The more advanced society becomes technologically, the more people begin to depend on computers and other forms of technology for everyday existence. This means that when a machine breaks or a computer crashes, humans become almost disabled until the problem is resolved. This kind of dependency on technology puts people at a distinct disadvantage, because they become less self-reliant.
Less Value In Human Workers
At the same time, human workers retain less value, which is a disadvantage of technological advances. Because machines automate processes and do the work of 10 people with one computer, companies find they don't need to employ as many people to get the job done. As machines and computers become even more advanced and efficient, this will continue to be a growing disadvantage of technology and an issue that has a global impact.
We must pass a computer competency test in the eighth grade before being promoted to high school. They are tested on the most fundamental computer skills: word processing, creating a spreadsheet, using Web browsers, and e-mail. Beyond that, students either pick up skills on their own, take a class outside the primary educational setting—say at a community college or library—or don't learn at all. Users—even Net Geners—will only learn so much when operating a computer. The average student will use a computer for homework, online chatting, checking e-mail, and surfing the Internet. The more advanced users will know how to write a simple Web page, update a ready-made blog site, or download music and movies—perhaps illegally—and burn CDs. But for the most part, users have no knowledge about how to set up a local area network or how to troubleshoot their own computer for minor problems.
On a more fundamental level, there is such a thing as a "digital divide." Technology is expensive, and the only way for some school systems to afford computer labs is if computers are donated. These computers often are refurbished and several years old. While they are useful in teaching fundamental skills, like those tested for in the North Carolina standardized computer test, they will not be able to support the latest technology. Once a computer or software is released on the market, it is usually replaced in 18 months. How can a Pentium II running Windows 95 properly prepare a high school or college student for the working world, which uses Windows XP? It can't. These computers ideally should be relatively up to date and able to provide students with not only fundamental skills but also the chance to learn intermediate and advanced skills as the "cool new thing" rolls out of the factory.
Great Discoveries In All Industries
Technology advances show people a more efficient way to do things, and these processes get results. For example, education has been greatly advanced by the technological advances of computers. Students are able to learn on a global scale without ever leaving their classrooms. Agricultural processes that once required dozens upon dozens of human workers can now be automated, thanks to advances in technology, which means cost-efficiency for farmers. Medical discoveries occur at a much more rapid rate, thanks to machines and computers that aid in the research process and allow for more intense educational research into medical matters.
Cost efficiency is an advantage in some ways and a disadvantage in others. As technology improves on existing processes and showcases new ways to accomplish tasks, machines are able to produce the same -- if not more -- output than humans in certain industries. This results in cost savings for business owners, allowing them to invest in growth in other areas of the business, which contributes on a positive level to the economy as a whole.
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