Technology refers to the application of knowledge about tools, techniques or systems as means to deriving solutions to problems and circumstances. As a mechanism to solutions, the developments in technology have made it possible for the transition from total dependence on human resource to obtain solutions into the use of technological devices.
This paper seeks to discuss people’s overdependence on technology. The paper will look at the current technologies upon which people depend on as well as the effects of the overdependence on these technologies.
The era of inventions and discoveries began long time ago and more inventions are currently being developed as an attempt is being made to adjust into the world’s increasing competitive environment. Technological developments have been expressed in a variety of fields in the economic, social and even political aspects of life.
One of the fields that have currently experienced technological developments is communication. Technologies in communication have experienced great developments in the past few decades; developments that have seen the transformation of people’s behavior and lifestyle. Significant in the latest technological developments is the introduction of the wireless world of communication.
Just three decades ago, communication was characterized by elements like telephone booths, dependence on books for information and many elements of communication were more analogue. Without the wireless form of communication, communication faces the limitation of geographical distances, for instance one has to get a telephone booth in order to make a call (Wordinfo 1).
Advancements in the level of technology have made it possible for people to have an easy access to more information than before. Industrial developments for example have always depended on analysis and management of data.
Availability of these data and their mode of analysis and evaluation have for example developed simultaneously with the improvements in technology in the communication field. The earlier discovery and developments in computers has seen the reliance of the technology in domestic and industrial applications.
The developments of the internet communications has as well caused significant changes in the accessibility of information and even the manner in which business transactions are carried out. The developments of the mobile phones and their extensive applications in oral and written communications have as well impacted people’s activities. The computer technology with respect to its processor devices has also aided the ability to store information.
It is claimed that huge amount of information is storable in small portable devices like the mobile phones and cameras. The impacts of technological developments have as much been felt as the technologies develop with time. The development into satellite transmissions in radios and television has for example widened the consumer satisfaction with respect to the variety and extensiveness of choices available in these forms of entertainment (Wordinfo 1).
Interestingly, technological advancements have this far managed to develop robots that actually work like men, though sometimes faster than people and the competitive economic nature of businesses that is mostly profit oriented is shifting the reliance for labor from human beings into these developed devices (Wordinfo 1).
Overdependence on Technologies
The developed or improved technologies have brought alongside accrued advantages that occasionally make them attractive. In most cases, overdependence on these technologies occurs under addiction.
The use of technology has been accustomed and acculturated in societies in such a way that technology is substituting nature in the daily live activities (Luft 1). The overdependence on technology is described by the features realized when people “spend more time using their technology than spending it in socializing or in family time” (BBC 1).
The developed technologies are recognized to have their attractive package that shifts attention to them. This as a result leads to attachments onto the technology, almost like an addiction, that leads to overreliance on the technologies at the expense of other elements of social lives (BBC 1).
Effects Of Over Dependence on Technology
One of the significant effects of communications technology is the linkage it creates between work and private social life. The development of computers and the internet has created a perfect link between these two environments. The consideration of home environment as more conducive than work environment has effected the shift of types of work that require more of “writing, reading and reflecting”, to homes (Lueck 1).
The transfer of work to homes for whatever reasons has the effect of utilizing the time that could have been used for other social activities. This means that people who extensively use technology to shift their work to their homes have limited social times with family and friends.
Family activities such as interactive sessions like sharing meals, spending time on family tours among others are curtailed as time is spent on work that is carried out at home. This addiction to the computers or to working at home could raise issues of neglecting social responsibilities that can lead to family wrangles. As a result, the developments in technology have significant effects on people’s private lives (Lueck 1).
The technologies developed for home entertainment such as the radio and television systems have been reported to influence people towards isolation of the home based entertainment. The personalized entertainments have the tendency of withdrawing people into their homes and houses as they yield to the addictions of the utilities offered by these technologies.
It was reported that these addictions to the technologies has isolated people from “social and civic engagements” (Sclove 1). Television, for example, has been perceived to be the greatest factor to the decline of participation of Americans in social and civic engagements. Again, the addictions are perceived to be time consuming and as a result, they are not able to participate in other aspects and features of life (Sclove 1).
The developments in technology of mobile phones have had significant effects on human behavior in a variety of ways. People have become over dependent on the devices to the extent of losing the essence of face to face communications. This effect on communication is reflected in the social relationships developed between people.
As a result, communication has been loosing its former value and the effect is felt in social interactions among people which are affected negatively. Consequently, people live in isolations in environments where social networks are reduced to interactions through technology. The mobile phone technology has also reduced self-reliance among people (Powering 1).
People have increasingly depended on the devices to perform duties that should effectively be undertaken by people. Data storage, as a facility in the mobile phones, has had an impact on people’s knowledge as information is directly put in the devices without necessarily being conceptualized. The effect of the lost self reliance is immensely felt when the devices malfunction of get misplaced or stolen (Powering 1).
Positive Effects of Technological Advancements
The use of technology has also had positive effects on human life. A research study on computer games, based on developments in software technology, has portrayed elements of positivity in technological developments. It has been established that people who play such computer games are most likely to be “healthy, happy and productive members of society” (Rauterberg 53).
The games under this subject are also characterized by general intellectual developments by the game players. This is because of the fact that the computer games “require the use of logic, memory, problem solving and critical thinking skills, visualization and discovery” (Rauterberg 53). The use of technology like the computer games plays important roles in behavioral development of participants.
When playing computer games there is an element of involvement in team work as well as individual competitiveness of participants; this is likely to play an important role in development of individual behavior that could lead to a person’s orientation to success. The products of other media technologies that are oriented towards motivating social relations are also considered to be beneficial to the society (Rauterberg 55).
Other general advantages to the use of technology in fields such as learning environments includes “more active learning, diversified teaching methods, better student attention and visual stimulation” (Spiral 1). The use of technology in academic fields enhances the academic process by offering facilitator elements in the learning process (Spiral 1).
Technological advancements have been significant in a number of fields such as communication. Developments that have been made on cell phones, televisions, computers and other devices have played an important role in shaping the social lives of people. Computer usage together with enhanced communication system has, for example, seen the interruption of private life and time by work activities as people extend work to their homes. The technological developments have also resulted in behavioral effects which are either positive or negative.
BBC. The rise of technology addiction. BBC, 2007. Web. 03 April 2011.
Lueck, English. Technology and Social Change. The Effects on Family and Community, 2002. Web. 03 April 2011.
Luft, Oliver. Prince Charles warns of over-dependence on technology. Guardian, 2008. Web. 03 April 2011.
Powering. The negative effects of cellular communication technology on human behavior. Powering Down, 2007. Web. 03 April 2011.
Rauterberg, Matthias. Positive Effects of Entertainment Technology on Human Behaviour. Netherlands: Kluwer, 2004. Print.
Sclove, Richard. Examples of Structural Social Effects Produced by Technologies. Loka, 2004. Web. 03 April 2011.
Spiral. Using technology and learning materials. Spiral Univ, 2006. Web. 03 April 2011.
Wordinfo. Technological Breakthroughs. Wordinfo, 2010. Web. 03 April 2011.