Are people becoming too reliant on Information Technology?
Smart phones, Facebook, Netflix, YouTube…. The world is living in an era of constant dynamic technological revolutions. Information Technology has become inextricable from everyday life. Information technology refers to combination of computing technology, such as networking, hardware, software, the Internet, and the people that work with these technologies. The main aim of T is to facilitate the life of each and every one, as Steve Ballmer said (brainyquotes.com).
“The number one benefit of information technology is that it empowers people to do what they want to do. It lets people be creative. It lets people be productive. It lets people learn things they didn’t think they could learn before, and so in a sense it is all about potential.”
However, IT can be addictive and occupy a huge place in one’s life.
IT has brought about a revolution in data processing and storage. Creating a document, editing and storing a document is a task any common individual with basic IT knowledge can achieve. Storing information has become easier and less bulky, for example; a considerable of amount of data, such as a company’s information about its employees can be stored on a computer or in a secondary storage device such as a pen drive, and does not require bulky filing cabinets. This has revolutionized businesses around the world. As Bill Gates said: (brainyquotes.com).
“Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other.”
Businessmen find it easier to check stock, demand, prices, and investment possibilities. There are dependent on this technology but only because it gives them the possibility to render their businesses more productive.
Furthermore IT has allowed tremendous progress in the medical field. The research facilities set up have allowed to find the cure to several diseases and better understanding of many others, for example the use of the electron microscope has led to the understanding of the structure of the AIDS virus. Genetic Engineering has allowed to cure birth defects and treat other genetic diseases.
“I’m fascinated by the idea that genetics is digital. A gene is a long sequence of coded letters, like computer information. Modern biology is becoming very much a branch of information technology.”
Machine assisted surgical operations are conducted all over the world to assist doctors in dangerous procedures and provide greater precision and reduce the risk of human error. Monitoring the heart rate, taking the Blood pressure and the amount of oxygen in the body are all machine assisted. People are dependent on IT but the latter allows many lives to be saved and helps to provide better medical assistance.
IT has bestowed upon man a great favor: the internet. Man cannot fathom the kaleidoscope of facilities the internet gives him access to. People can learn whatever they want, ranging from astronomy to advanced linguistics while being comfortably seated at home. Access to education has been greatly facilitated as online courses are available to everyone and online degrees and diplomas can be obtained. In addition IT knowledge is a must as:
“In today’s knowledge-based economy, what you earn depends on what you learn. Jobs in the information technology sector, for example, pay 85 percent more than the private sector average.”
William J. Clinton
Furthermore, communication in itself has underwent an extraordinary transformation. As Peter Drucker said: (brainyquotes.com).
“The new information technology… Internet and e-mail… have practically eliminated the physical costs of communications.”
Skype and Facetime allow people to transcend barriers and saves them money as international calls are very expensive whereas these applications are free. Communication costs have been further reduce with the invention of Whatsapp and Viber. Teleconferences are held all over the world and the physical cost of travelling becomes inexistent.
However, it is undeniable that IT has become a leech in some people’s lives, particularly youngsters. A recent survey proves that mobile users can’t leave their phone alone for six minutes and check it up to 150 times a day. People make, receive or avoid 22 phone calls every day and send or receive messages 23 times a day. Dr James Roberts of Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business in Texas conducted research on the matter and said: (brainyquotes.com).
“Mobile phones are a part of our consumer culture. They are not just a consumer tool, but are used as a status symbol. They’re also eroding our personal relationships.”
With the advent of social media such as twitter and Facebook, people have been engulfed by IT. Youngsters feel the urge of posting everything they do and that happens to them on the internet. It seems to have caused attention deficit disorder outbreak as their self-esteem rises or falls according to the response they get on their posts. Teens all over the world have instagram, twitter, snap chat, etc. Rather than them focusing on school the only thing they care about is that everything on their social media accounts are perfect. It honestly makes no sense whatsoever. The teens are disregarding their school work and only care about those things, a lot of teens are anti-social. The only way they interact with people is through their phones. A lot of the time the people they are considering they’re friends online they have never even met. Teens do not even like to go places because they think their phones are more satisfying than having to actually go outside and do something with their lives other than going on their cell phones. So, yes we are way too dependent on technology.
Health problems have also arisen due to overexposure to computers, for example; back pain, eye problems, joint problems, to name but a few.
Online films and series have rendered people addicted to them, as they spend a lot of time glued t their monitor with the usual phrase “just one more episode”.
Information Technology is becoming a crutch for humanity. The world is evolving to incorporate technology into every facet of human life. Because of this new reliance people are losing the ability to take care of themselves in an organic and all natural way, for example GPS systems have changed the way we travel. People can’t even read a map anymore.
To conclude, IT has become an inherent part of modern life. In most cases its use is vital. It facilitates tasks and allows man to explore all possibilities and also to attain the paroxysm of his capabilities. However it should not be considered the solutions to all problems and an escape from reality. If ever IT is considered to be an evil, it definitely is a necessary one.
Steve Ballmer, SB, [online] available from: Brainyquotes.com. [Accessed: 16.02.2015]
Bill Gates, BG, [online] available from: Brainyquotes.com. [Accessed: 16.02.2015]
Richard Dawkins, RD, [online] available from: Brainyquotes.com. [Accessed: 16.02.2015]
William J. Clinton, WJC, [online] available from: Brainyquotes.com. [Accessed: 16.02.2015]
Peter Drucker, PD, [online] available from: Brainyquotes.com. [Accessed: 16.02.2015]
Dr James Roberts, JR, [online] available from: Brainyquotes.com. [Accessed: 16.02.2015]