Technology Nowadays

Technology Today

The advancement in communication technology has had a profound affect on the society - Technology Nowadays introduction. This evolution of technology has not only changed the world we live in but it has also modified the way we live. The development of communication technology has significantly modified the life styles of people across the world. The new methods of sending and receiving information have transformed the society and people from all walks of life have been affected and this technological innovation is also referred to as Information technology.

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Impact of Technological Development

Due to the technological advancement, things that were previously done manually or by hand have now become computerized. Information technology has penetrated almost every aspect of our daily lives from business to leisure to education. Gadgets such as personal PCs, cell phones, fax machines, pagers, email and internet have now become crucial for our day to day activities.  Internet now dominates our lives and has become the hub for all social, business or education activities. All of this has brought a cultural change in the society. Browsing the internet has replaced going to libraries to consult books or acquire information. Rather than carrying out the tasks manually, there are computerized operating systems and a simple clicking of the mouse is now required to get a task completed. Until some time ago, cell phones were considered a luxury, today they become a necessity for almost everyone.

This advancement in communication technology has taken over face to face communication to a large extent. An email or text message or voice mail is now the alternative to meeting up. However, both virtual and face to face communications have their own advantages that are discussed below.

Advantages of Communication Technology

Information technology has made communication across the globe very easy and swift. Information technology now plays an important role in organizations and in society’s ability to produce, access, adapt and apply information. Gomez, Melesse (1998) mentioned in their article that IT is now being heralded as the tools for the post-industrial age, and the foundations for a knowledge economy, due to their ability to facilitate the transfer and acquisition of knowledge.

 Some of the other advantages include:

Globalization

Information technology has made the world a global village where there is a free flow of information and the economies are interlinked. Information can be shared quickly and efficiently and cultural barriers are being broken. Geographical distances and linguistic differences are no longer important and countries far apart can share information and ideas with each other.

Communication

 Information technology has made communication cheaper, quicker, and more efficient. Text messaging and emails have made it possible to communicate anywhere around the globe and receive instant replies. Virtual networks like Face book and Orkut have made communication fun. Face to face communication has also been facilitated by video conferencing. The importance of internet has been highlighted by Mr. Kofi Annan (1999) in the following words, “the Internet holds the greatest promise humanity has known for long- distance learning and universal access to quality education… It offers the best chance yet for developing countries to take their rightful place in the global economy… And so our mission must be to ensure access as widely as possible. If we do not, the gulf between the haves and the have-nots will be the gulf between the technology-rich and the technology-poor”

Bridging the cultural gap

 Information technology has reduced the cultural gap by enabling people from different cultures to communicate with one another. This exchange of views and ideas increases awareness and tolerance of different cultures and reduces prejudice.

Shopping habits

One of the major cultures changes brought about by the IT is the evolution of online shopping. Customers can now shop from anywhere around the globe and get the goods delivered at their door step.

Cost effectiveness

The computerization of business processes has made them more efficient, productive and cost efficient. IT has also made it possible for businesses to be open 24 x7 all over the globe. This has resulted in higher profits which not only strengthens the economy on the whole but also causes a cultural change as the spending habits of people change due to the higher disposable income.

Advantages of Face to Face communication

Face to face communication has its own set of advantages. These include:

Reliability

            Face to face communication is more reliable as unlike virtual communication, it does not depend on internet connectivity or mobile signals or speed of connection. A slow internet connection or low signals can hamper virtual communication so there is an element of reliability with face to face communication.

Work Place communication

Face to face communication is the best option for communicating at work place. Be it appreciating colleagues or assigning new responsibility or criticizing or providing feedback, it is better to use face to face communication. For instance, for employees seeing their boss walk up to them and appreciate them in front of everyone is more motivating them than a simple email. Similarly, there are fewer chances of misunderstandings in case of face to face communication. A face-to-face meeting gives the opportunity to put ones point across, while being sensitive and diplomatic at the same time. Face to face communication also implies that the importance of the message, this message will be more important than the any other communicated via email or any other medium. In case of crisis situation or for damage control with clients, it is best to use face to face communication

Conclusion

            The evolution of information technology has greatly influenced our lifestyle. The traditional methods of communication have been replaced by email and text messages and we now spend more time in front of the computer than ever before. Applications such as Face book have taken our lives and people now socialize more virtually. Both face to face and virtual communication has different advantages that have been discussed above.  The technological advancement has facilitated cross border communication. However, this had led to culture domination around the world and small, unique cultures or languages are being over shadowed by the powerful ones. For instance, it is a common perception that the US influences how most young teenagers all over the world now act, dress and behave. The dependence on computer for everything ranging form shopping to studying to entertainment has made man more lethargic and lazy and has causes health problems too.

References

Annan, K. (1999). United Nation Science. 19th February. Pp 1079.

Morales-Gomez, D. and Melesse, M. (1998). “Utilizing Information and Communication Technologies for Development: The Social Dimensions”. Information Technology for Development. 8(1). pg. 3-14 http://www.citehr.com/ Retrieved on December 31st 2008.

Ogunsola.L.( 2005). Information and Communication Technologies and the Effects of Globalization: Twenty-First Century “Digital Slavery” for Developing Countries–Myth or Reality? Electronic journal of Academic and Special Librarianship. Volume 6

Walsham, G. (2001). Making a world of difference: it in a global context. John Wiley and     Sons, New York.

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