Since the Industrial Revolution, technology has served as a tool to improve the standard of living in most countries. We receive a lot of benefits from modern technology in everyday life. The benefit can be so great that you notice it, or something small you can take for granted. Modern technology has solved many problems that people face and play an important role in the development of many countries. Modern technologies create many kinds of products and also a heated controversy. Computers, cloning technology, and video games are some of these technologies.
Joshua Quittner writes about the benefits and problems of computer technology in his essay "Invasion of Privacy" (353). He demonstrates how useful computers are and also how to eliminate problems related to computer use. He insists that the benefits of electronic technologies are worth to the risk of being deprived of his privacy (Quittner 356). In fact, electronic technologies seem almost inevitable in today's society.
Other technologies have also contributed to solve other problems as well. For instance, Lee M. Silver states that cloning is a proper operation under the right procedure (364). Although he points out that it will be disastrous if cloning operations are used abusively, he stresses in his essay "Jennifer and Rachel" that cloning is beneficial for a person who wants to have a child but has problems conceiving one (Silver 363).
In "When life imitates video," John Leo maintains that violent games reflect recent cruel crimes (360). Because of this, some people are very cautious about the use of those advanced technologies and stressing the drawbacks of them. Most of the drawbacks are preventable with the right education and legal restrictions. Moreover, modern technology becomes not just beneficial but almost essential in recent society because of its great advantages. Providing our society with convenience, safety, and making many things possible are three examples of advantages that modern technology brings us.
One of the advantages of modern technology is its convenience. Quittner writes how people receive benefits from the electric technology in their daily life (354). He gives examples such as ATM, E-Z pass, and online service and shopping (Quittner 354). The benefits are common and we take this convenience for granted as a part of everyday life. However, this was not natural fifty years ago. Before, people needed to wait in a long line at the counter of a teller before withdrawing money. Today, in busy days during Christmas season, people can order a present on line from a computer. They can see a big smile of their family member by giving the present on time. Besides, one can compare cheaper and better goods on line instead of going several shopping malls. This is impossible without modern technology. Of course, there are drawbacks of electric technology such as a matter of privacy. However, they are preventable. Quittner suggests paying cash instead of using credit cards, or refusing to divulge Social Security number as some examples on how to prevent leaks of private information (356). He also mentions that " protecting the privacy of E-mail by encrypting it with secret codes so powerful that even the National Security Agency's supercomputers would have a hard time cracking it." (Quittner 357). According to Quittner, this kind of code is legal within the U.S.(357). So if the law for protecting from leaking privacy by electric technology is made universally, the problem of leaking privacy will lessen considerably. I agree with Quittner that the issue of privacy relating to electric technology is mostly preventable by self-protection and legal restriction.
Another advantage of technology is to provide society with safety. John Leo warns the potential problem of modern technology such as video game (359). On the contrary, he also partly admits advantages of modern technology if used as a safe tool (Leo 360). For example, he mentions that the army uses shooting games of high quality in their practice (Leo 360). This kind of simulation game is used in aviation practice as well. Repetitious practice of flight games before practical flight will provide the trainees more safety than to beginners with no practice. This will give less injury or accident in flight training. The drawback of this technology warned Leo, is moral deprivation of young children who cannot make a clear distinction between the virtual and real world (Leo 360). As a result, there is the possibility that they might commit a cruel crime like the massacre in the Littleton without hesitation (Leo 360). However, the connection between the violent game and crime is just a hypothetical possibility. It is natural to think that the cause is relationship between children and grown-ups around them including their parents and their communities. To the certain age when children have a sense of true and false, it is the responsibility of grown-ups to keep them away from violent games. We need to think about relationships with children and their moral education instead of blaming modern technology like video games.
The greatest advantage of modern technology is to make impossible things possible. Lee M. Silver writes a story about a single woman called Jennifer who gives birth to her clone called Rachel in his writing "Jennifer and Rachel"(362). Silver insists the benefit of the technology is to grant a child for infertile people or for someone who wants a child but has no chance to have one. Modern technology contributes to the well being of minorities such as homosexual couples and infertile couples (Silver 364). Silver also mentions the cloned sheep named Dolly. Modern technology including clone technology could give a way to save the world from starvation (365). Cloned cows with traits of cows producing abundant milk will provide stable milk supply to developing countries. Or, other modern technology including genetically modified food also will provide a more stable food supply of plants and vegetables tolerant to cold climate and bugs. People in the developing countries can secure stable food supply and commodity. People insist there might be an ethical issue, however, the fact that technology has brought new options is undoubted. Again, although Silver refers to technology abuse problem relating to modern technology (367), this also can be controlled by emphasizing education and making a new law. Only shifting the society along with the technology changes can solve the problems related to modern technology. It is not the problem of modern technology itself.
Modern technologies have settled or lessened many problems and difficulties of the society by its advantages. Making society more convenient and safe and making impossible things possible are similar features of the change which previous people have experienced by social change, like shifting from a hunting society to an agricultural society and establishing a commercial society due to the invention of new tools. To consider these advantages and change of society, modern technology, which we use today, might be not only a new tool but also the tool, which makes a dramatic change in history. There might be social problems generated by inability to correspond with modern technology use. However, the contribution of modern technology to society should not be eliminated and should be distributed evenly.