Term Paper: Technology’s Effect on Society
Many people today love the amount of advanced technology available that continues to evolve at a faster and faster rate with each passing day. Things that did not seem possible a few years ago are a reality today, which shows us that even our wildest dreams could become reality. We have access to cell phones that are more like computers, the internet and all of its outlets, electronic books… if you can think of something technological that would make life easier, chances are it has already been dreamt up. With all of these technological advancements, one may think of it as primarily good for our country. However, although the technology makes certain aspects of our lives easier, its effect on our society as a whole is primarily negative due to its lighting fast evolution.
One of the most popular inventions available in today’s market is the smartphone. I am the youngest of four children; I remember when my older sisters and brother were given cell phones for the first time while they were in high school. The phones that they got were cheap, clunky, and could only be used to store contacts and make calls. Years later, when I reached fifth grade, nearly every one of my friends had been given cell phones. I remember specifically begging my parents for one as well, so I could be a part of this new trend. My parents argued with me that an 11 year old did not need a cell phone, but eventually my efforts paid off, and I was given a cheap phone to be used for “emergency calls only”. I remember how joyous I was, with my cheap phone and its limited capabilities. Over the next few years, the cell phones began to become more and more advanced. Whether it was better cameras, cooler designs, or limited Internet access, many kids I went to school with continued to bully their parents into buying them the latest phones in order to keep their social status high. My parents, however, would not succumb to my desires. I had to wait until my plan was up and even then, was rewarded with a new phone that had the same capabilities as my old one. At first, this made me feel left out and alienated from all the other kids with the “cool” phones, but as time progressed, I realized that there was no way I could keep up with the latest trends. It was as if the second I got a new phone, a more advanced one came out a few weeks later. When smart phones such as the blackberry came to prominence, everything changed. During that time period, in my town and school, if you didn’t have a blackberry you were on a different level socially than those who did. Time moved on, however, and then the iPhone came out. This ended up being an even bigger change than when the blackberry became popular. With its full touch screen and technology of apple behind it, the iPhone became the biggest trendsetter of my generation. My parents bought me an iPhone 4 when I was entering my senior year of high school, which was much later than many others who had owned the iPhone, iPhone 3g, and the iPhone 3gs previously. As usual, soon after I had gotten my iPhone 4, apple released the iPhone 4s, causing nearly everyone I went to school with to flock to apple to buy one. People want the latest things—the things that are deemed “coolest”, or the best available. In reference to the aforementioned, my siblings were all ecstatic about owning a cheap phone with almost no capabilities when they were in high school. When I was in high school, not only had I already owned a cell phone for almost 4 years already, but everyone I knew owned smart phones. In less than a decade, the level of technology had risen drastically—so drastically that the different generations of high school students had completely different opportunities available for themselves. Some may argue that the generation of students who had access to smartphones and the advanced Internet may have benefitted from technology more than those who...
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