America’s Dependence on Technology
Over the years, man has devised different ways and means to make life easy. This has involved development in knowledge and usage of different tools and crafts which is basically defined as technology. Technology implies the use of different tools and crafts by man to manipulate and adapt to his environment. Technology has its foundation in early invention of simple tools such as the plough. This led to more development, which resulted to the industrial age, and the current technological age called the information age (Derian, 1990). Man’s life is always changing and due to the frequent change in technology. The use of tools has shaped the human society and America is no exception. In fact, America is regarded as major power in global affairs due to its massive technological innovations, inventions and improvements. Modern times have seen rapid technological changes that have helped make life easier to cope with. This has led to a state that can be refereed to as dependence on technology. Dependence on technology has been experienced in all sectors of the American society with both positive and negative impacts.
In the recent past, America has experienced great technological advancements. The technological advancements have changed how Americans live and interact with each other. For instance, there have been major changes in how people communicate with each other. This has been triggered by immense developments in information technology. The development in IT has been brought about by innovations in mobile phone technology, computer technology and the internet. In the last two decades, there has been growth in dependence on information technology by the society (Spekowius & Wendler, 2006). Information technology is used in the financial, political and social spheres of life. The level of dependence on IT by the American society can be described as extreme.
Development in the internet can described as one of the factors that have triggered the overdependence of the American Society on information technology. Statistics show that 74.1% of Americans use the internet to conduct some form business in their lives. They show that after China, the United States is the second largest user of the internet in the world. The internet is used in all spheres of life. Its widespread use helps show that overdependence on technology is beneficial. For instance, it is used in the social spheres where people meet and date through the internet. This has been triggered by the development of social sites such as ‘Facebook’. The internet is also widely used in the business world to advertise and market products. It used to distribute product catalogs and conduct online surveys. It has made conduct of business much easier and cheaper. The internet is used to provide technical support by manufacturers to customers through websites. It is used in the operation of stock and financial markets replacing manual systems that used to be in operation sometime back (Hira, 2005).This shows that dependence and constant use of technology is advantageous.
Dependence on information technology has been experienced in other sectors of the society such as the education sector. Currently, most Professors and tutors use online and distance learning classes to reach their students. Scholars and professors in different parts of the country use the internet to exchange ideas instantaneously leading to even more technological developments. Dependence of information technology has also been experienced in the exchange of information. There are millions of discussion sites and forums in the internet, which Americans use to exchange ideas. Most Americans now use the internet to exchange data as it allows for easy and cheap exchange through emails, websites, downloads and file sharing. Information technology is used by the government, the military and companies to conduct business. Information technology is used in all sectors of the American society. It is even widely used in the religious sectors in the conduct of their activities. There are millions of religious based websites in the country. All these show that technology has now become a critical part of the American society.
Another sector that effectively shows dependence in technology is the medical and health sector. Over the years, there has been development in the health and medical technology. Technology is used in the diagnoses, examination and treatment of human diseases and conditions (Cohen & Hanft, 2004). There has been major development in medical tools, processes, drugs and systems. This has seen the rapid use and dependence of technology in the health care sector. The dependence has been beneficial, as it has helped improve the quality and increase the quantity of health care in the American society. Technology use in the medical world has allowed for better diagnosis and has reduced hospital stays and rehabilitation times. It has also led to the development of less invasive methods of treatment such as those that reduce cuts made on the body during treatment (Spekowius & Wendler, 2004). The dependence has been beneficial as it allows for prolonging of human life and reduction of human suffering caused by diseases. Medical technology has helped improve standards of living and productivity in the country.
To illustrate the dependence of the American society on technology, another effective sector that provides an excellent example is nuclear technology. Just like in information technology, there has been massive development in nuclear technology. This has seen many sectors of the economy heavily incorporate this into their operations. For instance, the American military, the energy sector and health care have heavily invested and integrated nuclear technology into their processes (Angelo, 2004). Nuclear technology is used by the military make weapons while the energy sector uses it in energy production. Nuclear energy is the second largest source of power for the country. The medical profession use radioactive wastes from nuclear plants in many ways. It is used in x-rays, detection and treatment of cancer, thyroid treatment and magnetic resonance imagining. Radioactive wastes are also used in the making of clothing, hand tools and water purification resins.
The dependence of nuclear technology provides many benefits to the American society. It is a cheap source of energy saving the American people billions of dollars. United States has huge energy requirements. This problem has been solved by the dependence of nuclear technology, which helps reduce dependence on oil and other expensive energy sources. The dependence on nuclear energy has also helped protect the environment (Ausubel & Sladovich, 1989). This is because nuclear technology uses the process of fusion and not fuels in the production of energy. It has also led to the improvement in the medical world leading to the prolonging of people’s lives.
Dependence on technology has had many benefits to the American people. However, it has also had some negatives in the society. For instance, it has led to increase in levels of unemployment and job insecurity in the country. For instance, although information technology has helped improve information technology, it has also led to the development of outsourcing which results to downsizing and creation of job redundancies. Machines and robots also take up places meant for people resulting to unemployment. Although technology has made communication easy and convenient, it has also eroded personal privacy. For instance, emails and websites can be hacked leading to loss of information and privacy. Technology reduces the use of hard money making it hard for the government to control the economy.
In the last two decades, there has been increase in dependence on technology by the American society. Most activities and functions are carried out by the use of modern technology. This dependence presents a number of advantages and disadvantages to the society. For instance, technology has helped increase business, provide better health care and cheaper energy for the economy. On the other hand, it has led to unemployment and loss of privacy just to mention but a few. Despite all this, I am of the view that society’s dependence on technology is beneficial and should be promoted.
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