Imagine life without current technology. It would be hard for many people to survive very long without the every day technology that shapes societies around the world. Technology that can help people travel long distances in a short period of time, to communicate, and cure. The technology being developed is to be used in a way it can benefit the people and the society. Almost every common household device people use everyday is a result of years of technology research and testing. Everything from light bulbs to cell phones and computers are results or years of technology research and testing. The development of new technology can improve the quality of people’s lives because it can bring about change in many social, medical, and environmental aspects throughout the world.
The development of technology can have a huge effect on the social aspects throughout the world. According to Merriam-Webster, Technology is defined as, “the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area” (Technology). Communicating with other people over long distances used to be a very difficult and slow process for some people, but with the invention and advancement of different technologies it is possible to communicate easily. With the development of telephone, internet and cell phone technology, people can communicate by phone call, through email, and by text. This technology has made it possible for people to stay connected with the people dearest to them, like friends, family, or other associates.
Traditional, or land line phones made it possible for people to speak with family and friends near and far, without having to wait for letters in the mail to keep them updated. The internet was another development in technology that made it even easier to connect with people. It made it possible to send digital mail instantly. Eventually there came many different social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube. With the use of social media sites people can have interactions with other new people from all over the world. For example, while someone is looking through their social media account and they see a friend they have not seen in a long time, or someone that moved away a long time ago, they can get in contact with them through their social media and be able to interact with them again. New relationships can be created with other people by sharing things on their social media about their lives through photos, videos, and music. Technology like cell phones are usually plug-in or transportable so they can go anywhere people want to take them. With the development of cell phone that are transportable, people can call anyone at any time – whether to let them know when they are in an emergency situation, or to let someone know where they are. Around the world there are even some technology that will let people to stay connected to the homes and even their vehicles through their phones. With the development of technology, the interactions between people can grow stronger.
While working in the advancement of technology the relationship between men and women traditionally has been very different. The STEM fields are male dominated. In a study conducted by Ann Lourens at a South African university, Lourens reported that there was an almost 6% drop in the amount of women engineers from 1996 – 2005. One of the main reasons was for social reasons. “As a source of self-efficacy, social persuasion refers to the influence of others. Hazari et al.  found that the presence or absence of social support influences course achievement. The women in the research study of Aluede et al.  identified social support as one of the strongest factors influencing their pursuit of studies in a technical field” (p. 116 Lourens). It is just like most social situations. They feel comfortable around people like them. So, for women thinking about going into technology, it can cause them to turn away because they think it won’t be enough other women there.
When most people think of technology, they think of an electronic device and modern advancements. However, not all technology is dealing with gadgets, and not all of it is new. Technology is the practical application of knowledge. So basically, the goal of technology is to solve a problem. In this way, technology has helped to create many advancements in psychotherapy. Psychotherapy has been around for hundreds of years and is constantly changing and improving. The methods that therapists use to help their patients are all forms of technology.
In a published article, Nadezhda A. Kasavina wrote, “The psychotherapeutic technologies of the social sciences and humanities are the result of a long process that has shaped its theory and social and therapeutic practice, as part of a specific cultural and ideological context” (p. 74 Kasavina). In the article, Kasavina talks about different applications, or technologies, that are used to help mental health patients. One of the technologies used is a social engineering one. The therapist uses social engineering to help the patient shift their focus from the “I” standpoint. They teach them how not to focus on themselves so much. As Kasavina also stated, “The therapist must also find a way to help a person develop a curiosity and concern for others. For this purpose, group therapy is particularly effective” (p.79 Kasavina). Group therapy is one of several different technologies used in psychotherapy every day.
Technology affects every part of our lives. There are even benefits of technology that most people may never think about. For example, technology has helped the sports industry. There are many ways that technology has helped in sports, but medical imaging technology has helped in ways that most sports fans overlook. According to an article by Bin Lv and Sihua Li, “The commonly used medical imaging technology has ultrasound, X-ray image technology, CT technology, and MRI technology. They have their own advantages and disadvantages, and according to the different situation, select a more appropriate medical imaging technology .” (p. 118, Lv, Li) When athletes get injured while playing sports or practicing, medical technology helps the doctors see through the bone and tissue to see what the problem is. This helps them diagnose the injury and come up with a plan to treat it, so the athlete can go back to his sport.
The changes the development of technology can have on environmental aspects can affect people and society in general in both good and bad ways. The weather can be very unpredictable and over the last few decades, it has gotten more severe. As the planet heats up because of global warming, new technologies have been invented to help slow it down. Many scientists agree that global warming is the cause for the extreme weather changes we have experienced. Those scientists also agree that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major factor in global warming.
Over the years, there have been many suggestions on how to reduce our CO2 output. One solution by economists was carbon pricing. In his article, William B. Bonvillian wrote, “Policymakers in the United States and elsewhere have assumed for 15 years that putting a price on carbon would be an effective strategy for addressing climate change” (Bonvillian). Carbon pricing is a method used by economists over the world for reducing global-warming emissions by charging companies based on the amount of CO2 they release into the atmosphere. The problem with carbon pricing is that it was not as effective as everyone planned. Bonvillian discusses some of the reasons why it wasn’t very effective in his article. One of the main reasons he talked about was because the U.S. operates well from a place of innovation, but not necessarily fixing existing systems.
The development of new technologies can help solve problems in less developed countries. For example, with the help of technology, scientists and engineers can discover and develop new energy sources for people so that they can use it to improve the lives of themselves and others. Finding new ways to convert different forms of energy with little harm to the environment would be of big help in a long run to create a better future. There was a point in time where someone looked further down into the future about the amounts of energy sources from the earth being used. In the book, Solar Energy by David E. Newton, Newton discussed a French mathematics teacher who lived during the Industrial Revolution; Augustin Mouchot. Mouchot was ahead of his time in the way he thought about energy and how humans would need to use it going far into the future. He looked to a source that many hadn’t considered – the sun. Newton stated, “Mouchot believed that the answer to this question was to “harvest the sun.” He spent the better part of two decades, from 1860 to 1879, experimenting with a variety of ways of capturing sunlight, concentrating its rays, and using that radiation to boil water” (qtd. in Newton 14-15). The use of solar energy can help by using less resources the earth gives that are not renewable. Once they are used up they will be gone forever. Solar energy is the energy collected from the sun that is then converted into electricity or heat. The people can then use this electricity and heat for their homes and for preparing meals. Also, the heat created using solar energy can help with sanitation and cleanliness, for instance boiling water to make sure it’s safe to drink.
While there are many advantages to technological advancement, there are other things that the development of technology can harm. Technology and engineering are important to companies because they help them run more efficiently. Sometimes, those same companies have technology that affect the people around them, like the air the people breathe. Industrial pollution caused by factories can affect the air and water sources in the neighborhoods surrounding them. The same technologies that help the factories run better could be causing long-lasting environmental damage. Factories are being used all over the world and being used every day which are polluting the air that we breathe. The factories release harmful gasses to the people and the environment, like carbon dioxide, which results in global warming and damaging human tissues. It can be challenging to find solutions that work for the good of society in general, because the factories are very important to the people and the society needs them because that is what is being used to get new products needed for everyday life.
Another disadvantage of technology is dealing with the advancement of cell phone and internet technology. There are so many reasons why cell phones and internet have both made people’s lives easier and more difficult at the same time. As mentioned earlier, with internet, people can send digital messages instantly. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. The bad side of it is that people do not take the time to think very much about what they say or how it can affect others.
Cell phones and social media are technologies that have had major changes on how people socialize with each other. Before internet and other instant communication, people had to write letters to communicate with others. There was time to think about what to say before mailing the letter off. Even if the person were angry with the person he was writing to, there would be time to think about it before actually sending the letter off. Now with the internet, messages can be sent immediately after an argument or fight, which can make the problems worse. Every year there are cases of violence that escalated out of control because of social media, leading to assaults, murders, and suicides. Disagreements between kids used to be simple, but now with social media it is easy for cyberbullying. When a kid is bullied at school, the bullying stops once they leave the school. Now with the internet and people having 24/7 access to each other, the bullying never stops.
Information is easy to access through the internet and social media as well. While this is helpful when writing a paper for school, the access to information can be dangerous. In the book, Brain Vs. Computer by Jean-Pierre Fillard, Fillard discussed that “The constant progress of AI and of the power of computers have caused deep concern for many people, who claim that an immediate danger looms” (Fillard p. 237). The development of technology has been involving at an incredible rate especially since people can get all the information they want from the use of different technology. There are great people in society and there are those who choose to live on the dark side of society. These people make a living by stealing from others. More information is being sent digitally every day and that means that thieves may be able to get people’s personal information. There are constant news stories about data breaches where thieves have hacked into a network to steal people’s credit card and other valuable financial information. These hacks are only possible because people in the world are connected and have so many devices connected with their information on them. Data breaches and hacks can cause big financial problems for the victims as they try to get everything straightened out.
There can be a larger negative social impact that technology can have. Even though technology lets people connect with others from all around the world instantly, it can be the cause of a disconnect. Many times, people don’t socialize with the people in the room as much as they do on the phones. It is evident in so many public places that people do not connect the same way anymore. From grocery stores to malls to stop lights, many people are looking down at their phones instead of looking around them and speaking to the people around them.
Sometimes technology can be the cause of harm to the earth itself. Even technology that is intended for good can have negative effects on the land. There are earth elements used in every day technology. Those elements have to be mined or are formed as a by-product of mined elements. The creation of these elements can only happen if large sections of land are dug up, which is destructive to the local environment.
The development of technology allows the people to do things that we could never dream of doing. The development of technology is changing the way that the people live their lives. With the development of technology, the people are able to complete a task in a short amount of time with little effort and more productivity. With the development of technology, the people could find new type of fuels, so that it can be used to power the things the people need to use instead of using all the fuels the earth have to give. The development of technology can lead to a possibility where people can communicate with others without the fear of being hurt by others, so that the people and the society can live in peace. With the development of technology people can be brought together from all over the world and they can learn new things from each other and some of the people might find a common interest between them a create a new relationship. The development of new medical technology can help people by being able to determine what is wrong with the body either it be a sickness, or an injury and it will be able to heal faster, and new medicine can be found for people with incurable disease and come back with good health. With the development of technology, it can have a huge impact on the people and the society depending on how that technology is being used. The development of technology is a major factor in everybody’s lives and it is still improving, and it will change the people way of life and the society as a whole in the years to come.
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