Since the industrial revolution, society has become more and more dependent on technology. So much so that we sometimes lack the willingness to think before we act. We become impatient if it takes more than a few seconds to download a copy of the morning news paper. We expect immediate responses to our email, and we expect someone to answer their cell phone whenever and wherever we call. “Industrialization resulted in rapid and sustained economic growth and a massive increase in consumer goods. But at the same time, for many people it meant a thoroughly unpleasant work environment.”1
People in today’s society are always looking for ways to improve their lifestyles and in some way help deal with their physical environment. Agriculture; Farming and cattle herding led to the growth of large, settled human populations and increasing competition for productive lands, touching off organized warfare. The need for transportation brought vehicles into the market. The need for employees brought mechanical robots into society. Battles over land brought on the need for sophisticated weapons. The agricultural system brought on a revolution.
The invention of the television has brought all forms of entertainment into our houses with video and audio combined. Before 1950, newspapers and radio were the only ways to bring media or entertainment into the house. Mass production and other job opportunities brought many people from the rural areas and farms into the city. Society is more reliant on technology than ever before. While technologies have their advantages there is a negative effect to all this technology as well. Technology can actually harm society rather then help it. Competition between companies or even cities can sometimes make our lives for even worse. When a city builds more roads to attract tourists, the result is more traffic, not less. Even things we take for granted such as the automobile have negative effects on society. In order for us to operate cars we must have gasoline. The gasoline is the result of the refining of crude oil and most of this oil needs to be imported and sometimes accidents such as the Exxon Valdez incident spills many gallons of oil into the ocean. All of these examples show how technology has negative effects on society.
Technology and Society
Sometimes, the introduction of a new technology can lead to competition among businesses. This competition can have a negative effect. When a company in the U.S. produces shoes and a company in Europe produces shoes as well, they must fight for their market share. If a company in Europe purchases more machines that will reduce the amount of workers needed and improve output, thus reducing the price of their product, they will place themselves in a market advantage. If a company in the U.S. doesn't follow in their footsteps then they could be forced out of business. In this case the company is forced into buying the machines just so they can stay in business. This has a negative effect on the employees who will be replaced by the new machines. When a city wants to attract tourists by building better roads to lessen traffic there is a mistake because this will only create more traffic since there will be more people wanting to travel these roads. By creating better roads, more people will want to travel these roads. If New York City built a new sophisticated highway to attract more tourists then more New Yorkers will want to travel these roads as well. Many New Yorkers who previously used mass transit to travel to work will now want to use a car to travel to work. In effect there will be more traffic and more pollution. There will be other side effects as well. Real estate values of areas near the highway could go down. Competition can help a community in one aspect however it can hurt it as well. Competition can directly stimulate the economy; however, long term effects such as pollution and the loss of jobs could...
References: 1. Rudi Volti, Society and Technological Change, Fifth Edition, p.166
2. Johnnie L. Roberts, “Keepin’ it On the Download”, Newsweek, August 1, 2005, p.42
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