Technology and society Essay
IntroductionTechnology and society is the cyclical co dependence, co production and co influence of society and technology on each other. This relationship has been in existence since the dawn of mankind; it began with simple technology such as simple inventions of tools and has continued through all the generations and has resulted into modern technologies which are sophisticated and more complex such as computers and printing press. Advancements in technology has several effects to the society, these effects may be either unintended or intended. The effects which are unintended are in most cases not anticipated they are usually not known in advance before technology arrives. However, they are as important as the intended ones (Caudron, 1997).Historical evolution of technology and its impact on societyTechnology implementation has a lot of influence on the values of the society as it alters realities and expectations of the society.
The values of the society also influence technology and its implementation. The main interrelated values that are informed and inform innovations in technology are mechanistic world view, the social progress and the efficiency. The mechanistic world perceives the universe as an assembly of several parts, which can be analyzed individually and understood separately and severally. This form of thinking is rare in the modern world but the neo mechanists perceive the universe as a very complex and sophisticated creation which cannot be fully understood by the intellectual of human beings. Technology affects the efficiency of performing various operations, this term initially applied exclusively to machines alone but it is nowadays being applied in each and every aspect of the society.Every component of the society is expected to achieve more and more optimal performance, ability or output. Social progress is believed to exist and that it is the main beneficiary of advancements in technology.
Before the coming of the industrial revolution which was followed by technology explosion most of the societies believed in a theory of social movement known as the cyclical theory, the theory held that there was social movement which was inevitable and this movement applied to the universe and history too. This was mainly based on the cyclicity nature of the seasons and the strong ties the seasons had to agriculture which mainly controlled most of the economies (Hamelink, 2000).Technological advancements simplifies life in many ways, they lead to the rising of the leisure class as people continuously seek for ways and means of comforting themselves. It creates a society which is very informed and which is capable of making very quick and accurate responses to various trends and events, this has been made possible by the modern means of communication which enables people to receive information from allover the world as soon as it happens. Technology also increases multi tasking through provision of devices that enables the users to perform several tasks simultaneously. Through technology global networking has been made possible and societies all over the world are inter connected in one way or another, people also get the chance of learning about other societies across the world and thus they are able to appreciate other peoples culture and way of life, and in fact, to borrow from other cultures some aspects which eventually affects the societies original values norms and beliefs. By various societies learning about each other and interacting with them more social circles are created which are denser and flexible but are usually characterized with a lot of confusion.
Technology enhances job specialization which in most cases has the effect of improving the efficiencies and effectiveness and performing various tasks. This leads to increased production levels as more effective means of production are adopted which finally lowers the costs of production and subsequently lowers the prices of various products (Caudron, 1997).Advancements in technology also posses various challenges to the society and is thus said to complicate life and affect the societies negatively. Increased technology leads to increased levels of pollution which is a serious problem to any society as it destroys the natural environment and resources. In some instances especially in the transportation sector technology has increased congestion mainly in the urban areas.
This mode of technology has increased noise pollution and increased emissions of pollutant fumes which do not auger well for the environment. Technology has also resulted in the emergence of new threats to the modern societies which have been made top contend with the manufacturing of dangerous weapons such as the nuclear reactors, these weapons pose a lot danger to both mankind and the environment (Leonard, 2003).New modes of entertainment such as the access to the internet and video games have been enhanced by technology and they have a lot of effects to the society; these effects can be either positive or negative. They can lead to moral degradation among the society members thus destroying the firm garment of social values, norms and culture that have always held societies together since the dawn of mankind. As more and more innovations are made societies are faced with increased problems such as the emergence of structural unemployment, production is more capital intensive as far as technology is concerned and thus very few people are employed to attain certain levels of production and thus leaving the majority of people unemployed, this would not have been the case if technology was more labor intensive as opposed to its capital intensive nature (Caudron, 1997).Ethics and technologyAs more and more advancements are made in the world of technology more ethical implications in the societies are realized. Initially societies were very ethical and most decisions in the societies were made on the grounds that they would affect all members of the society positively and thus in very rare cases were decisions made to oppress certain people in the society; the societies were held firmly by the fabric of ethical behaviors, in which the traditions, norms and culture of the society were highly respected.
This has however, changed with the increase of technology and societies have become less ethical. The main ethical values which have been eroded by increased technology are the challenges posed to the traditional norms which were very ethical, the creation of accumulated effects, changes in the system of justice distribution and the provision of excess powers to some sectors (Herschel, & Andrews, 1997).Ethical norms have been largely eroded in the wake of technological advancements; this is because technology has a lot of impacts on relationships between different individuals, it challenges their mode of dealing with each other and this includes their ethical behaviors towards each other. A very good example that challenges the ethical behaviors of societies in the world today is the legalization of abortion in many countries; ethics calls for fairness and equality and making decisions for all the members of the society that will result to goodness of the entire society, this includes the voice of the minority and the defenseless in the society such as the unborn. Other unethical norms that have been adopted in the modern societies as a result of developments in technology are capital punishment and euthanasia. Technology advancements usually lead to social effects which are sometimes seen to be small but their occurrence over extended periods of time lead to their accumulation which eventually has a lot of negative impact to the society. A good example is the pollution coming from industries which even though one day’s pollution might not have significant impact to the environment, but when it occurs for a long period of time its impacts to the environment is disastrous. This is the case with global warming which has resulted to climate change.
Pollution also causes accumulations of various pollutants of chemical nature in both flora and fauna. Pollution is a very unethical behavior which is usually practiced by industries that are very much developed technologically. The management of these under takings cares less about the environment and the societies inhabiting in them and they are only concerned about the massive profits they are deriving by use of the natural resources without taking good care of the environment. This makes people to live in polluted environments which have a lot of challenges. Technology, also affects the distribution of justice and especially the social justice.
Those people within the societies that are more advanced technologically usually possess more powers and they usually have a better chance of accessing the justice systems and interfering with them to their own advantage and to the detriment of the society members who are less developed technologically. By the very fact that technology creates a scenario in which equity is not upheld in the judicial systems is a clear case of unethical behavior. In such a case justice is not for all but for a chosen few. More powers are created in some centers as compared to others as a result of technology, ability is amplified by technology and thus human strength is enhanced, this therefore, means that the societies that are more developed in terms of technology are at a higher advantage than those that have less superior technology. The developed societies can easily invade the less developed ones through military actions and other forms of aggression which would entail abuse of human rights of such societies. Truly, this cannot by any know standards be said to be ethical as more people and especially women and children are likely to suffer in times of such confrontations (Leonard, 2003).Conclusion: technology good or badTechnology increases environmental awareness and deeper understanding and thus enables various people and organizations within the society to be able to appreciate the environment and the natural resources and thus contribute significantly to its conservation. Most of the technological process in the modern world produces unwanted products along side with their intended output; these products are commonly referred to as the pollutants or industrial waste.
Some organizations that are environmental sensitive or operate in regions that are highly regulated by the government and environmental organizations both in the private and public sectors recycle most of these wastes, or treat them to make them less harmful to the environment. This helps in conserving the environment as well as reaping good fruits of technological developments. However, this is not the case in some industries that are fond of polluting the environment and are only concerned about maximizing their wealth and profits.
These wastes usually lead to side effects to the environment that are negative such as lack sustainability and pollution. Technological developments enable societies across the world to be able to increase their productivity which increases their capacity to sustain themselves and their increased populations (Volti, 2001)Technology in most cases enables bureaucratic and organizational group structures to function properly which could have not been possible without technology or could have been very complicated. Technology has therefore, led to the emergence of very big organizations such as military forces, governments, social and healthy institutions and also multinational institutions and are all managed by means of technology. Technology has led to the commercialization of certain leisure activities such as the sports thus making them expensive and out of reach to many people.
Through technology it is possible to receive news from all the corners of the world as soon as they happen and thus societies allover the worlds are more informed (Leonard, 2003).Technology has both good and bad effects to the society, as it influences individuals within the society on a day to day basis. Through it solutions to various problems are found and in other cases new problems are created. Societies should through their governing institutions and other bodies should come up with ways of dealing with the challenges brought about by developments in technology and thus be in a good position of dealing with the problems and challenges brought about by technology. This is the best way forward since technology is part and parcel of any society and none can operate optimally in absence of technology so the best way of dealing with the challenges it brings is adapting to the technology and learning to live with its dynamic nature (Leonard, 2003).References:Caudron, S. (1997): “The Human side of a technology launch” Journal of Training and Development, vol.
51, no.2, pp.20-24.Hamelink, C. J. (2000): The ethics of cyberspace, ISBN 0761966692, SAGE.Herschel, R. T.
& Andrews, P. H. (1997): “Ethical Implications of Technological Advance on Business Communication.” Journal article of Business Communication, vol.34, no.2, pp.
160-170Leonard, E. B. (2003): Women, Technology, and the Myth of Progress, ISBN 0130985953, Prentice Hall.Volti, R. (2001): Society and technological change (2001): ISBN 1572599529, Worth Publishers.