We are now more reliant on technology than ever. Everything from the way we travel to the way we get the latest information about the world involves some kind of technology in some way or another.
Vehicles that drive themselves, auto-pilots, news, watches, smartphones, TVs, and almost anything now, are all forms of technology that have big impacts on our lives now.
The question arises, have we come to the point where technology is becoming a threat?
Health is a double-headed coin - there are benefits of technology on our health and then there are dangers that we should note.
It is definitely arguable that health equipment from MRI and CAT scanners to simple things like thermometers and heart monitors have made people more able to get information about their health. As well as this, because of the rise of cheaper technology, people are more easily able to research their symptoms without visiting a doctor or buy the equipment they need for their own home (you can even buy a defribulator for your own home now).
Neuroprosthetics such as cochlear implants is now something that actually exists - meaning that people can substitute parts of their natural body that need it with artificial versions. We also now have other artificial body parts like artificial limbs.
There is also the argument that newer gaming technology such as Kinect and Wii Sport/Fit has forced a change in the way that we play games - making us more active and encourages us to ditch the controller and exercise while gaming.
On the other hand, however, there is the argument that because of technology we are becoming unhealthy and unfit. For instance, games that demand you sit with a controller in your hands tend to rope players in and they end up spending countless hours playing these games. This means that players spend more time on their own stuck in their house rather than getting outside and keeping fit and healthy.
More and more of us are having 'lazy days' where we spend a full day sitting with our laptop in bed or at the desk with the desktop computer and not going out. As well as this, the lack of vitamin D and the problems you can get from looking at a display for too long can cause long term problems.
There are huge economical benefits to the use of technology in business. For instance, databases were once paper-based, which costs a lot for a business when the database grows because the paper needs to be stored. When databases became digitised, not only was there less need for room to store the database but fewer members of staff were needed to maintain the database. In some ways, this was bad since people lost jobs due to the changes in the maintenance department.
Along came big data! Emphasis is now on collecting information and using it rather than spending money maintaining it. More people are now employed in collecting information than ever. Systems that collect information automatically need to be maintained too, so people are being employed to not only write these systems but to maintain them.
Piracy is a huge threat to many businesses and industries and this has risen because of the widespread availability of technologies such as larger hard disk drives and faster internet connections.
In terms of our education, more and more of us are learning more and more because of the widespread information available on the internet. The internet also brings the ability to provide education in different media, such as video learning.
Information can also be shared within classrooms digitally, so things like Google Classroom (a digital classroom system) allow teachers to share classroom content with their pupils.
Classrooms can be much more interactive thanks to technologies such as SMART and Promethean boards that allow teachers to digitally produce classes.
On the other hand, although being a very social-based issue, fewer people are physically attending things such as college and university since they can learn using content on the internet. This obviously causes social problems but it also means that workplace-based skills that can be obtained by working with others in the school will be lost.
Socially, technology has given us the means to stay in touch with each other very easily using social networks and communication methods.
Gaming is another field of technology that has been socially enhanced since online gaming has become incredibly popular over the last ten years or so. Players often voice chat whilst playing online too.
On the other hand, especially with gaming, people spend more time in front of their television and computer and less time actually seeing people in person. As a result, we are becoming less sociable.
Facebook and instant messaging are also having this effect and people are also relying too heavily on these methods of communication.
Despite the negatives, in general, technology has improved our lives. It has affected the way we communicate, live, and how we progress and has a bit of a mixed result on all of these fields.