the world today. There is no denying that the impact of technology in the world today is huge and can be categorized Into how it effects our society today and how it influences the business activities and operations.

Impact of technology on society:

Technology has without doubt an impact on society. As a matter of fact, we experience this effect in our daily lives. It has an effect on the growth of the economy, our culture and our living standards. It is however important to note that the benefits are a double-edged sword with some being detrimental and other being beneficial. One should be very careful and get to know how the effects on society get to effect the business activities and operations.

Positive impact of technology:

Technology impacts on our daily lives. Our environments are all so full of technology to the point that most of the time we take it for granted and never actually notice the level of impact that it has on us until when we have no telephone, transport, water or electricity. Advancements in technology have greatly increased our living standards. Despite the fact that we are currently experiencing very high inflation rates and the rates of unemployment are very high, generally, people are feeding better, are dressing better and are as a matter of fact living more comfortable lives.

Technology also has a great impact on all the fundamental aspects of all our cultures including laws and how they are enforced, language, art, health care, mobility, education and religion. For instance the great technological improvements in health care have given a chance to doctors to treat their patients in an environment that is virtual through the use of mediums such as video conferencing which has also greatly benefited the legal environment as it allows the judges to still listen to the cases of hard core criminals who cannot be allowed to get into the court rooms due to security reasons.

Negative impacts of technology:

With every advancement that is made in the technological world, creative destruction results. For example, television impacts negatively on the movies and synthetic fibers impact the cotton fibers negatively. The coming in of new types of technology also results in a negative impact on the growth of the economy at times; television at times consumes all the productive hours that a man has in a day. Every new form of technology gets into the market together with long term consequences that are most of the time not foreseeable. For instance is there really a justification for nations coming up with bombs, nuclear weapons and missiles to maintain security?

Conclusion:

Despite the fact that we cannot really ignore that there are a number of ways in which technology negatively impacts our society, for the better part it has greatly helped to make out lives better. Technology has greatly helped us to become more efficient thus increasing our productivity. It has also helped us a great deal to be able to save on many resources such as time and money and these are great benefits that cannot be ignored. It has also worked well in bringing unity into the world by turning it into a global village which has in turn helped people to more easily overcome their cultural, racial and continental barriers.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Do share with us in the comments below.

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