“Developments in Modern technology, means more information, more cheaply and more quickly available than ever before. What are the significance of these changes?”
Indeed, it can be said that “modern technology” has allowed for the cheaper and quicker access of information, and indeed, for the increase of information available. But is it fair to say that technology is a consequence of societal changes. Human beings are most dependant on learning than any species . Information is the basis for communication and co-ordination, that is required for any human society. Due to these developments in “modern technology”, there have been social, economic, political and cultural changes. Although it isn’t clear whether these are positive or negative changes.
There has been a definite increase in the amount of information available, due to the developments in modern technology. For one, the government has little or no control over the information which passes in or out of the country. There is less censorship and monitoring, and so there are new sources and themes of information, moving freely around the world, via the internet.
Also due to the digital information there is an increase in the kind of information that is produced and transported. Finally, perhaps the most obvious point about the increase in information is, modern technology has lead to some great discoveries. It has lead to increased knowledge, of subjects and world mysteries. It is fair to say then that modern technology has indeed, lead to more information than ever before.
The introduction of digital information has brought about a decrease in the price of information. The price of information may only cost the price of a floppy disk, or a telephone call. There is also the convergence of the technologies found in households. For example, the radio, television and, tape and c.d. player, are all combined in one system. The cost of accessing information is virtually none existent, with the internet. The cost of accessing almost any information you want is the cost of a local phone call. To show how much the price has decreased it is interesting to notice that, during WW1 there was 3/4 computers in most countries, now, there are computers in almost every home. Yet when all of this is said, is it really that inexpensive. You must buy a computer, a modem and a television, then upgrade with a faster computer and upgrade software and hardware.
Due to technology, information is available significantly quicker. There are no geographical limitations, anymore. Information can be received from anywhere around the world, within a matter of seconds of the initial request. For example, the internet, by simply keying in a word, there are numerous pieces of information on that subject displayed in generally under 20 seconds. Digital technology has also lead to the increased speed at which information is distributed. Yet computers are see as some as “very fast yet, very stupid adding machines.” – Dr. Lee Komito. Yet although it may seem that because of this increase of speed, information and the decrease in cost , that all effects of modern technology is positive this is not true as technology has negative factors socially, culturally, politically and indeed, economically.
The development of modern technology has brought about significant changes socially. Whether or not these changes are positive or negative is still to be decided. On the positive side the developments in modern technology has made it easier for the people to communicate with each other. There are many ways in which you can contact people, almost instantaneously. For example, normal and mobile phones and e-mails. Modern technology has allowed people to be accessible at all times. Also, the use of answering machines, means that, even though we are accessible at all times, we have more control over who we interact with. So it can be said that technology is moving towards trying to create a better life socially for the individual, as it was said: “Dr. Murray Gell-Mann of the California Institute of Technology says that “Society must give new direction to technology, diverting it from applications that yield higher productive efficiency and into areas that yield greater human satisfaction.”” (deNevers, 1972: 17).
Yet, perhaps, due to modern technology people spend less time doing certain sociable activities, like shopping, which can be done from the home now. Although it can be said, that this leaves them time for other social activities. Another downside to the social significance of developments in modern technology an increasing number of people don’t know there neighbours. This lack of interaction with people in their community leads to a breakdown in community spirit.
Economically also the development in technology has made significant changes, for better or for worse. There is an assumption that improved technology automatically brings about more jobs and therefore more money. This is not necessarily true. The improvements in technology can be seen to have made jobs unstable. People need to know less and so they become cheap and replaceable. Also many of the jobs that used to be done by humans are now done by computers.
Economically, developments in modern technology does have positive effects, it increases distribution, which inturn increases consumption. This increases the profits for manufacturing companies, and also, it should decrease, cost for the consumer as there is an increased amount of the product produced, but this is not always the case. There are three different sectors, agriculture, manufacturing and services.