Impact of Technology on Society

Abstract

The communication industry and the invention of communication devices marked a new phase in the interaction and social patterns of people. Taking into account the social needs of people, communication is an essential element that was made possible by telephones. Therefore, the technology of using telephones bridged the gap between the social needs and the geographical location (VanFossen, & Berson, 2008). This was a major problem when the world had no communication devices. This research paper will look into the telephone technology in detail and then outline a number of impacts related to this technology. Attention in this research paper will be paid to how the introduction of the telephone technology changed the world.

Impact of Technology on Society

Introduction

The technology chosen for this discussion is telephone. The telephone technology works by transmitting sounds and signals in distant places. This implies that people in far regions can communicate with ease without having to travel. This technology was conceived by Graham Bell in the 18th century and has changed the way people interact to this day. During the development of the telephone, there was a high level of skepticism that surrounded many people about the effectiveness of these gadgets (Ling, 2004). These concerns were addressed by the successful launch and operations of the first telephone.

Societal Outlook after Introduction of Telephone Technology

The introduction of telephones in the human history changed communication and the way people interacted. From a social perspective, the situation improved because people would talk and make decisions while in distant places. There was a great deal of convenience that came about as a result of this technology. For example, the cost of travelling for the purpose of relaying information was reduced with interested parties talking while in different locations. Interaction was taken a notch higher after the introduction of this technology with people talking about various things over the telephone. There was also a new trend of exchanging information and ideas never seen before in human civilization. The question of building relationships and networks by talking to people on the telephone changed as a result of telephones.

Economically, there was increased trade between various regions. It should be noted that the telephone was good for business because traders would communicate with traders situated in other locations. From a business perspective, communication is an essential element in relation to the movement of goods and services. This means that communication means a lot in relation to the exchange of commodities. When the telephone was introduced, a new wave of business efficiency was experienced as a result of reduction in communication barriers that were prevalent at the time. Employment opportunities increased as a result of effective communication between various people doing business. In other words, capital inflows increased as a result of foreign investments. Communication was instrumental in terms of convincing investors from other parts of the world to come and invest in a given region (Lin & Atkin, 2002). Globalization can also be attributed to the use of the telephone in the early years. As a result of effective communication, the world was in a better position in terms of engaging with international partners. An increase in economic growth and development as a result of a high penetration of knowledge was experienced. A close review of the above mentioned changes shows that the telephone technology is a major invention that shaped the world in a major way. The open interaction system created by introduction of the telephone was a step in the right direction that improved the standards of living for most people. At the same time, the prices of commodities were standardized in relation to a connected world.

From a political perspective, the telephone was an invaluable tool in terms of administration and coordinating various projects. Thanks to the communication process between various people, administration issues were effectively sorted out. Playing an oversight role in anything without proper communication is a sham affair that is not viable. Thus, the telephone invention was a major step towards the management of regions and resources. In addition, those playing the management role with regards to the political systems of a given region were expected to utilize effective communication for the purpose of making their intentions known (Mitcham, 2005).

Welfare, Health and State of Environment

The welfare aspect of society was enhanced as a result of the introduction of telephone technology. There were many issues that were addressed with the advent of this technology. There was a transition felt by many people in relation to highlighting various events happening in the society. A good example that can be used to show the welfare impact of this technology was the discussion of events over the telephone by many people. The culture of discussing issues in groups changed drastically and transformed to detailed analysis of information through telephone communication.

The health of the society changed for the better with the emergence of telephone technology. For example, the communication and dissemination of information increased in a way that helped people to understand various issues happening in the society. From a mass communication point of view, attaining a healthy society entails taking into account how information and ideas are exchanged (Lin & Atkin, 2002). This is why regions with poor communication mechanisms are considered as less healthy. The expectation is that a society with effective communication systems is able to address issues with consideration and consultation. This is opposed to a society where the communication infrastructure is not well developed.

With regards to the state of the environment, telephone technology signaled a new phase in terms of environmental conservation issues. It is imperative to note that communication has a direct correlation with the state of the environment. For example, a society with diverse communication channels provides ample opportunities for deliberation on issues associated with the environment. In this case, those concerned about the environmental systems, used the communication aspect for the purpose of enlightening the public about the problems that needed to be addressed.

Functioning of Society after Implementation of Technology

The telephone enabled governments and other administration systems in terms of managing people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. From a leadership perspective, there is need for different people to have a common agenda that unites them as a country. This fete can only be attained through telephone communication. A look at regions with many cultures shows an improvement in the governance system as a result of effective movement of information from one point to another. By communicating in a common language such as English, which is widely spoken by people around the world, leaders were able to communicate their agenda to the public. According to analysts, communication played an influential role in terms of shaping governance systems and the consolidation of power (Mercer, 2006). Therefore, the influence of telephones on the political realm of people was widespread and changed the course of history in relation to leadership.

Education and the public system of teaching was enhanced as a result of this technology. By the time Bell discovered the telephone, education was a problem and was conducted in a way that was not viable for both students and teachers. The problem was that communication was not taking place in the right way. There are many instances where students did not receive the best learning curriculum due to breakdown in communication. It can be said that communication influenced the learning culture in a better way by introducing ideas from other regions. This was made possible as a result of communication between teachers in various parts of the world. As educational providers embarked on developing the best curriculum for their students, communication through the telephone was emphasized. This implies that the telephone technology improved learning by promoting curriculum development.

Negative and Positive Impacts of Telephones on Welfare and Health

Negative Impacts

The first demerit of the telephone technology in terms of health and welfare of the society was reduction in the physical contact among the people engaged in communication. There were worries that the new technology would affect the social bonds that people had considering that communicating through the telephone is devoid of meeting the person physically. This presented a social threat to the coexistence of people and was slated to create isolation due to talking over the telephone for a long time (Mitcham, 2005).

The other negative aspect of the telephone technology on welfare was the cost associated with making a call. The charges of making telephone calls at the time were high and discouraged other people from using the communication device. This explains why the technology was a preserve of the affluent. On the other hand, the ordinary people did not find it convenient to use the communication at a cost. This is an indication that despite the invention of this technology, the needs of people were not met.

Mental health complications were another impact of using the telephone technology. According to psychologists, the signals that coordinate communication between one person and the other can damage the brain cells. The damage caused by the waves to the brain cells is considered to have far reaching implications on the long term mental condition of a person. These signals react have the capability of reacting with brain cells hence, reducing functionality. The risk was high among those people who were using the technology repeatedly. As can be seen in the above description, the mode of communicating through the telephone was harmful to human health.

Positive Impacts

The main positive aspect of introducing the telephone technology was convergence of the world. Due to an increase in the number of people communicating, the entire world was interconnected and thereby fostered a new era of transport and trade agreements. As long as the whole world was connected through the telephone technology, there was every reason to believe that telephones helped in making the world a single compendium. In addition, the new connection of the globe helped nations and individuals to seek opportunities beyond their shore such as in the area of business and education. Nothing beats efficiency in terms of production and even relationships (VanFossen, & Berson, 2008). The telephone was an important addition that changed the landscape in a better way. For example, those doing business were able to expand their scope by travelling to new areas. In addition, there was increased cohesion around the world like never before. Lack of a definite communication structure interferes with the system of interaction by creating tension.

The second positive aspect about telephone technology is the idea of promoting freedom and democracy through deliberations. According to communication experts, the use of telephones was a game changer in terms of expression and the pursuit of universal rights on freedom of speech. The above mentioned elements of human rights could not have been achieved without the help of the telephone. It is logical to point that this technology opens up opportunities for users on many fronts such as economic, political and social.

Negative and Positive Impacts of Telephones on the Environment

Negative Impacts

The major problem brought about by the telephone technology was emission of waves that maybe harmful to the environment. The ecosystem is an important medium that humans need to survive and thus exposing the latter to these emissions pose a huge risk to human, animal and plant life. The erection of telephone poles and machinery that supported the operation of telephones was conducted in a way that was not environmentally viable. The question of this new technology being a burden rather than a solution was raised with regards to the negative impacts on the environment.

The second problem with the use telephones was over dependency. After this technology was introduced, the rate of dependency increased as a result of long distance relationships which had been maintained. There was also an unprecedented increase psychological issues related to the dependency mentioned in the previous statement (Lin & Atkin, 2002). The bottom line is that this technology changed the aspect of dependency that was prevalent before, the technology was conceived. The problem with this trend was that a small breakdown in the communication chain would affect relationships and plans in a major way.

Positive Impacts

The good side of using telephones with regards to the environment was effective coordination and interaction that created value. This was not the case during the days when telephones had not been invented. Value is normally created through the process of interaction. This also depends on the objectives of both parties in the interaction.

The negative impacts of telephones on the environment are many as compared to the positive attributes. This has been evidenced by the above analysis of negative and positive impacts of the telephone technology.

Impact of Telephone Technology and Engineering Practices

The example of the telephone technology outlined in this discussion shows the need for innovation and flexibility in the field. Innovation is a crucial requirement in the field of engineering since, the latter raises the prospects of addressing various challenges facing the society. Just like the genius concepts applied by Graham Bell during his discovery, the same approach should be used by engineers focused on improving their skills. A culture of innovation should be inculcated in the engineering field to help position developers in terms of developing viable solutions that address societal challenges.

Critical Thinking Skills and Evaluating Impact of Technology

The emergence of the telephone concept is a reflection of high level innovation and satisfaction of human needs (Ling, 2004). Since, the early years of development, a number of developments have been made and as the modern situation shows, communication is changing at a fast rate. The society is at the center of this change and provides an explanation of how best a given technology works for the needs of people.

Conclusion

The world is better and more informed because of the telephone technology. The scope of influence created by this technology is immense and has changed the way people interact and think. With the changing times, the system of communication has been taking a new turn with new trend coming up. The impacts of this technology on the environment, health and welfare of the society shows the strides made since, the early years.

References

Lin, C. A., & Atkin, D. J. (2002). Communication technology and society: Audience adoption and uses. Creskill, N.J: Hampton Press.

Ling, R. S. (2004). The mobile connection: The cell phone’s impact on society. San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufmann.

Mercer, D. (2006). The telephone: The life story of a technology. Westport, CN: Greenwood Press.

Mitcham, C. (2005). Encyclopedia of science, technology, and ethics. Detroit, MI: Macmillan Reference USA.

VanFossen, P. J., & Berson, M. J. (2008). The electronic republic: The impact of technology on education for citizenship. West Lafayette, Ind: Purdue University Press.