Recent Negative Effect of Technology on SocietyEver since the Industrial revolution, technology has been changing at a fast pace.People are always wanting a better lifestyle therefore there is always something newarising so humans can cope with their physical environment. One of the most importantbreakthroughs for technology was the agricultural system. The agricultural system wasthe basis for the technology of the future. The agricultural system brought on the needfor transportation, workers and even, battles over land. The need for transportationbrought vehicles into the market. The need for employees brought mechanical robotsinto society. Battles over land brought on the need for sophisticated weapons. Theagricultural system brought on a revolution. The invention of the television can bringmedia and other forms of entertainment into your house with video and audio combined.Before 1950, newspapers and radio were the only ways to bring media or entertainmentinto the house. Mass production and other job opportunities brought many people fromthe suburbs and farms into the city. We can now have forms of electricity directed intoour houses for heating and light. Humans are more reliant on technology then everbefore.
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All of these technological advances sound great, however, there is a negativeeffect to all this technology. Technology can serve to actually harm humans rather thenhelp them. Competition between companies or even cities can sometimes make lives forhumans even worse. Take for example when a city builds better and more roads toattract tourists. This actually creates more traffic, not less. Technology also changes oursense of common purpose. New inventions such as the personal computer and machinescan change our lifestyles. Even things we take for granted such as the automobile havenegative effects on technology. The oil needed for a car to run needs to be imported andsometimes accidents such as the Exxon Valdez incident spills many gallons of oil intothe ocean. All of these examples show how technology has negative effects on society. First, competition can lead to a negative effect of technology. When a companyin the U.S. produces shoes and a company in Great Britain produces shoes as well, theymust fight for their market share. Lets say the company in Great Britain purchases moremachines that will reduce the amount of workers needed and improve output, then theycan reduce the price of their product. If the company in New York doesn t follow intheir footsteps then they could be forced out of business. In this case the company isforced into buying the machines just so they can stay in business. This has a negativeeffect on the employees who will be replaced by the new machines. When a city wantsto attract tourists by building better roads to lessen traffic there is a mistake because thiswill only create more traffic since there will be more people wanting to travel theseroads. McManus says the inability to see the future is responsible for the negative effectsof new technologies. He also states better roads cause more traffic congestion, not less.By creating better roads, more people will want to travel these roads (A-1). If New YorkCity built a new sophisticated highway to attract more tourists then more New Yorkerswill want to travel these roads as well. Many New Yorkers who previously used masstransit to travel to work will now want to use a car to travel to work.
In effect there willbe more traffic and more pollution. There will be other side effects as well. Real estatevalues of areas near the highway could go down. Competition can help a community inone aspect however it can hurt it as well. Competition can directly stimulate theeconomy, however, long term effects such as pollution and the loss of jobs could explainwhy the City of New York doesn t complete a project like this. Second, technology can change our sense of common purpose. For millions ofyears, mankind has been used to doing everything for themselves. For a long timepeoples main concerns were survival. To survive means to go out into the woods orforests and shoot animals for the food which the family needs to eat for the day. Peopleof modern society never think about hunting for food or clothes. Now, it is all brought topeople instantly through a new standard of survival. The new standard for survivalmeans making money to go to a mall or supermarket and getting everything a familyneeds. A family can get food and clothing at these places without ever having to go intoa forest or a lake. This thought is ever so frightening. When a person from modernsociety goes into a supermarket and buys a pound of fish, he or she doesn t even think ofthe process that went into the arrival of that piece of fish. He or she didn t need to go toa lake, all that was needed was to drive to your local supermarket and buy it. No fishingor hunting was necessary. Humans are losing their sense of common purpose. But what
revenge effect will this have? The technology- resistance movement begins by pointingout that we are cobbling together virtual communities while our real cities crumble, atleast partly because our sense of common purpose has frayed. Today, only about 5percent of American households are on-line, but what happens, the critics wonder, whenhalf the country is wired? Will we escape the unpleasant complications of the worldoutside our locked doors by opting for communities in cyberspace, where we can enjoythe company of people who share our interests and our views? Where the streets neverneed to be cleaned and you don’t have to keep an eye on your neighbor’s house? Whathappens if the sirens outside become too distracting? Will we simply buy insulateddrapes? (Reed 46). Humans are getting lazy. Almost everything must be done for themin advance. However, sometimes this change in lifestyle is forced upon humans. When acompany decides to buy robots to do the job that man once did, then the human is forcedinto either getting fired or watching the machine all day long. Hopefully humans will notget used to watching a robot do all the work for them. Technology has definitelychanged the lifestyle and common purpose of many humans. Finally, tecnology we take for granted such as the automobile can have a negative domino chain effect on society. The automobile must have been one of the greatestinventions in the last 100 years. It has helped the United States to grow in ways neverimaginable before. It allowed people to move out of highly congested cities and moveinto more peaceful neighborhoods. Yet it also let people feel as if they were still a shortdrive away from the city. However, the negative effects of the automobile were notthought of in those days.
Now it is clear of what negative effects the automobile has onsociety. In recent years, though, we have begun to realize just how muchthese ways of making life easier are costing us–or futuregenerations. Think about everything that’s involved in the act ofdriving a car. First, the metal in the body of the car has to bemined. The plastic on the dashboard and other places probablycame from petroleum. (Plastics can also be made from coal ornatural gas.) Petroleum also becomes the gasoline that powers thecar. Extracting the petroleum involves wells and refineries allover the world. Tankers carry the oil across the seas. Sometimes,as in the case of the 1989 Exxon Valdez incident in Alaska’sPrince William Sound, they spill it. Spills can kill birds, fish, andmarine mammals by the thousand. But major tanker spillsaccount for only 12 percent or so of the oil that enters the sea in atypical year. The rest–less dramatic but moredestructive–comes from routine operations such as loading andunloading of tankers. Cleaning up after spills and urban pollutionis a daunting task, but it can be done. (Herring 19)Automobiles are a good example of how technology can backfire on this world.Automobile exhausts are polluting the atmosphere so much that the next bigtechnological advancement should be to find a way to heal the environment. However,healing the environment sounds like a great plan except the demand for the use ofautomobiles, planes and trains keep rising. As the demand rises, there will be a need tofind enough oil and petroleum to run these modes of transportation. Soon, there willnot be enough of these resources left and there will be severe counter-effects on societyif all of these modes of transportation are taken away. Humans take for granted thesemodes of transportation.
Humans often live miles away from their place of business.No transportation means there is no way to get to work unless you switch to a jobwithin walking range of your house. No transportation means no money and eventuallyno food. The reliance on technologies we take for granted is also a negative effect oftecnology. In conclusion, society has recently seen the negative effects of society.Competition between cities and companies has taken away jobs and brought unwantedand costly projects into pleasurable areas. A change in lifestyle among almost everyhuman being is yet another negative effect of technology. What has happened topeople since supermarkets came to town? People do not want to hunt for foodanymore. They find it much easier to walk into a store and purchase it. A third reasonwhy technology has a negative effect on society is the advent of highly reliantpossessions such as the automobile. Many people count on traveling to work everydayby car. If the car was somehow taken away from people then there would be chaos. Itis much too late to take it away. Humans are much too reliant on it. There is notenough mass transit to transport all of the present car users. Hopefully, futuretechnologies will be fully considered. We must look at the advantages andconsequences and measure if society will benefit or suffer from the technology. Pasttechnologies weren t fully considered and if they were, there is a chance that theautomobile never would have went into production.
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