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Impacts of Technology on Society

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Written by
Kevin Sanders
  • Icon Calendar 18 May 2024
  • Icon Page 742 words
  • Icon Clock 4 min read
English (United States)
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Technology has profoundly altered how individuals live, work, socialize, and perceive the world, fundamentally bolstering human intelligence, capability, and productivity through advances in computation, connectivity, and automation at an unprecedented scale and pace. However, the societal ramifications of this progress are extensive, posing substantial threats that counterbalance its benefits. In order for technology to truly optimize its benefits for human well-being, a balanced and mindful approach is essential that incorporates an understanding of its potential consequences. While technological innovations enable countless improvements, such as increasing life expectancies, boosting economic growth, and connecting the globe, technology also fosters increased isolation, distraction, and health issues that threaten individual and societal well-being.

Increased Isolation and Less Human Interaction

The progression of technology has resulted in a noticeable trend toward increased seclusion and decreased face-to-face human interaction. Nowadays, many individuals spend many hours daily engaging with mobile devices and social media instead of participating in real-life conversations. Overusing digital devices particularly affects the development of adolescents, who depend on peer interaction and social communication as a crucial aspect of their growth (Orben et al. 634). Reducing face-to-face communication among adolescents because of physical distancing measures, such as those that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic, may have vast implications. Therefore, despite the growing prevalence of digital social interaction, the advantages of in-person communication remain pertinent for human development.

Impacts of Technology on Society

Distraction and Reduced Focus

Technology provides constant access to entertainment and information, negatively impacting concentration and focus. Individuals frequently have smartphones and receive notifications, making it challenging to mitigate distractions. For example, Dr. Glenn Wilson, a researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, discovered that continuous interruptions and disturbances, including phone calls and emails, can contribute to a decline of 10 intelligence quotient (IQ) points (Griffey par. 2). This frequent disruption can make it challenging to focus for long periods and reduce attention spans. Hence, technology challenges optimal productivity from sustained focus, especially for tasks benefitting from it.

Health and Safety Concerns

Despite advances in healthcare, technology poses numerous health and safety issues. Excessive technology use links to psychological and physical health effects, like depression and eyestrain (Johnson par. 1). In this case, technologies activating brain reward centers, such as social media and online gaming, can lead to behavioral addiction, anxiety, depression, and fear of missing out (FOMO). These ramifications arise from the constant connectivity and social comparison issues. Other modern-day issues are increased risks of suicide, cyberbullying, and low self-esteem. However, the causation of the aforementioned issues cannot be definitely attributed to technology use. Therefore, understanding technology’s imminent repercussions is necessary to benefit while maintaining health optimally.

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Humans must be aware of technology’s potential downsides, including heightened isolation and distraction, diminished interpersonal interaction and concentration, and health issues. More research, education, and self-regulation strategies are needed to shape healthier technology use habits and design principles that minimize potential harm while maximizing value. With careful consideration of these issues and cooperative solutions, technological progress can augment human potential without imposing disproportionate costs to safer outcomes, allowing individuals and societies to reap technology’s full advantages while vigilantly avoiding its pitfalls. Only through this virtuous cycle of awareness, prudence, and proactivity that one can ensure technology remains a net positive for humanity.

Works Cited

Griffey, Harriet. “The Lost Art of Concentration: Being Distracted in a Digital World.” The Guardian, 2018, www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/oct/14/the-lost-art-of-concentration-being-distracted-in-a-digital-world.

Johnson, Jon. “Negative Effects of Technology: What to Know.” Medical News Today, 2020, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/negative-effects-of-technology.

Orben, Amy, et al. “The Effects of Social Deprivation on Adolescent Development and Mental Health.” Lancet Child Adolescent Health, vol. 4, no. 8, 2020, pp. 634–640, doi:10.1016/s2352-4642(20)30186-3.

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