ICT has developed at a very fast rate throughout the years. It has changed the way we live and work and our social lives. This essay will be exploring the concepts of technology and how ICT has changed the way we live and if it is for the better or for the worse.
Twenty years ago the idea of having a “computer for everyone” was considered very unlikely, if not an absurd idea. Hardly anyone had a computer and if they did, they were considered well off and technically sophisticated. Having a computer was considered a luxury and not a necessity like it is today. Life was very different; communication between people was much slower. There were no Instant messages as you would have to telephone the person on their home telephone or send a letter. If you wanted to research something you would have to go to a library as there were no search engines. There were many things that you couldn’t do or that were slower because of a lack of ICT. For example we are all used to shopping on line but twenty years ago this wasn’t available as computers were expensive and there were few shopping web sites. The internet was not sophisticated as it is today and it could not process financial transactions.
Employment structure and working practices
However in 1980’s technology was starting to be brought out by specific companies who had a dream that computers could be part of our everyday life. It was IBM who made it possible by introducing the first computer intended for home usage, called “IBM PC (Personal Computer)” in the early 1980s. It is true that before IBM, several companies had already attempted to release a personal computer, but none of them had the popularity of IBM PC. Since that time, computer technology started to grow immensely. In 1987 the next generation of computers was released, this time by the company Intel. Different kinds of technology then started to bloom in society and soon enough everyone had a computer. The computers had programmes on them allowing the owner to do various things on them .One of the most popular programmes then and still used today is Microsoft. This programme allowed people to type up words on their computer and save it meaning that no one had to carry around pages and pages of hand written work. Computers made every day life and work much easier. Additional technology was also expanding, the flash dive device meant that you didn’t have to carry around hand written work with you or just store it on your computer, you could also save work to this small device and use it on any other computer. Since then technology has not stopped providing us with useful advantages. The “chunky” computer has been over taken by the slim and light weight and portable laptop. It became the new generation of technology as it was portable and you could carry it around with you everywhere and anywhere this meant that people had their work accessible to them instantly. Similarly, in the employment market, if you wanted to send off a job application it would have taken so much longer because you would have had to post it and not fill it in at home and quickly send it online. There were no on line applications and assessments and this slowed the process of recruitment down.
How we spend our free time
It didn’t stop there because technology changed our social lives with the Play Stations 1,2 and 3.The Nintendo Ds’s,The slim line Mobile phone with new technology, The PSP’s ( the portable version of the Play station!). Most recently Apple introduced their most advanced technology out there with the Iphone 4. The new Iphone 4 released by Apple has changed the face of mobile phones forever; these phones are extremely similar to laptops but are still able to sit in the palm of your hand. The new wave of TV’s that have come out are the slim-line, 3D TV’s that give you the experience of being in a cinema when you are only in your living room. There is also the development of social networking sites such as facebook and twitter which make it easier to stay in touch with people and make new friends.
Changes in education
In the classroom things changed also. blackboards and chalk were abolished because of interactive whiteboards. There is access to all the images, maps and information available on the net. New opportunities had arisen for those who chose to pursue further education. The option is to pursue further studies online is becoming a well-known, widely used and appreciated development. It allows students of every age to study from home while maintaining their jobs, social lives and family time.
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The telephone brought people closer together in the sense that distance did not inhibit a phone call, but it also had an unanticipated effect, according to some early studies that people spent less time actually in each other’s presence. Starting in the 1890s people began to replace visiting with telephone calls, which were briefer and less personal. Many people argue that this is a bad thing however the invention of technology including the telephones and computers allowed people to pursue social and work opportunities.
Sustainability is also a big question when it comes to technology. The main question being, can we keep up with technology? And is it really as reliable as we think? There are some loop holes when considering the sustainability of technology such as the questions what will happen if there is too much of technology? What about cyber bullying? And fraud? Isn’t fraud dangerous and becoming more technology related thus meaning that one day, one virus, one problem could cause the whole frame of technology to collapse. And if it did collapse would we be able to manage without it?
Ownerships, Copyright and Plagiarism
Since technology has been introduced there have been downfalls of the misuse of the internet, one big part of this is plagiarism. Although students today still use the old, traditional ways of cheating, technology has enabled students to take cheating and plagiarism to a more sophisticated level. Many schools and colleges use an on-line plagiarism programs to try to prevent this. These identify essays that have been plagiarized where students have “cut and pasted” internet articles in to their own work.
Effects on local communities and Privacy
The internet is vast and can reach everyone, wherever there is a computer, there is access to the internet and a worldwide community. There is a problem with the question of how secure our private information is. We do not realise how much private information we put on our computers. From bank account details and personal e mails to communications with people we live and work with. If this should fall in to the wrong hands it would be a problem. Old laws relating to privacy do not apply to new technology. Companies often share customer data without our consent. This is a worldwide problem as different countries try to deal with credit card fraud, cyber bullying and other scams.
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Not everyone thinks technology has improved our standard of living. Some people agree that due to all of this new technology “the future generation” and the new generation of children have no idea what it was like before ICT. Also ICT has become extremely addictive and pressuring as research has shown that more than 80% of people in a developed country use technology on a regular basis. The question to ask is if technology is having this effect on people now then how will it be in the future?
Overall technology has changed the way of the world dramatically. I think that there will forever be a question of “Has technology changes us for the better or for the worse?” Some people may say that technology has helped us so much and will encourage the use of new technology .However others may say that people of this new society don’t know what it is like without all of these luxuries and should know what it is like because they rely on technology too much.
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