Technological is defined as any use of new ways of turning resources into useful products or services. The word technology’ itself simply refers to the new machines. However, the definition can be broadened to include all new techniques regardless of whether they involve some new machines or not (Sims 291).Just like rituals, values, language, the arts, and commerce, technology is part and parcel of our cultural system. The rapid changes in technology have changed the lifestyle and culture of human beings in the sense that we live in a fast world and have developed liking for quick fixes in almost everything.Technology change has therefore impacted on human behavior in more negative than positive manner as it shall be seen in the coming paragraphs of this paper.
It can be claimed that the greatest technological change in the history of mankind is the development of the computer and Internet. There is no argument that these inventions have greatly transformed the way we are communicating and accessing the information. Computers have greatly changed the way we store, organize and manage our data. The software industry has also emerged because of it. The Internet has built some ideas of computer networking to produce the largest information base and the most effective communication tool that the world has ever seen before (Verbeek 217). We have changed the way we are doing our product or service promotion by taking an advantage of the Internet advertisement. We have also transformed the entertainment media so much that today watching movies, listening to music, and playing games is possible over the Internet and the small electronic devices, i.e. iPods and iPads (Sims 78).
Some rapid technological changes have continued to appear across the world as a result of the high technological potential to considerably reduce the production costs, boost productivity and improve quality. In order to take a full advantage of the technological change, human beings must have the appropriate structural and behavioral changes. Compared to the technical change, behavioral changes often occur much slowly because people take time to accept and adopt new technological change as a result of getting used to the existing innovations or status quo (Sims 291).
The greatest challenge with technological change is the difficulty to come up with some new ideas. This is based on the fact that scientists in laboratories or academic settings and fictional writers often refine the existing technologies. This done so as to develop technologies that are faster, with more features, and cheaper to appeal to our current generation.
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Technology has not only brought the automation of processes at the workplace but also in the household. This is evidenced by the reality that machines are today performing tasks that are beyond the human capability using robotics and the artificial intelligence. This has become increasingly necessary because technologies are more efficient, and time-saving.
The digital age has officially set in. Digitization has enabled storing of huge amounts of information in a compressed form besides improving the quality of the data that we store. Similarly, digital images and digital voice we have as a result of the technological change are of the superior quality. Digitalization has come at the right time considering how fast globalization is happening to us.
The technological change has also widened the function of the state. This can been seen in the increased involvement of the government in such areas as health care, protection of the disabled and aged people, and providing the state-funded education for the minority, among others (Dholakia 278). The modern technology has also strengthened nationalism as governments have greatly impersonalized their human relations through some government websites, for example.However, compared to the merits, dynamic technological change has had negative far-reaching effects on human behavior as observed in the loss of culture, laziness and health problems in many people across the world.
With the dynamic changes in technology, this often implies changes in human behavior. It is evident that human beings have taken fast steps towards modern civilization since the agricultural periods several centuries ago. These changes have been resulted in substantial social and behavioral changes among people (Miller 402). The technological change is responsible for lots of secular trends in such basic elements of human conditions as education levels, life expectancy and the size of the world population, as well as the nature of work, the standards of living, transport, communication, healthcare and impacts of human activities on the natural environment; as well as peace and war. Technological advancement has enabled development of sophisticated weapons such as TNT, machine guns, nuclear weapons, and drones which have contributed increased a climate of warfare around the world. On the other hand, the ability of different countries to develop such weapons has created an atmosphere of peace because each country is afraid of the military power of the other.
Technological advancement always has the effect of modifying the characteristics of every situation. We are greatly influenced by the technological change in such areas as “governance, human relationships, entertainment, and our perspectives on morality, mind as well as our own human nature” (Miller 402). Such effect is both direct and indirect and keeps as surviving in our ever changing environment. This is because has emerged as a complex enterprise that affects all aspects of our lives from labor, management, research, design, communication, transport, marketing, and entertainment.
It can also be argued that the rapid changes in technology have changed the lifestyle and culture of human beings in the sense that we live in a fast world and have developed liking for quick fixes in almost everything.Thanks to the information and technology, human beings in a daily race make money, take fast food instead of the traditional home-cooked foods, using the air conditioner instead of the natural air, among others. This has become the norm because the economic conditions have changed and doing things fast means the difference between making a livelihood or profit and losing out.
Dynamic change in the technology can also blamed for the social shift in human behavior. Social movements have come up with an objective to bring about the change in existing values, norms and ideologies. As a result, people have modified the perspectives they have of their own culture and changing their human behaviors in the process away from the status quo (Miller 412).
The Problem with Technology
Even though the technology has had a positive impact on various fields, it has its challenges. Humans are becoming the slaves of technology as evidenced by the growing habit among people to bypass the real world and get a digital quick-fix (Rogers 12). The current generations act, react, think and behave, in general, a lot in a more different way compared to the earlier pre-connected generations.
The rapid changes in technology have substantially altered our modes of life particularly the institutions of family, marriage, state, religion and property. The modern technology is fast in changing a family organization by stripping it of the industry as more and more agencies take over the functions of the family. Marriage has been reduced to a civil contract being opposed to a sacred bond. This is because in the time the technological change has been raising the status of women, it has also resulted into growing levels of stress in relations between a woman and a man at home (Verbeek 220).
Similarly, religion is threatened by technology because an increasing number of people are becoming radically secular, more scientific and rational but growing less religious. People are becoming more amazed by the technological achievements of humans to the extent of doubting the power of Allah (God). The reasoning behind this behavioral shift is based on the belief that humankind can today do almost everything including those that were initially thought to be reserve of God. For example, cloning of humans through genetic engineering has enabled scientists to alter the behavior of any person and do away with specific undesired traits replacing them with the desirable traits. Most of genetic engineering technologies represent immoral practices because they serve to eradicate the human individuality as well as deny the diversity that Allah has created us with (Starer 78).
As human beings become increasingly dependent on technology, the social fabric is being slowly broken. “People are all the time preoccupied with their gadgets to the extent of forgetting to talk to each other in the real world” (Verbeek 244). The lack of communication between spouses has led to a growing number of fights, arguments and divorces. Technology has, therefore, slowly crept into our lives and successfully formed the glass walls between people who can communicate with each other in a healthy manner but instead opt not to. This is indeed a problematic issue considering that as social animals we use communication to exchange the information together with the development of our emotional and mental kinds of growth.
The other major problem that we are facing as a result of advancing technology is the development of weapons. Rivalry among some countries can be blamed due to the rapid technological advancements as the competition intensifies in the development of new and lethal warfare equipments and techniques. In fact, even the countries the people of which are haunted by famine and inhumane living conditions, their governments have invested heavily in developing the weapon industry for example example for this is North Korea.
The changes in technology can be accused of making more people around the world extremely lazy and inconsiderate. This is demonstrated by the widespread habit among many people to drive their own cars as opposed to walking or riding a bicycle or even taking a commercial bus. We have lost the concerns for the environment due to the emissions from their personal vehicles. In so doing, they contribute to the depletion of an ozone layer (Dholakia 275). The result of this is the increased global warming that is harmful to humanity, animals and plants in the planet.
The technological change has also resulted into an increasing displacement of people from the workplace. It is now a reality that more and more machines are being developed and taking over the work previously done by people. Companies are preferring machines over human effort because use of advanced technology increases productivity and is cost effective compared to humans.
However, the greatest problem of the dynamic change of technology has been posed by the Internet. The much information and capabilities that the Internet has presented to us has substantially distorted our personality, habits, and behaviors. This can been seen by our loss of the reading culture because of the readily available answers to everything on the Internet (Dholakia 268). This has had the negative effect of killing our ability to think critically and eroded creativity. The general human behavior change that has resulted from this habit is the one that we expect everything to come to us and thus we are impatient and unrealistic.
As it has come to be claimed, “Google is making us stupid; the Internet is rewiring our brains.” The Internet is indeed rewiring our behavior via such social networks like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace (Antonelli 323). Cyber bullying has emerged as a major issue in the world because of our intensified activities on the Internet and social networks, whereunlike before, adolescence is now characterized by the popularity contests, name-calling and general mean-spiritedness over the social media in the real life. This is made worse by the fact that the modern electronic version presents us with greater anonymity thus not worrying of taking responsibility of our comments over the Internet. This sort of electronic aggression is responsible to a greater extent due to the behavioral challenges students are showing both at home and school.
Speaking of bad behaviors, the Internet and the media as a technological phenomenon has contributed to the erosion of morality especially among young people. Young people are becoming more violent from watching violent movies and playing violence-themed computer games. The youth is also increasingly visiting adult sites where they watch pornographic videos and then practice them with their peers (Gallop 34). Such reckless behavior has contributed to a high number of HIV infections among them.
The invasion of personal privacy has also become a major issue in the today’s world of the advanced technology. The personal information of individuals in social network sites as well as in phone is now being at a higher risk of being hacked using the sophisticated software (Antonelli 324). The practice has become commonplace because of the material gain or personal contentment that come with making funs of others or destroying their character using their personal information.
Still on morals and values, the technology has twisted the behavior of people in that more of them have lost concerns for their fellow human beings.People are today more mindful of paying their electricity, cell phone bills among other bills as opposed to being mindful of whether neighbor is hungry or lacks other basic need (Gallop 45). The reason for this behavior is increasing selfishness, greed, and competition among people to achieve higher status than others
Many young childrenare now addicted to the computer which negatively affects their eating, playing and sleeping habits as well as their general behavior. The addiction has made us disregard the importance of their physical activity,i.e. such behavior leads to the increasing cases of obesity. The behavior is rampant among young people because being pro in virtual games is considered a cool thing and a sense of achievement.
Significance of the Problem
The solution of the aforementioned problems bears the significant importance.It will help to understand and give the direction to how human beings should logically look at the issues with a view to solve or reduce some negative impacts.
One sub-claim is that technology has impacted every sphere of our lives. The truth of this statement is strongly supported by the article The Technological Advancements and Its Impact on Humanity writtenby Philip Yiga. The paper technology has evolved over the years and changed the way people are purchasing products, our ways of living, communicating, traveling, and learning, among many other changes.They have been the products of some technological advancement. The changing lifestyles and demands have resulted in a high demand for the advanced type of technology(Winston 12). This piece of evidence supports the thesis by showing that technology has brought some changes into all spheres. In addition, that is constantly evolving. Another source that equally supports this claim is the book titled Media Technology and Society, a History from the Telegraph to the Internet by Brian Winston.
Another sub-claim is that technology has impacted on the society. On this, there are some assertions in the article Technology Can Have Positive and Negative Impact on Social Interactions by Human Kinetics. It supports the claim that the change in technology has negatively impacted on our social relationships. It is regretted that while there is the proliferation of technologies with the ability to overcome limitations of both time and space, they have contributed to maintaining and strengthening our familial relationships (Harrington 2). They have also not improved our ability to communicate effectively with other people and help us to become more socially adaptive. It is evident that some technological advances have left people more stressed and distracted.
We are living in the age of robotics, where machines have the ability to learn, adapt to new things in addition to perform tasks almost like humans. Our behavior is changing along with the dynamic changes of technology. The Internet has emerged as an effective tool for both visualization and simulation. It is affecting every aspect of our lives starting from the personal growth, communication, scientific discoveries, and entertainment. However, there is some sort of resistance to the technological change. This is due to the fact that while humans are being good at adapting to new technologies, there is the preference of the status quo and simplicity.
While technology has made human beings more beautiful on the outside, it has contributed to our destruction from the inside. There is no doubt that our behavior will keep on changing as new technologies are being introduced to us. The technological change is the one thing that is guaranteed to around as long as humanity is being still around. New technological devices will be released and recycled even when we have run out of some resources. The space race demonstrates our great desire to seek some sources from other planets so as to continue our technological innovation.