https://occupytheory.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/list-of-pros-and-cons-of-technology-1050x663.jpg

List of Pros and Cons of Technology

There is no doubt that in today’s world, technology is an important part of our lives and has a huge impact on the way we communicate, live, and work. The debate continues, however, on whether the part technology plays in our lives is positive or negative in the varied aspects of work, life, and leisure. There are valid arguments on both sides.

The Most Important Pros of Technology

1. Global Innovations
It is a fact that businesses that embrace technology and new technological innovations are strong competitors in the world of business. Businesses that use social media to gain new business and the most cutting edge machines to produce goods are much more likely to thrive than those who do not take advantage of what technology has to offer. On the other hand, although social media may reach more people, it may fail to offer the personal touch that many small businesses used to have with face to face contact; this may result in a loss of strong client relationships and public perception. Using the most up to date machines may ensure faster assembly and production but will also decrease the need for manual labor, which means more people will be unemployed; it also means that smaller businesses will suffer if they can afford new technologies, which again means more businesses will fail and more unemployment will result.

2. Access
Having access to information any time it is needed is a major benefit of technology today. Most companies, no matter how large, have systems which allow their employees to access or enter necessary data quickly and efficiently, which saves time and money. Unfortunately, these same systems may also be vulnerable to attacks from within and outside the company; hackers and competitors can steal or corrupt data and cause enormous harm to a company’s finances, research, or reputation.

3. Education
Education is yet another area where technology is having a major impact. Students can find almost any academic material or answer to a research question just by using online resources or academic databases. Not only is it easy and simple to use, it is also inexpensive as many sites do not charge for information that used to be accessed only by purchasing a membership or journal. The downside to all this information available on the Internet is that much of it is not accurate. Wikipedia, for example, is infamous for allowing anyone to add information on a topic; one does not have to be an expert or undergo any fact-checking to make an entry. Many students do not know how to evaluate a site’s reliability and therefore, their research may be flawed.

4. Networking and Communication
Technology has also allowed social media to be used for educational purposes. Many educators use it to make sure students are more engaged and can increase their communicative skills; introverted students may feel more at ease using Twitter or Facebook to take part in discussion or express their ideas than speaking up in a classroom situation. Student wikis and forums also allow students with different learning styles and who need time to process ideas more chance to join the discussion in an online medium. It may also allow students to communicate more often and more effectively with their instructors. Twitter and Facebook have been especially effective in helping instructors explain material, answer questions, or share supplementary material with students.

The Most Important Cons of Technology

1. Distraction
Despite the obvious education benefits, using technology in education also has its disadvantages. For example, students are easily distracted by social media in the classroom; using Twitter or Facebook for non-educational purposes in the classroom can disrupt learning and focus on classroom content. Many educators are worried that students will not learn the social skills that face-to-face communication would teach because they are relying too heavily on social media. If they are not able to express themselves effectively in the real world, this may result in poor performance at social events and job interviews, for example. Perhaps one of the most obvious disadvantages of use of technology in schools is the rise of cyberbullying, which takes place in all educational institutions from grade school to college. Instances of such bullying has been steadily increasing as more and more students rely on social media and technologies such as cell phones and computers to communicate with their peers.

2. Data Collection and Exploitation
It is unusual to meet anyone who does not own a mobile phone, which have become easy to operate and inexpensive enough to be in anyone’s budget. Skype and Google Talk have made expensive long-distance calls a thing of the past; nowadays anyone can make a call or chat with anyone around the world for free or for merely pennies. Not only can people make voice calls, but video calls are also an everyday occurrence. However, owning a mobile phone means that criminals can easily invade our privacy, collecting data and using it for criminal activities. Companies also use cookies to collect data and bombard us with marketing ploys to attract our interest; many companies also sell data to other businesses so that they can contact unwilling potential customers.

There are obvious advantages and disadvantages of modern technology and the debate will no doubt continue for decades to come as technology continues to advance and change. It is certain that technology will continue to be part of our lives and to heavily influence the way we work, live, and interact; whether it be in positive or negative ways seems to be in the choices each person makes in how they choose to use technology in their individual life.