Effects Of Technology


Effects Of Technology Essay, Research Paper

Advancement in technology has affected many people in many ways. New

technology has altered peoples’ consciousness, language, and the way society

views the world. Technological advancements have made the world smaller, and

have made things easier. Computers have been the inventions that have

advanced so much since they were developed and have had such a big impact on

humanity. Computers were originally developed to use for doing calculations

and have come to the point that people cannot function normally without them.

"Humans were once considered to be superior to all other creatures of the

Earth. The reason for human supremacy was the ability to think, process

data, store information, and perform calculations"(Silver, 5). Until the

second half of the twentieth century, nothing could perform these tasks

faster and more accurately than the human mind.

Use of Computers

"Computers first became available in the early 1950s to be used as "super

calculators" for processing numbers. Since then, computers have evolved into

something far superior" (Silver, 10). Much of the reason for the rapid

growth and popularity of computers was an increase in paperwork in business

and government. "More forms, letters, memos, reports, correspondence, and

documents are generated in one day today than were produced in the entire

nineteenth century"(Silver, 13). People came to realize that the computer is

the best, most efficient, timesaving tool to control information.

In 1950 there were only a dozen or so large-scale computers in the United

States. By 1975 the number had grown to 155,000. Soon after came the

invention of minicomputers, microprocessors, and desktop computers. By the

1990s, a personal computer had grown to become a necessity in almost every

home and business. In less than three decades, the computer has become

indispensable to business, industry, government, in school, and home.

Computer literacy is now considered as vital as learning to read and is to be

taught to everyone.

The influence of computer technology is evident in many aspects of

society. Whether it is to help space exploration or processing checks or

producing mailing labels, computers are used. Applications of computers in

society influence each typical person. Some recognition of the role of

computers results from the way computers direct the daily lives of the

individual or the family. "The average person forms some impressions on

computers and their pervasiveness in society while the larger, philosophical

issues may never reach a conscious level of awareness" (Mathews, 43).

Computers provide assistance for many applications such as handling money

and record keeping. Though they can be useful, computers can be bad if used

improperly. Computers were not developed to think for us; they do not think

but rather follow directions. Computers are thought to have changed society

but in actuality society has allowed computers to change them. People rely

on their computers for everything even tasks that can be accomplished without

using a computer. A prime example of this is the internet.


The internet was first introduced in 1983 as an extended source of

information. Internet access provides the user with information about almost

any topic. On-line services, which provide reference materials, electronic

mail, and the internet, provide anything and everything a person could

possibly need to know about. Instead of writing and mailing a letter to a

friend, you could send e-mail directly to his/her computer. Rather than

going to the library to do research, a person could sit in front of the

computer and find that same information within a matter of minutes. A user

on the internet could also go shopping, watch a movie, or talk to unknown

people across the world. "Millions of people on every continent participate

in computer-mediated social groups called virtual communities, and this

population is growing fast"(Rheingold, 35). The internet also allows new

people from all over to meet eachother and "chat."

Internet Misuse

"Chatting" over the internet is not always safe because people could be

telling others that they are someone other than they are. Some people who

"chat" with others sometimes arrange to meet eachother; this is not a safe

idea because often when these people have met bad things happen to them. The

internet also allows users to view "cyberporn," which is a computerized

sexual image. "Cyberhate" is also becoming a problem for internet users.

"Cyberhate is Web publishing literature that advocates acts of violence and

intimidation motivated by prejudice based on race, religion, sexual

orientation, or ethnicity"(Gay, 24). The internet is also unsafe because

there are ways of one user to obtain names, addresses, social security

numbers, etc. about any person in the world. There are ways to find credit

card numbers of people making a purchase over the internet as well. Privacy

has become an almost impossible idea since the internet has been around.

Clinton’s Educational Reform

In 1996, President Clinton proposed his "educational reform." As a part

of this reform, he proposed to have every school connected to the information

superhighway, or internet, by the year 2000. Clinton also suggests that all

students become computer literate and internet familiar starting at a young

age. "I want to get the children of America hooked on education through

computers; we must make technological literacy a standard," said President

Clinton. However, Clinton’s networking goal seems beyond reach. Currently,

3% of the nations classrooms have internet connections, and only about 16% of

teachers use the internet or computer-based connection services like America

Online, according to a survey conducted earlier this year by the Denver

research firm Quality Education Data Inc. "Linking the remaining classrooms

and students could cost $30 billion or more, plus at least $5 billion in

annual operating expenses"(Conte, 2). In the past, reading, writing and

arithmetic were fundamental to a student’s success. In the 1990s, the

fundamentals became reading, writing, arithmetic and internet.


"Society has become, in many ways, too dependant of computers"(Moore,

68). Tasks that were normally handled without computers are now completed

with a computer. "Computer technology is meant to be used as a convenience

to help users complete work faster and more accurately"(Farina, 92).

However, society has made computers more of a necessity, especially in recent

years. For this reason, all of these problems like cyberhate arise.

Whether we like it or not, computer technology has advanced to the point

of becoming a major part of our lives. Each time we use a credit card or

register for a class on campus, we are all affected by computers. Computers

influence our activities, attitudes, and the way we think. The influence of

computers will continue to expand in the future, but people have to learn not

to revolve their lives around computers.


1. Farina, Stephen. The Wired Neighborhood. New Haven: Yale University

Press, 1996

2. Gay, Martin K. The New Information Revolution. California: ABC-CLIO, 1996

3. Mathews, Walter M. ed. Monster or Messiah? :The Computer’s Impact on

Society. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1980

4. Moore, Dinty W. The Emperor’s Virtual Clothes: the naked truth about the

internet culture. North Carolina: Algonquin Books, 1995

5. Rheingold, Howard. The Virtual Community. Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley

Publishing Co., 1993

6. Silver, Gerald A. The Social Impact of Computers. New York: Harcourt Brace

Jovanovich Inc. 1979

7. Conte, Christopher. "Networking the Classroom." Congressional Quarterly

Researcher Oct. 1995

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