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Impact of ICT on Society and Ecology

By nyanphyolin Mar 21, 2014 1367 Words
(1) Impacts of ICT (Use of IT) on Society and Economy

(1.1) POSTIVE SOCIAL IMPACTS OF ICT

Access to information: Possibly the greatest effect of ICT on individuals is the huge increase in access to information and services that has accompanied the growth of the Internet. Some of the positive aspects of this increased access are better, and often cheaper, communications, such as VoIP phone and Instant Messaging. In addition, the use of ICT to access information has brought new opportunities for leisure and entertainment, the facility to make contacts and form relationships with people around the world, and the ability to obtain goods and services from a wider range of

Improved access to education: e.g. distance learning and on-line tutorials. New ways of learning, e.g. interactive multi-media and virtual reality. New job opportunities, e.g. flexible and mobile working, virtual offices and jobs in the communications industry.

New tools, new opportunities: The second big effect of ICT is that it gives access to new tools that did not previously exist. A lot of these are tied into the access to information mentioned above, but there are many examples of stand-alone ICT systems as well.

a) ICT can be used for processes that had previously been out of the reach of most individuals, e.g. photography, where digital cameras, photo-editing software and high quality printers have enabled people to produce results that would previously required a photographic studio.

b) ICT can be used to help people overcome disabilities. e.g. screen magnification or screen reading software enables partially sighted or blind people to work with ordinary text rather than Braille.

Increased leisure time: more work done in less time ought to mean more leisure time. In some cases this does happen. Take for example sole proprietorships, or small partnerships, or where people are allowed to work from home. In many cases this doesn’t, as managers require the same amount of time spent on the job, so people should become more productive. Also as leisure time increases, the leisure industry will grow.

Never away from work: As the number of teleworkers increases, they will tend to work and live in the same place, they may feel as though they are never away from the job.

Equality for disadvantaged people: disadvantaged here means those that can afford a computer, but are in some way barred from attending a work place possibly because of a disability. These people can now compete with the able bodied worker.

Deskilling of some jobs: Some office jobs have completely disappeared. For example the filing clerk, a person that would spend time placing files in an order in a cabinet, logging them in and out, has gone. Another job that has changed is the typist. Before the advent of word processors, a typists job was quite highly skilled, because any mistakes required a complete retype of the document. Word processors allow for editing at any stage. Desk top publishing software has also allowed anyone to produce quite high quality documents, whereas before this was a skilled and often lengthy process.

(1.1.1) NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF ICT ON SOCIETY

It is very difficult to differ between the good and bad aspects of internet. There are good and bad things about every service of the internet. Probably the largest effect that ICT use has on society is allowing members of society to have greatly increased access to information. This can have numerous negative effects, such as: causing a digital divide between those who can access information and those who cannot, reducing levels of education and understanding due to the vast amount of incorrect and misleading information that is available causing moral and ethical problems due to the nature of some of the material available.

(1.2) POSITIVE IMPACTS OF ICT ON ECONOMY

Capital deepening through investment in ICT is important for economic growth. It establishes the infrastructure for the use of ICT (the ICT networks) and provides productive equipment and software to businesses. The impacts of ICT investment on economic growth have not disappeared with the slowdown. Technological progress in the production of computers, e.g. the release of increasingly powerful computer chips, is projected to continue for the foreseeable future. The same is true for communications technologies. As long as firms producing these technologies are confronted with sufficient competitive pressure, the (quality-adjusted) prices of these technologies will continue to decline, encouraging ICT investment and stimulating further productivity growth. And electronic payment transaction is also one of the positive impact too.

Electronic Payment Transaction: Payment cards are not just convenient, they help stimulate growth for economies as well. The rapid proliferation of cards in the past 50 years has changed how consumers pay for goods and services, and how merchants manage their businesses. Cards reduce friction in the economy by providing consumers convenient and secure access to their funds, while reducing cash and check handling for merchants and expanding the pool of customers who are guaranteed to pay. The value derived from the migration to electronic payments is driven by a number of factors:

- Higher potential tax revenue.
- Lower cash handling costs.
- Guaranteed payment for merchants.
- A reduction in the gray economy due to lower unreported cash transactions. - Greater financial inclusion.

(1.2.1) NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF ICT ON ECONOMY

Deserted City Centers: Home shopping over the Internet, reduced offices due to more teleworkers. These will both result in fewer buildings in the city centre.

Cost: The cost of using ICT may cause a number of problems for organizations.  A lot of ICT hardware and software is expensive, both to purchase and to maintain. An ICT system usually requires specialist staff to run it and there is also the challenge of keeping up with ever-changing technology. These extra costs should be offset by the positive effects of using ICT, but if an organization gets its cost-benefit analysis wrong it may lose money.

2) The negative impact of using internet on society

Increased stress at home: As the number of teleworkers increases, they may be expected to household chores.

Lack of privacy: As more and more information is collected and stored on us, and with the use of more sophisticated equipment to search the data, privacy is harder to achieve.

Increased unemployment: One of the largest negative effects of ICT can be the loss of a person’s job. This has both economic consequences, loss of income, and social consequences, loss of status and self esteem. Job losses may occur for several reasons, including: Manual operations being replaced by automation. e.g. robots replacing people on an assembly line.Job export. e.g. Data processing work being sent to other countries where operating costs are lower. Multiple workers being replaced by a smaller number who are able to do the same amount of work. e.g. A worker on a supermarket checkout can serve more customers per hour if a bar-code scanner linked to a computerized till is used to detect goods instead of the worker having to enter the item and price manually. The new jobs created by ICT are fewer than those lost ICT. This could have the effect of creating an underclass of people ‘who have not’, and can’t afford to have because they have no job to gain any money.

Reduced personal interaction: Being able to work from home is usually regarded as being a positive effect of using ICT, but there can be negative aspects as well. Most people need some form of social interaction in their daily lives and if they do not get the chance to meet and talk with other people they may feel isolated and unhappy.

Reduced physical activity: A third negative effect of ICT is that users may adopt a more sedentary lifestyle. This can lead to health problems such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Many countries have workplace regulations to prevent problems such as repetitive strain injury or eyestrain, but lack of physical exercise is rarely addressed as a specific health hazard.

Reduced number of manual jobs: these jobs have been reduced by computers. For example assembly work on production lines, has now been replaced by computer controlled machinery such as robots and computer controlled fork lift trucks.

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