Catalysts of change and barrier breakers: the case of computers - Computer Essay Example

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Catalysts of change and barrier breakers: the case of computers

Introduction

            In the earlier years, never did it occur to anyone that mankind would soon leave its footsteps on the moon. The dream of exploring the universe is almost close to being impossible. Thus, when man first stepped into the moon, it cannot be denied that such was indeed a historic event. Nowadays, man has once again defied the odds and proved that impossibilities do not really exist. In recent years, it can be readily observed that the barriers of space and time no longer matters. Individuals from other parts of the world can now easily converge and connect. All of these became possible with the creation of yet another ground-breaking invention, the computer.

            The moment computers were released into the market and made available to the public; such technological gadget has caused major impacts in the lives of many. Its incorporation into the corporate world has reshaped traditional business models. It gave birth to various business opportunities that were once deemed impossible. It has changed the ways employees perform their respective tasks. Consequently, the computer has also caused major transformations in the individual’s social sphere. It created a domain wherein individuals, regardless of their race and identity, can readily share their views and opinions. The computer has also redefined the ways individuals communicate. Since the computer has somehow modified the communication process, relatively, this scenario presents corresponding effects in the construction or formation of various relationships. It can be also observed that computers triggered the invention of other modern-day tools and gadgets. This device (computer) is also responsible for the massive technological diffusion that is experienced in different parts of the globe. Also, while it is true that the printing press perpetuated knowledge and information diffusion, computers, on the other hand allowed easy access to various facts and data.

Computers in corporate settings

            On a closer examination, the computer’s importance and significance are highly felt within the business arena. Nowadays, it can be readily observed that business establishments are considering the inclusion of reliable technological platforms in their systems (Gupta & Malik 252). With modernity and globalization at hand, information systems are instrumental not only in increasing profit and revenue, but also in securing competitive advantage. In here, it should be clearly understood that the creation of various programs and applications would not be feasible if computers were literally taken out of the picture. It is primarily because of this machine that these programs came to life.

            On the other hand, aside from sustaining the business’ competitive edge, computers also enabled faster and speedier transactions (Lientz & Rea 63). Nowadays, tasks can be accomplished in just one click. Results are easily delivered. Remedies can be immediately applied in occasions wherein unexpected mishaps occur. The assistance that computers provide paved the way for employees to use their time in more productive activities. This is unlike before when tasks are manually executed. In as much as computers have shown considerable benefits on the employees’ part, it is also apparent that managers and supervisors also enjoy the positive effects of computers. Because delays are minimized, senior employees are given the chance to explore more business opportunities and develop strategic plans to sustain the business’ survival.

            Meanwhile, other than the assistance per se, computers are also responsible for the development of information databases that are employed in various corporate settings. Because of computers, tons of important company records and information can now be easily stored. This therefore minimizes the use of bulky cabinets and drawers. Evidently, this means that business organizations can readily reduce their operational costs and allot their funds in better investments and income-generating activities.

Computers and employment opportunities

            In the meantime, it can be seen that business owners are not the only ones that experience gain because of computers. It is obvious that computers have also provided jobs or employment opportunities to many individuals. In contemporary years, teleworking is fast gaining popularity. This approach has been employed by some businesses and workers have also shown acceptance and preference to this kind of set-up.

            Teleworking gave a new face to traditional corporate environments. Under this context, teleworkers are not compelled to report to their respective offices on a daily basis. There are even cases or situations wherein employees can work within the confines of their homes (Harris & Nelson 382; Hussain & Hussain 220). There evident advantages that can be fairly observed in this situation. First, teleworking is indeed cost effective, both on the part of the worker and the employer. It readily minimizes the cost attributed to high transportation rates and food allowances. As for the employer’s part, office rental expenses are minimized. It is also important to note that under teleworking, employees can have more time to spend with their families and loved ones. This is most especially true as for the case of workers who are living in remote or far-flung areas.

            Yet, aside from teleworking, it cannot be discounted that the blogging phenomenon generated extra income for many individuals (McDougall xi).. There are even instances wherein some have readily seen blogging as a profession. One good thing about it is that anybody can participate as long as they have the technology. This is something that is not limited to a single area alone. In other words, computers thus function as a highly flexible and potent tool for many. Teleworking and blogging in the first place, can never be pursued without computers. Based from a critical examination, it can be readily argued that computers can be fully utilized to strengthen the individual’s position in the labor market. Computers basically play a major role in helping a person acquire employment opportunities.

The destruction of information monopoly

            Another valuable contribution of computers can be attributed to easier information access and data availability (Alliance for Technology Access 1). It cannot be discounted that the World Wide Web has become a good source of relevant facts and statistics. This is in stark contrast to earlier years wherein knowledge is kept within the hands of a single individual or few groups. Evidently, it can be surmised that computers have somehow destroyed information monopoly or oligarchy, for that matter. Knoweldge sharing became much more feasible. Individuals can now acquire substantial information that they can use to improve their lives. Various websites, filled with comprehensive discussions and explanations are now ready for public consumption. Even books and other resource materials are now made available for public viewing. Indeed, the combination of computers and the information superhighway is a perfect match.

            However, while it is true that computers paved the way for the spreading of different information, one should not disregard the fact that not all data presented on the web are credible. It cannot be denied that many websites showcase information that is not reflective of the truth and overtly lack logic and validity. Some of them are even misleading. The seemingly anarchic nature of the internet has somehow lead to chaos and confusion. Therefore, in as much as computers readily permitted the information spread, it is also responsible for the existence of unverified and fabricated data in the internet.

Reinventing the social sphere

            But perhaps, other than the above-given impacts of computers, perhaps one of its most evident and important effect can be seen on the social and cultural domains. Marshall McLuhan, the renowned proponent of technological determinism, introduced the concept of the global village wherein individuals, regardless of their race, ethnicity and class would soon converge and connect with each other (Monke 131). Obviously, a global village is now fully established. Various online communities are now formed and the socialization process is given a new face.

            Due to computers, geographic borders are destroyed. The barriers that were once causing communication delays and even failure for that matter are literally taken out of the picture. Nowadays, it is easier for an individual to interact with other people who share the same interests. Via the communities that they form, they can freely share their views and ideas to other beings that feel similar principles and sentiments. Social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Friendster further increases the chances of connecting and fostering relationships (Scott 229). It is also a fact that because of computers, many are given the chance to express their feelings and emotions that are otherwise suppressed in their physical communities. Also, the availability of communication programs and applications such as electronic mails, voice-over internet protocol or VoIP and messengers ensure that the connections made in the virtual world remain active, dynamic and very much alive.

            In as far as cultural matters are concerned; it is also highly noticeable that cultural influences and traditions are easily spread (Andersen & Taylor 76). As more and more members of society utilize both the computer and the internet to articulate their historical roots and origins, cultural diffusion and adoption readily follow. Cultural adoption becomes possible primarily because of the individual’s constant exposure to these matters. In this aspect, one may ask, what does this imply?

            Evidently, although computers have debunked the concept of time and space, this gadget or equipment lessened “face-to-face” or physical interaction (Holmes 155). Everything seems to be comfortable with the virtual world—which in reality, posits a threat to societal cohesiveness and personality development. The environment portrays a major role in developing the individual’s character, behaviors and attitudes. However, as computers have already institutionalized a sedentary lifestyle, the social horizon of a person does not grow. Some of the attitudes and orientations that are acquired in the virtual world may not be considered as socially-acceptable. It is also important to note that the relationships formed on the web are weak and temporary. Communication tools and messengers cannot guarantee that virtual-based connections will remain and last. Also, it is not safe to assume that relationships in the web are the same as the ones that are established in the physical world. Under these circumstances, it is apparent that computers readily deny the individuals from experiencing real-life events. The kind of socialization that computers promote is grounded on superficiality alone. Once and for all, anybody can create different images of themselves which are not necessarily reflective of their true personalities. This therefore affects one’s construction of identity.

            Meanwhile, as for the issue of cultural diffusion, computers play a major influence in propagating highly westernized orientations and perspectives (Ebo 198). This probably explains why both the computer and the internet are seen as agents of western cultural hegemony and domination. Minority groups, even in the virtual world are still pushed to the peripheries. This would not really come as too much of a surprise primarily because of the digital divide that is felt between developed and developing countries.

Conclusion

            Computers are indeed a revolutionary invention. Its effects and influences have completely reinvented the lives of many. Its impacts did not only change business terrains. Evidently, computers redefined the social structures of many communities. It provided a new social environment wherein everything seems to be devoid of any limitations—something that other inventions have failed to accomplish. It can be noticed that in recent years, computers seem to readily dictate the lives of various individuals to the extent that many have become too dependent on it—even its creators. Nowadays, it seems that one can hardly survive without this machine. Having said this, computers evidently deserve the title for being the greatest invention of all time.

Works Cited

Alliance for Technology Access. Computer Resources for People With Disabilities. California: Hunter House Inc., 2004

Andersen, Margaret and Howard Taylor. Sociology. California: Thomson Wadsworth, 2006

Ebo, Bosah. Cyberimperialism. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001

Gupta, Avhdhesh  and Anurag Malik. Management Information System . New Delhi: Firewall Media, 2005

Harris, Thomas and Mark Nelson. Applied Organizational Communication. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2008

Holmes, David. Communication Theory. London: Sage Publications, 2005

Hussain, Donna and K.M Hussain. Telecommunications and Networks. Oxford: Butterworth-   Heinemann, 1997

Lientz, Bennet and Kathryn Rea. Transform Your Business into E. California: Academic Press,            2001

McDougall, J.S. Start Your Own Blogging Business. New York: Entrepreneur Press, 2007

Monke, Lowell. Breaking Down the Digital Walls. New York: State University of New York   Press, Albany, 2001

Scott, David. The New Rules of Marketing and PR. New Jersey, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2007

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