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Is Technology a Positive or Negative Aspect of the Society and Culture? Term Paper

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Updated: Dec 25th, 2018

As the world develops, technology also grows. Technology can be defined as an adoption of improved machinery that makes work easier. An example of technology is evident in computers or a procedure discovered so as to achieve a certain goal like a medical procedure. Technological developments take place across all fields which include science, agriculture and engineering. They affect the society in a moral and cultural way.

They also have impacts on the economy of the society. As technology develops and also improves, a number of people appreciate while others criticize it (Ilana, and O’Neill, 35). Kevin Kelly is a big proponent of technology. In his book, What Technology Wants, he talks about the improvement that is being done on information systems in the world. He says that humans use technology widely in their lives through use of computers and telephones.

He says that the internet has made the world a global community where by information is readily available by just a “click of the button”. Currently, web pages are linked to the internet. This fact has enabled various communities to use this information to improve their lives. This idea is demonstrated in Uganda where farmers are using “Smart phones” to access information about agriculture. The use of these phones requires that the farmers engage the use of help centers to ask them various questions concerning farming.

The operators at the call centers can access information from their databases. This information is regularly updated to make it consistent with modern trends. The website is usually improved as technology grows. Data has continued to be shared as Kevin predicted in 2007, for example, when someone is looking for information from Wikipedia, the explanation can be availed and also additional information is usually linked to other pages.

Information can also be shared through social sites. An example is Uber social which is an application used for accessing Tweeter. One can also use this application to log in to Facebook. When a user updates information on Tweeter, the update can also be seen on Facebook. In a different presentation, Kevin Keller talks of a reliable web.

This fact is demonstrated by the availability of almost all information in the internet. The internet provides information about people, things, places and technology itself. A chicken farmer in Ligazi, Uganda, was trained by a community based organization on how to access information about chicken and diseases affecting them and various ways of growing and maintaining them. She said that the training had been very helpful and beneficial to her.

Today, she has fully commercialized her chicken business because it has been improved by the new knowledge and skills gained from the training. She has since been getting good profits from her business. The story shows how the use of the internet has become reliable and easily accessible to almost all people in the world through use of smart phones, tablets and computers. Many people in the world especially from developed countries have become dependent on the internet.

One can access his or her personal information in the internet. One can also look for information about anything in the internet. This fact has made work easier for people because of the availability of online shops, e-learning and on-line social networks. Technology has also brought about transparency in the work relationships among people and modified organizational behavior especially in companies by encouraging team work through sites created for them by their organizations.

Almost all companies have websites where someone can access information about them. Technology has facilitated better communication mechanisms between companies and their clients because they can interact with a given company through email, a feedback program or even a customer care services. Tiken yah Fakoly is a musician from West Africa.

He has been in a feature entitled ‘Africa on the move’. He uses his music to communicate messages to the people of Cote d’Ivoire and urges them stop corruption and to begin building their country. His music can be accessed by anybody in the world through the internet. The internet has been used by the musician positively for communicative purposes. Tiken yah Fakoly has been in exile in Bamako in Mali. His main areas of concern are about the political instability of his country and oppression of his fellow countrymen.

He also has several projects which he has been doing in his country. His theme has been “One concert on project”. He helps in building and renovating schools in different parts of Cote d’Ivoire. He values education and advocates for it through his music. By using technology to sell his music through concerts, he tends to agree with Kevin Kelly who also views the internet as a powerful tool of sending positive information.

The two seem to suggest that the internet is a global mechanism of communication. Sherry Turkle also supports the development and improvement of technology but she talks about how human relationships have begun deteriorating. This fact is because people lose physical contact with each other because of their reliance on communication through use of text messages, emails, IM messages and social networks. A person can have thousands of friends on Face book but may not be able to access them physically.

In her book entitled The Second Self, Sherry explains that technology is partly to blame for the kind of social problems the society is experiencing. Tiken yah Fakoly also explains this idea in his music. He tells the West that Africa is not a “dying” continent as has been portrayed by foreign media.

He tells people from the Western countries to visit Africa and see for themselves the rich cultural heritage and sociable people. Binyavanga Wainaina, a writer and activist, talks about responsible advertizing. He calls for a transparent portrayal of what is happening in African communities. He says that there are many organizations in Kenya which work to help certain communities that are experiencing hardships.

He castigates foreign media for showing images of starving children and women in their websites. Binyavanga says that Western media does not show the reality about Africa but depicts Africa negatively as a continent that is purely dependent on the West for survival. His interview supports Sherry Turkle’s arguments that people need to be physically accessible to one another .Binyavanga says that Africa as a continent is endowed with riches but its main problems are corruption and mismanagement of resources.

This aspect brings about political instability like the case of Cote d’Ivoire and the poor management of various government institutions in Kenya. Binyavanga Wainaina uses satirical writings to demonstrate how Kenya, his country of origin, is affected while Tiken yah Fakoly uses music to demonstrate what is happening in his country, Cote d’Ivoire.

The two artists use technology in form of internet to communicate their messages to various people across the globe. They call upon the West to respect the African continent by not portraying only the negative aspects about it.

They urge journalists especially foreign ones to report accurately about the status of the African continent. Their ideas can be linked to Sherry’s ideology of using technology to enhance human interaction. Sherry encourages parents to interact with their children in order to understand them and consequently help in their character formation (Willis, Mastrofski and Weisburd, 25).

This fact would enable parents to control the behavior of their children by learning the feelings and fears of their children. The parents can be able to control their children from overuse of the internet and television and improve their children’s social skills and creativity. Shiva Vandana is an environmental activist and advocates against globalization. She is a trained physicist and has a PHD in philosophy.

She is widely known for advocating for organic farming and conservation of the environment and water resources. Shiva points out the disadvantages of genetic engineering in agriculture. She also states that globalization has negatively affected people in that culture and morals of people have deteriorated. People’s privacy is usually compromised as information about people is readily available in the internet. This fact brings about security issues of individuals and their family members.

Negative advertisements ruin the morals of people as many people tend to do what they see in the internet. Hawaii’s location is attractive to scientists who work on genetic engineering of crops. This fact is because of Hawaii’s warm and humid climatic conditions. Certain large biotechnology and agrochemical companies like Syngenta and Monsanto have their research fields in Hawaii. They plant genetic engineered seeds in these fields.

They also test pesticides and other agrochemicals on these plants. Their main concerns are the environmental effects that are caused by these chemicals. These genetic engineered seeds offer short term solutions to food shortages in the world. The seeds grow and produce succulent fruits but the fruits do not have seeds and cannot replicate (Turban and Volonino, 14). These fruits that have seeds are also not like the naturally growing fruits.

Their seeds cannot germinate; therefore, one has to keep on buying more seeds. Technologically modified foods can be dangerous to feed on because their genetic code has been interfered with. Indigenous foods which are healthy for human consumption are not common today. Pesticides and fertilizers affect the environment negatively. This fact is because the soil becomes dependent on these chemicals.

The research fields in Hawaii have negative effects on the people who live near them. A case in point is that of a school located next to one of the testing fields. It has been reported that the children in the school experience nausea and headaches. The symptoms may be the effects of these chemicals. The fields should be situated far from people’s homes, schools and work stations. Science should be used to improve the welfare of the community and not to compromise with people’s health.

The use of pesticides and fertilizers compromises the quality of soil. The same soil is supposed to support growth of plants for a long period of time. The advancement of technology has failed in improving soil quality for growth of plants (Siegel, 14). The dependence on these chemicals is a disadvantage because improvement of the chemicals tends to reduce the quality of the soil meaning that the soil cannot be useful without being supplemented with fertilizers.

Globalization to an extent compromises food security. Genetic engineered seeds and plants do not retain the natural quality of the seeds and plants. Farming is dependent on the production of these seeds and plants. Agriculture should be managed in a natural way so as not to compromise food security. This aspect can be enhanced by organic farming which uses animal manure and dead plant debris.

This idea may enhance the quality of the plants and seeds and ensure that they do not negatively affect human health. It may also ensure that genetic variation is not compromised hence enabling natural selection which ensures production of quality food. Food that is processed using genetically engineered seeds should be labeled as so for buyers to identify it. This fact can ensure that there is transparency in the scientific studies’ results. Globalization has positive and negative impacts on life and the environment.

Siva Vaidhyanathan is a media expert. In his blog entitled Sivacracy.net, Siva says that people should use technology positively by using information to improve their lives like the Ugandan farmers (Ivancevich and Michael, 23). They should also reduce their dependence on it for social interactions. The media and non-governmental organizations should tell the truth about social phenomena happening in various parts of the world.

The privacy of individuals should be upheld in order to secure their wellbeing. Environmentally friendly technological innovations should be made to address the problem of food security. Thorough feasibility studies should be done on the environment and the surroundings to ensure that there are no negative impacts of technology on the environment.

Works Cited

Ilana, Kass, and Bard, O’Neill. The Deadly Embrace, London, USA: University Press of America, 2006. Print.

Ivancevich, John, and Matteson, Michael. Organization Behaviour and Management of communication 3rd (Ed), Tetons, USA: Irwin, 2003.Print.

Siegel, Larry. Introduction to criminal justice.12th Ed, Wadsworth, USA: Cengage Learning, 2009.Print.

Turban, Efraim, and Volonino, Linda. Information technology for management (8th Ed.), Hoboken, USA: John Wiley & Sons, 2011.Print.

Willis, James, Mastrofski Stephen, and Weisburd, David.Compstat in practice: An in-depth analysis of three cities. Police Foundation, Connecticut, USA: Cengage Learning, 2003.Print.

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