Technology Impacts

1216 words | 5 page(s)

In this century, one of the most overwhelming questions one can ask himself is whether the positive impacts of technology overweigh the negative impacts. In other words, does technology make our lives better? It is a difficult question because technology has infiltrated almost every aspect of our lives, and many people would say we depend upon it. Cell phones are no longer simple communication devices, and they are now smartphones that give us our news, store our photos, and represent our communities through social media. They control the television and provide navigation for our vehicles.

This is only one technological device, and its uses are expanding rapidly. Some people use their phones to control their smart home, and they use the phone’s internet capabilities for education and entertainment. It is rare to see a person without a smartphone nearby, and in some ways, it has removed people from real life. These people are always connected and feel amputated without their smart device. This is cause for concern because technology is mobile, and humans are sometimes inclined to opt for entertainment rather than participate in other valuable activities such as work or school. Smart devices make it easy to cheat, and they make it easy to become distracted. However, they also keep unlimited knowledge at the fingertips of its user, and they have benefitted the economy. Although some may argue the opposite, technology actually makes our lives better because it positively impacts educational institutions and creates job opportunities.

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People believe that technology only negatively impacts student education, but this is not true. There are some negative impacts. One study estimated that students spend 20% of their time in class using digital devices for things that were unrelated to school. Instead, they were surfing the internet, playing games, texting, or using social media (Reed, 2016). Additionally, free time that may be spent on educational activities is being replaced by apps where people can find escape or enjoyment (Leys, n.d.). So, it is clear that students are at times distracted by their mobile devices, and this takes them away from their education.

However, this is not always true, and the good things that technology brings to the subject of education are much bigger than the bad. With proper supervision, the adverse effects of technology can be avoided, which gives opportunities to exploit the positive effects. It is important that students’ mobile device use be monitored, and adults encourage one another to use technology for the good of society rather than solely for personal entertainment. There are many proposed solutions. Some educators make students leave their phones in a box upon entering the class. Others allow for a fifteen minute phone break hoping to eliminate unauthorized phone use by allowing some use. Creative solutions have lessened the negative impacts of technology.

Some of the positive aspects of technology are that it makes students more responsible and improves their ability to learn. Students play games and text all the time, but they also use the internet to access information. “Today, massive amounts of information (books, audio, images, videos) are available at one’s fingertips through the internet” (“How has Technology,” n.d.). Basically, students are able to have entire libraries available to them from their phone. Technology has become an excellent resource for students and teachers. Teachers no longer have to cater their teachings to the average abilities of their class.

Students are able to work at their own pace through digital applications, so those who are behind have the tools needed to get back on track. Those who are advanced can access complicated resources (Restuccia, n.d.). They can also take their work with them anywhere, which gives people who need extra time to learn the option to learn whenever and wherever they like. This is the way in which technology makes students more responsible. They still have to do their work, and they are able to choose to do that work in numerous ways, which enhances their ability to learn and empowers them to find solutions. Technology gives students freedom to learn at their own pace and in their own manner, so it improves learning outcomes.

Another positive aspect of technology is that it provides job opportunities and improves the quality of production. Economists state that companies that use the internet create jobs more quickly than they lose jobs. They support employment in computer science and engineering. One interesting statistic is that applications have created 1.6 million jobs in Europe. One caveat to this positive aspect is that the jobs require different skill sets from the old jobs (“Does Technology,” 2017). Many of the positive aspects of technology involve trade-offs, such as the requirement of different skill sets, but it is a natural evolution that has always occurred through technological advancement. We no longer need operators at switchboards, and bank tellers are losing jobs to ATMs, but new jobs have opened in the telephone and ATM technology world.

It is similar to the fear many have of jobs being replaced by robots. “Increasingly, robots are used to complement and augment labour activities; the net impact on jobs and the quality of work is positive. Automation provides the opportunity for humans to focus on higher-skilled, higher quality and higher-paid tasks” (“The Impact of Robots,” 2017). Essentially, robots are replacing simple, underpaid positions, so humans can take on better jobs. People will not have to do meaningless labor and will be free to participate in more elevated career opportunities with a higher pay scale. As the meaningless jobs are taken by robotics, new careers open in the tech world. There is no apocalyptic robot takeover coming but rather better products created with the help of robots, so people are free to be creative instead of spending all day doing repetitive work.

Despite its adverse effects, technology aids educational efforts by allowing students to take on more responsibilities. Additionally, technological developments create more job opportunities and improve the quality of work. There are definitely some negative aspects of technology caused by people abusing their use of smart devices to cheat, ignore work, and simply be irresponsible. However, this negative aspect is undermined by overwhelming positive aspects such as better education and better jobs. Based on the above stated arguments, it may be concluded that the positive influences of technology are greater than the negative ones. It simply depends on the user and how he employs this technology. It is important to consider whether or not technology is positive because it is growing rapidly, and it is more important to consider where it can be put to use. Technology is not something to be feared. Despite the minimal negative impacts it has had on society, it has had great impacts on society and the economy. It is not ruining our education or replacing jobs. It is complementing education and employment, so humans are able to be more efficient and have better living conditions. Technology should be embraced, so people will understand its positive impact and be more responsible with its use. The use of technology does not need to be demonized, as it is constantly expanding in both positive and negative ways. People need to make sure that they steer it in the right direction, and so far it is doing much more good than harm.

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