The computer is considered the most revolutionary invention of the twentieth century and it appears to be as well. The impact of computer usage can be found in everywhere. From society to business to education, it has impacted, revolutionized and increased the productivity of whatever purpose it has been used for. The phenomenal aspect of the use of computers is that it not only contributes to advances in other areas, computers are used to advance the very own technology they are based on and manufactured with. The process of this advancement has been continuous and so have been the changes it has brought. In the following paper we will try to provide a picture of how the computer has impacted our society in various ways (Anne Rooney).
Impact of Computers on our society
The use of computers has made both direct and indirect impact on our society. Direct impact means it has affected on how people have socialized and communicated together with each other. It has indirectly made changes in our society by changing the way businesses are conducted and how information is distributed.
Positive Impact of Computers
The Way We Socialize
The computers have made a very strong impact on our social ways. As compare to the older days when visiting, calling or writing to someone was thought of as considerable task, computers have made this task of getting in touch very easy and cheap. Long gone are the days when expensive international calls were made to relatives or family, mostly on special occasion. The use of instant messengers and VOIP technologies through computers has made it possible for people to talk to each other without the constraints of money, time and geography thus making borderless connectivity possible and giving birth to the concept of world being a global village. Computers have also provided us with new ways to express ourselves. Through the Internet, an invention made possible through computers, we can express ourselves through words, pictures and multimedia on websites such as Facebook, MySpace and YouTube, which helps others understand us without us speaking (Beardon, and Whitehouse).
More Accessibility to Information and Awareness in Society
Through the uses of computers, the access to information is quick, easy. Computers have made it possible for News Channels on every medium to deliver the news in a more quickly, reliable and comprehensive manner. This not only enables individual to gain better understanding of situation they are interested in but it also impact the way they respond to it. Computers have also played a major role in raising the awareness of the society on various issues, be it poverty, human rights or freedom or sexual orientation. The main proponent of this impact has been the Internet, but it only serves as a medium for efficient dissipation of information.
Computers have also made it possible to create ways to deliver the information in much more effective and interesting ways i.e. through the use of multimedia. Also, websites on the internet not only provide us information and a mean to discuss issues but they also pinpoint the needs of our society as many of the human rights and welfare organization maintains their websites. Through raising the awareness on issues, computers have changed the way people think about them and have directed the society in finding ways to tackles those issues (Beardon, and Whitehouse).
Through Business and Economics
Businesses have seen significant positive impact through the use of computers which in turns strengthens economy and reduces negative aspects from the society. Through the use of computers, businesses have not only solved their productivity problem, it has also assisted them in forecasting and decision making, both at departmental and organizational level. This means which use of computers they are not only able to earn profits, but also optimize the use of their resources. High profits and productivity means higher taxes, which strengthen economy, and higher salaries, which improves the living standard of the society.
The use of computers in research has facilitated the invention and use of new technologies and widens the field of business. This has resulted in widening of fields when computers and its technologies are used, creating tremendous amount of job opportunities for people. As a result, there is less unemployment and people tend be less inclined toward negative activities such as drugs, theft and prostitution (Senn).
Computers have impacted the way people use services in a society. Computers have made it possible for many organizations around the world to deliver the services at the home of their customer through the use of e-services. From payment of bills to shopping online to delivery of professional services, computer in general, and the Internet in particular, has made it possible for them to do all of these tasks from the comfort of their room without waiting in a queue (Anne Rooney).
Raised Education Standards
The use of computers has changed the way education is conducted in institutions. The traditional way of teaching was more teacher and subject centric and paid less attention to the needs of students. The use of computers has made the experience more students centric. The knowledge is not only made more interesting but they its imparted is made much more effective with the use of computers which results in students getting better understanding the subject and can make much more effective use of the knowledge that they have gained. In other words we can say that the standard of education has been raised by the use of computers.
Through this higher level of education, the students not only become good professional but they also become good citizens, contributing to the development of society through higher level of ethics (Beardon, and Whitehouse).
Current global situation is one where security is of utmost concern, from national level to individual level. the use of computers technologies not only enables the government agencies are not only able to provide better security through surveillance, it also increase their capability to respond to any current or emerging threat.
The use of CCTVs has gained a lot of acceptance as well, where companies and individuals use them to better protect their properties and assets (Kruegle).
Negative Impact of Computers
Negative Change in Social Norms
While computers have contributed so much to enhance our experience of socializing, it also has had some negative impact as well. The major concern that people feel about the introduction of computers in our lives, is that it has taken away the feel factor from our social habits. People don’t need to be in physically present to meet each other. Many meetings are related to emotions, and they could only be made perfect by presence of feel factor. But people are beginning to prefer the use of instant messengers and webcams, as they provide a quicker and cheaper way to communicate, and loosing interest in the actual experience of the meeting. So, in a way we can say that computers have made people lonely (Beardon, and Whitehouse).
Rise in Sexual Crimes
Another concern that people get through the use of computers, is the threat of child abuse, perversion and stalking has risen (Casey). The criminals use information about the suspect to commit crime ,which can be easily collected through instant messengers and public profiles on social websites, though many the companies running the social websites have taken numerous steps to protect the privacy of its users (BBC).
As more and more financial institution move to e-facilities through the use of computer technologies, theft related to identity and other personal information and fraud has risen. The negative side of using computer technology is that it is never perfect; hence many individuals are able to exploit it for stealing the identities of others and use it for their own personal benefit.
Though the organization try hard to make the services as secure as possible, the advancement in computer technologies also advances the method use of criminal activities such as these (Das).
While the use of computers has negative impacts on a society, its benefits far outweigh them. Computers have revolutionized the societies around the world, who have used them. While work is currently going on to reduce the negative impact of computers on the society, their controlled use has mostly benefited and developed the society, providing them with more accessibility, more security and a better standard of life (Beardon, and Whitehouse).
List of References
Anne Rooney. Computers: Faster, Smaller, and Smarter. Heinemann Library, 2006.
Beardon, Colin, and Diane Whitehouse. Computers and Society. Intellect Books, 1993..
Das, Ravi. “Identify Theft in E- Commerce” Technology Executive Club Website. 2009. Web.
Senn, James. Information technology in business: principles, practices, and opportunities. Prentice Hall, 1995.
Kruegle, Herman. CCTV surveillance: analog and digital video practices and technology. Butterworth-Heinemann, 2007..
Casey, Eoghan. Digital Evidence and Computer Crime. Academic Press, 2004.
BBC,. “US ‘worst’ for online child abuse.” BBC News Website. 2006. BBC News, Web.