The Socio-Cultural Effects of Technology on Society

Topics: Santería, Central Intelligence Agency, Orisha Pages: 12 (4281 words) Published: April 25, 2010
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The Socio-Cultural Effects of Technology on Society

Technology and society or technology and culture refer to the recurring co-dependence, co-influence, co-production of technology and society upon the other (technology upon culture, and vice-versa) (Webster’s Dictionary 5060). There are an extraordinary number of examples how science and technology has helped us that can be seen in society today. One great example is the mobile phone. Ever since the invention of the telephone society was in need of a more portable device that they could use to talk to people. This high demand for a new product led to the invention of the mobile phone, which did, and still do, greatly influence society and the way people live their lives. Now many people are accessible to talk to whomever they want no matter where any of the two people are. All these little changes in mobile phones, like Internet access, are further examples of the cycle of co-production. Society's need for being able to call on people and be available everywhere resulted in the research and development of mobile phones. They in turn influenced the way we live our lives. As the populace relies more and more on mobile phones, additional features were requested. This is also true with today’s modern media player. Society also determined the changes that were made to the previous generation media player that the manufactures developed. Take for example, today’s media players. At the beginning, cassettes were being used to store data. However, that method was large and cumbersome so the manufactures developed compact disks, which were smaller and could hold more data. Later, compact disks were again too large and did not hold enough data that forced today’s manufactures to create MP3 players, which are small and holds large amount of data. Today’s society determined the course of events that many manufactures took to improving their products so today’s consumers will purchase their products. Looking back into ancient history, economics can be said to have arrived on the scene when the occasional, spontaneous exchange of goods and services began to occur on a less occasional, less spontaneous basis. It probably did not take long for the maker of arrowheads to realize that he could probably do a lot better by concentrating on the making of arrowheads and barter for his other needs. Clearly, regardless of the goods and services bartered, some amount of technology was involved—if no more than in the making of shell and bead jewelry. Even the shaman's potions and sacred objects can be said to have involved some technology. So, from the very beginnings, technology can be said to have spurred the development of more elaborate economies. In the modern world, superior technologies, resources, geography, and history give rise to robust economies; and in a well-functioning, robust economy, economic excess naturally flows into greater use of technology. Moreover, because technology is such an inseparable part of human society, especially in its economic aspects, funding sources for (new) technological endeavors are virtually illimitable. However, while in the beginning, technological investment involved little more than the time, efforts, and skills of one or a few men, today, such investment may involve the collective labor and skills of many millions. Technology has frequently been driven by the military, with many modern applications being developed for the military before being adapted for civilian use. However, this has always been a two-way flow, with industry often taking the lead in developing and adopting a technology that is only later adopted by the military. Winston (2003) provides an excellent summary of the ethical implications of technological development and deployment. He states there are four major ethical implications: - Challenges traditional ethical norms. Because technology impacts relationships...

Cited: New York: Doubleday, 2008.
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Technology and Society Magazine, IEEE Vol. 19, Issue 3 (2000): 26 – 34.
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