Overly Dependent on Technology
The relevance of technology cannot be overstated especially given that very few aspects of our lives remain untouched by the same. In the recent past, significant advancements have been made on the technological front with innovation being the primary driving force behind the advancement. Today, technology plays a key role in shaping the way we communicate, learn at school, or even access news. Advances in technology have over time been beneficial to the human race especially in the field of medicine. However, regardless of the critical role technology plays in our daily lives, questions continue to emerge on whether we are becoming overly dependent on the same. In this text, I highlight some of the trends that point to our increased dependence on technology.
The Relevance of Technology: An Overview
That technology has significantly aided commerce is a well-known fact. Recent advancements in e-commerce and online banking have significantly aided world economy. Today, unlike a number of years ago, distance and time are no longer considered barriers to commerce and trade. Thanks to technology, modern societies are now able to conduct business 24 hours a day. Further, technology has significantly made communication more reliable, efficient and robust. Today, it has become relatively easy and cheap to communicate with others regardless of their location. For instance, thanks to video conferencing technology, individuals from different parts of the world do not have to travel for meetings. This has saved organizations millions of dollars in traveling expenses. It is also important to note that medicine in one way or the other remains one of the main beneficiaries of advances in technology in modern times. This is more so the case when it comes to the development of more effective drug varieties and better medical tools and equipment. Technology has also led to the further development of the educational sector.
People Have Become Overly Dependent on Technology
The relationship between technology and commerce today can be regarded rather extensive in comparison to a few years ago. A number of decades ago, no one could have imagined of trade being conducted over an online electronic platform. Today, e-commerce is increasingly becoming a standard as far as the conduction of commercial transactions over virtual systems is concerned. This is however only a tip of the iceberg. Technology is increasingly becoming intertwined with business and commerce. The U.S. Census Bureau has in the past according to Warren et al. (2006) pegged the growth of e-commerce sales at 25% per annum. Today, millions of virtual financial transactions rely on technology. For instance, the stock exchange market is largely automated and so is the banking industry. Indeed, it is hard to imagine of how things would be without such a high level of automation in these two instances. However, to highlight the extent to which business and commerce have become dependent on technology, one might find it necessary to consider a scenario where all the existing automation is taken away. In my opinion, the financial sector would temporarily come to a total standstill before order is restored.
Next, although technology has significantly aided communication, there are concerns over the later becoming too dependent on the former. This is more so the case with the growing popularity of social networking sites which are regarded addictive. Employers are some of those on the losing end as employees spend a significant time of their productive hours on such sites. This is a negative consequence of overdependence on technology especially for communication and socialization purposes. However, on the other hand, a number of organizations are today well represented on face book. Here, they use the social networking platform to either communicate with employees or scout for new ones. This is yet another instance of dependency on technology for communication purposes. There are also concerns that with a wide range of communication devices i.e. cell phones, tablets etc. being readily available, the ability of individuals to communicate at an interpersonal level has been on a dramatic decline. Interpersonal communication is slowly being replaced with text messages, emails etc. In the opinion of Lowman (2006), “communicating via technology, compared to face-to-face, influences communication behaviors, interpersonal relationships, trust, and so on.” It is hard to imagine of what would happen if all the modern devices of communication suddenly broke down. In my opinion, this would wreck havoc across the globe before alternative means of communication are put in place. This clearly demonstrates how overly dependent we have become on technology.
Third, the field of medicine is yet another indicator of our overdependence on technology. As Chan (2003) notes, “modern health care delivery and medicine are increasingly dependent on technology in the diagnosis and mitigation of illnessesâ€¦” In the past, the most common ailments used to be treated using natural approaches. However, thanks to advances in technology, these approaches have been replaced with chemical-based drugs developed using specialized procedures. Although this is not necessarily a bad thing, it is a clear indication of the utilization of technology in drug manufacture and production. Further, medical procedures from cosmetic surgeries to complicated organ surgeries are today carried out using specialized equipment. For instance, laser surgery is increasingly being used in place of the more traditional scalpel to carry out less intrusive surgeries. The practice of medicine as we know it would be significantly scared were these automated tools, procedures as well as equipment to be taken away. Further, it can also be noted that the contribution technology has made toward the easement of our daily lives is in some quarters seen as a contributing factor to the increasing rates of obesity. This is more so the case given that cars, escalators etc. have made individuals shun spontaneous exercises.
Education is yet another area that is increasingly becoming heavily reliant on technology. A few examples would go a long way to highlight my assertion in this case. To begin with, most libraries (both public and private) in addition to automating their services also have online versions of books available on the shelves. This means that students can easily access electronic versions of thousands of books from the comfort of their homes. This has also made e-learning easier with scores of students undertaking courses without any need for physical movement to learning centers. Software applications have also been developed in the recent past to assist students check the grammar and spelling of their texts prior to submission. Institutions are also increasingly utilizing anti-plagiarism software applications to check the originality of texts students submit in partial fulfillment of their course requirements. These examples and many more demonstrate just how education has become intertwined with technology. As McCain and Jukes (2001) note, “for education, the central issue is about how technology can be organized around student learning, not how student learning can be organized around technology.”
In conclusion, it can be noted that based on the evidence presented above, people are increasingly becoming dependent on technology. While technology significantly benefits the society in a variety of ways, continued overreliance on the same could end up being counterproductive in the long-run. There is hence an existing need for the society to strike the right balance when it comes to the utilization of technology.
Chan, A.Y.K. (2003). Medical Terminology Management Practice. Illinois: Charles C. Thomas Publisher.
Lowman, R.L. (Ed.). (2002). The California School of Organizational Studies Handbook of Organizational Consulting Psychology: A Comprehensive Guide to Theory, Skills, and Techniques. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley and Sons.
McCain, T.D.E. & Jukes, I. (2001). Windows on the Future: Education in the Age of Technology. California: Corwin Press.
Warren, C.S., Reeve, J.M., Duchac, J.E. & Fess, P.E. (2006). Accounting (22nd ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
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