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The answer may not be as simple as it appears. Even Webster’s Dictionary offers many choices: ‘civilising tradition, folklore, instruction, law, custom, knowledge, arts, sciences, education, mores.’ The true definition of culture most likely lies in a combination of each of these possibilities: a mixture of the mental, physical, intellectual and creative aspects of society. Culture is the collective mind make-up of people.
Technology is changing every aspect of our lives. The benefits provided by new digital approaches are having a huge impact on our societies. However, one of the greatest business challenges is not about the devices, software or solutions – it is about how we manage the process of cultural change. Society has always been impacted by technology. Each invention has affected how people relate to one another and how cultures have expanded or ended. Technology impacts how cities grow, where people live, and who owns what. Technologies are the reason a few people are very rich, that people are more social, and that teaching and learning are changing.
In fact, each and every aspect of life has changed dramatically due to all pervasive modern technologies. Technology not only increased humans’ life span but how we live, how long we live, and how many there are of us. We are using technology for our own use yet it infringes on others. Does this technology allow us to respect each other and value each other’s time and work or do just the opposite?
Today’s world is crammed with technology. Almost every family owns a Computer, Laptop, Smartphone, Tablet, Television etc. All these make our lives easier. Originally created to serve faithfully to humanity, digital devices have also revealed their harmful impact on our lives. Many studies have come to the conclusion that our physical, social, and mental health suffers because of excessive exposure to technology.
Now let us see what all technologies have affected the above aspects of Indians here below:
India has already had one technology revolution. In the 1980s middle-class engineers from a dirt-poor socialist India somehow persuaded Western firms to outsource their back-office functions and bits of their IT operations to the subcontinent. Thus began a three-decade-long boom.
Technology has without any doubt impacted greatly on our society. As a matter of fact, we experience this impact in our daily lives. Technology has an effect on our culture, economy and living standards. However, it is worthy to note that it has both positive and negative impacts on our society. Thus, one should be very careful to know the effects of technology on society.
Technology impacts on our daily lives. Our environments are all so full of technology to the point that most of the time we take it for granted and never actually notice the level of impact that it has on us until when we have no telephone, transport, water or electricity. Advancements in technology have greatly increased our living standards. Despite the fact that we are currently experiencing very high inflation rates and the rates of unemployment are very high, generally, people are feeding better, are dressing better and are as a matter of fact living more comfortable lives.
With every advancement that is made in the technological world, creative destruction results. For example, television impacts negatively on the movies and synthetic fibres impact the cotton fibres negatively. The coming in of new types of technology also results in a negative impact on the growth of the economy at times; television at times consumes all the productive hours that a man has in a day. Every new form of technology gets into the market together with long term consequences that are most of the time not foreseeable. For instance is there really a justification for nations coming up with bombs, nuclear weapons and missiles to maintain security?
One of all such effects is a homogenization of our culture and the loss of cultural diversity, which India is so proud of. If the country shares the same media perspective, the same viewpoint, if we are all looking through the same lens out towards the world, a ‘global village’ may have been formed at a price. That price is homogenization. There is undoubtedly evidence to suggest such a trend. A child fanatically collecting American sports cards in Delhi and Madras, Rajasthanis, Punjabis, Malayalis and the Jaintias discarding their local beverages for Coca Cola. Women deciding not to breastfeed their babies due to baby food formula advertising.
The vast use of tech solutions is likely to result in poor social skills. Kids started to chat in messenger rather than call on granny or meet up with a friend in person. On the face of it, technology appears to create a global network bringing people together. But in fact, this replaces real-life communication and ends in social isolation.
We, humans, are social animals. Technology can’t replace human interaction. We need to combine the human and digital elements to communicate across our borders. Body language can be a powerful tool in business communications. When we replace real-life interaction with online communication, we lose the ability to read social cues like tone of voice, facial expression, body language, and direct wording. Strong social bonds are replaced with a number of shallow “friends” in social networks. We’ve got into the habit of living in our own world and staring at the device screen even when surrounded by people.
The Internet has become a great tool for learning. You can google any information you need rather than spend time in the library or attend the course online without leaving home. Yet, tech involvement doesn’t always guarantee the quality of education.
Overuse of technology in the classroom which obviously affects the learning process in a negative way. Analysis and critical thinking have declined. Instead of reading and doing homework, modern kids indulge in entertainment. Online gaming or socializing has resulted with lower exam results. The reason for it is the distraction caused by games, messages, and videos. Young people have a hard time focusing attention on the lessons and resisting impulsive behaviour.
Among the most dangerous effects of technology is obesity. Being absorbed by a laptop or a tablet, people tend to snack a lot, keep up late hours and exercise less. The more time you sit in front of the PC, the lesser is the blood circulation in your body, not to speak of the neck and head pain.
Moreover, sedentary life is the reason why many people have a curved backbone and bad posture as a result. Constant staring at the screen might be the reason for headaches and poor eyesight. Loud music in headphones is likely to cause hearing loss and ringing in the ears. Gadgets can also provoke tendonitis in the thumb caused by repeated use of thumbs to push buttons on devices or playing too many games.
If being misused, technology can expose you to a number of risks. Especially vulnerable are kids. The offenders use text messages, social media or forums to reach out the target. With a huge population using the Internet, it gives rise to cybercrime. Today it’s easier than ever before to find someone’s personal information as the borders of privacy is blurred. The information obtained can be used by cheaters for hacking and viruses.
One of the most dramatic impacts of technology is the decline of the quality and quantity of sleep. The sleep chemical melatonin is influenced by the constant glow from screens. So keeping technology is likely to interfere with your sleep and affects your general state. This has a detrimental effect on a person’s health and social life and destroys social and family bonds.
Among other mental problems caused by computers is a new type of stress called the chronic Smartphone Stress. It is caused by notifications (or their absence), and constant anticipation of a message or e-mail. If a person doesn’t get enough attention, this can make you feel stressed or even depressed. Excessive information space, exaggerated online reality, internet overuse, and social comparison are all factors potentially provoking depressive behaviour.
It’s not quite possible to remove the technology to avoid all the risks. Yet we can moderate the use of gadgets and reduce the negative impact of technology by trying the following ideas. Monitor and limit the use of technology. It’s of great importance to know how much and in what way we use devices. Consider utilizing software to set boundaries for screen time allowed as well as apps and web content to be viewed.
Take responsibility and be conscious about your behaviour. Let us be aware about privacy in cyberspace and potential risks and dangers. Let us simulate cases and discuss how to face the challenges online. Use alternatives to technology. Read paper books instead of electronic ones. Let us play games and ask our child to indulge in a hobby, like playing football, not an online game. Organize family time with no electronic devices. Be an example and remember it’s never too late to bring positive changes to avoid the negative effects of technology.
Despite the fact that we cannot really ignore that there are a number of ways in which technology negatively impacts our society, for the better part it has greatly helped to make out lives better. Technology has greatly helped us to become more efficient thus increasing our productivity. It has also helped us a great deal to be able to save on many resources such as time and money and these are great benefits that cannot be ignored. It has also worked well in bringing unity into the world by turning it into a global village which has, in turn, helped people to more easily overcome their cultural, racial and continental barriers.
Let’s take these next few years to design digital ways to connect us not only to each other but to promote our values, to respect each other, and to encourage innovation as we develop a place for ourselves in the 21st century!
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