Is Technology a Hindrance or a Help?
Which Side of the Fence do you sit?
As most of you may know, technology has been growing at a dramatic rate since the nineties with the invention of the internet as well as both computers and the internet becoming accessible to the public and not just to the military and scientists. This, along with cellular and wireless technology to help people communicate whilst on the go has helped people go on about with their daily lives 100 fold.
Technology has especially been effective in both the music industry and the phone industry, with Apple being the market leaders when it comes to both hardware and software, with it's range of iPod products and its iTunes software. Apple also changed the way in which people purchase music with its own music store, which is embedded into iTunes. In terms of phones, Apple helped pave the way for smartphones, even though it doesn't have the market share in terms of sales, it has revolutionised the industry and made hardware developers, like HTC and Nokia think about how they are going to develop the best new phone to rival the iPhone, and also software developers like Microsoft and Google (the makers of the Android Operating System) about how their software is going to be a better experience for users than Apple's own operating system, iOS.
The problem I have with it all is, whilst there are benefits with technology advancements, there are also drawbacks, for example cyber crime has been on the rise, especially hacking. Over the past year or so, there have been more incidents of hacking than ever before. The two main groups of hackers that have been behind this recent spurge call themselves Anonymous and LulzSec (which is short for Lulz Security). They call themselves political hacktavists and hack the sites of major companies, as well as the sites of the MoD & the CIA.
These two groups have also been accused of hacking into several Sony servers to access personal information such as credit card details and addresses. They were partly responsible for Playstation's online gaming servers to be offline for several months last year.
From a personal perspective, I think that the current technological advancements are great, as long as there is more done to help improve security for the average consumer.
How Technology has Affected our Lives in a Positive way?
As I mentioned above, technology has dramatically changed during the late 20th Century and all of the 21st Century, with wireless internet, the use of smartphones etc. and how they have developed to make our lives easier.
Since the internet was opened to the public, people have been using it to download films, music and games, send emails to family and friends, purchase and sell clothes on sites like eBay, and businesses have used the internet to market themselves and effectively reach customers they may not have reached otherwise.
As I write this, I am sitting in my dining room on my laptop and following the latest football transfer stories on the internet and looking at cinema times.
I have also got my iPod on and listen to an old Eminem album, which I recently downloaded off iTunes for £8.99 and has helped me write this Hub for the past hour and a half.
Other than personal usage of the internet, businesses have been using the internet so employees in different departments are able to keep in contact with each other, as well as have their own websites to show potential customers their products and/or services.
One of the best uses of the internet is being able to keep in contact with family and friends that are in other parts of the country and possibly other parts of the world, which they may not be able to do otherwise because of time differences and the cost of calling other countries, while sending an email costs nothing.
Gaming is another area that has been boosted by the internet because people are able to play with their friends while each of them are sitting in their own homes.
Negative Effects of the Increase of Technology
One major way that technology has had a negative effect on our lives is cyber crime. Because criminals have now got the opportunity to access our personal information like credit card numbers, email addresses etc. then they can commit a crimes without being caught before it's too late, and because most of us aren't very technologically aware, we won't find out about some crimes until they have been carried out, sometimes even months before hand. Some crimes that are easily committed on the internet are identity theft, credit card fraud and the hacking of email addresses and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Also, because most of our personal information is held in the 'cloud', most of us can't really be sure how secure our information can actually be, no matter what our Service Provider and the major conglomerates actually tell us.
My Opinion on the Improvement of Technology
In my opinion, I think that for the day-to-day running of businesses and and just doing the general things in people's lives, I think the improvement of technology has been beneficial because it has improved the way we can communicate with each other as well as get certain tasks done, but you will also need to ensure that all your data is safely backed up in case the technology does break, then you won't need to worry about whether or not you have lost any important information. It is also good to have anti-virus software to ensure that you don't get viruses on your computer etc.
I also think that the way computing technology has improved, for example using tablets and smartphones to do some basic work and potentially using it for running your own small business, especially if you're selling items on eBay, instead of using desktops and laptops to do your work on, which also creates more space in your home and is also a cheaper alternative. But on the other side of the coin, if you are running a business from your own home and you need to ensure that your accounts are in order, then you will more than likely need to use some sort of desktop or laptop to keep all of the important documents safe and in one place.
After weighing up the pros and cons of how technology is increasing, I feel that the improvement is important for certain aspects, like for national security and for businesses to develop the way they work, but I also feel that for personal use we probably don't need as much advanced technology as we have been given at the moment.
If used in the right way, the current technology we have got can be used in more advanced ways than it is currently used for. If you work in a profession that allows you to be able to work from home, this in itself can be hugely beneficial in a load of different ways.