Advancement in technology has affected many people in many ways. New technology has altered peoples’ consciousness, language, and the way society views the world. Technological advancements have made the world smaller, and have made things easier. Computers have been the inventions that have advanced so much since they were developed and have had such a big impact on humanity. Computers were originally developed to use for doing calculations and have come to the point that people cannot function normally without them. Humans were once considered to be superior to all other creatures of the Earth. The reason for human supremacy was the ability to think, process data, store information, and perform calculations”(Silver, 5). Until the second half of the twentieth century, nothing could perform these tasks faster and more accurately than the human mind. Use of Computers “Computers first became available in the early 1950s to be used as “super calculators” for processing numbers. Since then, computers have evolved into something far superior” (Silver, 10).
Much of the reason for the rapid growth and popularity of computers was an increase in paperwork in business nd government. “More forms, letters, memos, reports, correspondence, and documents are generated in one day today than were produced in the entire nineteenth century”(Silver, 13). People came to realize that the computer is the best, most efficient, timesaving tool to control information. In 1950 there were only a dozen or so large-scale computers in the United States. By 1975 the number had grown to 155,000. Soon after came the invention of minicomputers, microprocessors, and desktop computers.
By the 1990s, a personal computer had grown to become a necessity in almost every ome and business. In less than three decades, the computer has become indispensable to business, industry, government, in school, and home. Computer literacy is now considered as vital as learning to read and is to be taught to everyone. The influence of computer technology is evident in many aspects of society. Whether it is to help space exploration or processing checks or producing mailing labels, computers are used. Applications of computers in society influence each typical person.
Some recognition of the role of computers results from the way computers direct the daily lives of the ndividual or the family. “The average person forms some impressions on computers and their pervasiveness in society while the larger, philosophical issues may never reach a conscious level of awareness” (Mathews, 43). Computers provide assistance for many applications such as handling money and record keeping. Though they can be useful, computers can be bad if used improperly. Computers were not developed to think for us; they do not think but rather follow directions.
Computers are thought to have changed society but in actuality society has allowed computers to change them. People rely on their computers for everything even tasks that can be accomplished without using a computer. A prime example of this is the internet. Internet The internet was first introduced in 1983 as an extended source of information. Internet access provides the user with information about almost any topic. On-line services, which provide reference materials, electronic mail, and the internet, provide anything and everything a person could possibly need to know about.
Instead of writing and mailing a letter to a friend, you could send e-mail directly to his/her computer. Rather than oing to the library to do research, a person could sit in front of the computer and find that same information within a matter of minutes. A user on the internet could also go shopping, watch a movie, or talk to unknown people across the world. “Millions of people on every continent participate in computer-mediated social groups called virtual communities, and this population is growing fast”(Rheingold, 35). The internet also allows new people from all over to meet eachother and “chat. Internet Misuse “Chatting” over the internet is not always safe because people could be elling others that they are someone other than they are. Some people who “chat” with others sometimes arrange to meet eachother; this is not a safe idea because often when these people have met bad things happen to them. The internet also allows users to view “cyberporn,” which is a computerized sexual image. “Cyberhate” is also becoming a problem for internet users. “Cyberhate is Web publishing literature that advocates acts of violence and intimidation motivated by prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity”(Gay, 24).
The internet is also unsafe because here are ways of one user to obtain names, addresses, social security numbers, etc. about any person in the world. There are ways to find credit card numbers of people making a purchase over the internet as well. Privacy has become an almost impossible idea since the internet has been around. Clinton’s Educational Reform In 1996, President Clinton proposed his “educational reform. ” As a part of this reform, he proposed to have every school connected to the information superhighway, or internet, by the year 2000.
Clinton also suggests that all tudents become computer literate and internet familiar starting at a young age. “I want to get the children of America hooked on education through computers; we must make technological literacy a standard,” said President Clinton. However, Clinton’s networking goal seems beyond reach. Currently, 3% of the nations classrooms have internet connections, and only about 16% of teachers use the internet or computer-based connection services like America Online, according to a survey conducted earlier this year by the Denver research firm Quality Education Data Inc. Linking the remaining classrooms nd students could cost $30 billion or more, plus at least $5 billion in annual operating expenses”(Conte, 2). In the past, reading, writing and arithmetic were fundamental to a student’s success. In the 1990s, the fundamentals became reading, writing, arithmetic and internet. Dependance “Society has become, in many ways, too dependant of computers”(Moore, 68). Tasks that were normally handled without computers are now completed with a computer. “Computer technology is meant to be used as a convenience to help users complete work faster and more accurately”(Farina, 92).
However, society has made computers more of a necessity, especially in recent years. For this reason, all of these problems like cyberhate arise. Whether we like it or not, computer technology has advanced to the point of becoming a major part of our lives. Each time we use a credit card or register for a class on campus, we are all affected by computers. Computers influence our activities, attitudes, and the way we think. The influence of computers will continue to expand in the future, but people have to learn not to revolve their lives around computers.