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Dependence on Computers in the Modern Era

Introduction

The focal point of paper is to present a discussion on over dependence on computers in the modern era. For the purpose the paper would summarize and compare the studies. The first one is Shelley B. Wepner’s Technology Run Amok: The Top Ten TechnoBlunders published by International Reading Association, Inc in 2004 and the second article is Leslie P. Hitch’s Being prepared for Technology Snow Days, published by Center for Applied Research in 2002. There would be other studies included in relation to the issue that would be helpful for the discussion.

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Background of the problem

Production of electronic equipments and components has come a long way since the days of radio receivers in 1940s. From a simple power driven tool designed to carry out only one process, previously carried out by a single craftsman, most of the present day machines have become a highly integrated complex of mechanical equipment performing a series of processes automatically. This evolution or better described as revolution has had deep rooted effects on our socio economic environment, thus effecting human life. The most precious bequest of modern technology to mankind is computer and everyday human beings are becoming more dependent on it. Givens (2008) questions, “But is this accelerating development of personal technology a good thing? Would the world we know and understand come crashing down around us if computer technology suddenly vanished from the face of the earth?” (Givens, 2008)

Views of Hitch

Before the growth of information Technology revolution it was obvious for students to communicate face to face or through telephone with the teacher. Assignments were also presented in hard copies. However, with the availability of IT facilities students are relying more and more on information Technology and most of the data, if not all, are stored in the computers. Under such parameters the author constructs a scenario where it is found that no IT facilities are available and with it all the data of the students are lost. The author then prepares a list of remedies under such fictitious yet possible situation in order to prevent the data from loosing.

The alternate solution to the possible crisis is to prepare for such crisis. Here the authorities should formulate proper policies to counter the situation. In case there are no such policies then the legal risks should also be taken into consideration. Furthermore, the current policies should be evaluated in order to make it aligned with electronic education delivery system. Alongside, there are several recommendations for the students, like keeping backups and using alternate communication systems. However, the most important and practical measure stated by the author is up gradation and budget preparation. “Planning for technology failure carries budget implications. Equipment must be upgraded and services regularly to function properly. Redundant equipment is an additional expense. Personnel cost of training and support must also be considered.” (Hitch 2002) The author is not against technology but is sceptical and cautious.

Views of Wepner

Wepner indicates that one of the ten fundamental mistakes the people make about technology is that it can never fail. Even if technology fails, people feel that the help is right there for taking. She also mentions people feel that there would always be an active support system in case of ‘techno blunder’ and they have superficial faith over software manufacturers. People also tend to use even difficult or boring websites even if manual work would have been easier. People also underestimate the technicalities of technology and overestimate their own command of it, making things more difficult. There is also a myth that teaching with technology would be much better than conventional teaching. Lastly, the author indicates that there is simply no existence of plan B and that could prove costly at times.

Wepner is more open about the use of technology in classroom. She actually feels that “technology ultimately makes us better teachers because it improves our ability to tailor instruction and expose students to new information and communication tools”. (Wepner 2004) Nevertheless, like Hitch, she prepares the readers about failure of technology but she mainly blames the wrong perception of the mass about technology and the myths associated with it in public mind.

Discussion

Invention of computer has miraculously changed the whole scenario. Computers not only impinged on global economy by increasing production, enhancing efficiency etc. Along with business sectors like banking, stock exchange etc, which witness extensive use of computers, other sectors have also been influenced by computers. Educational institutions, hospitals, etc are now day’s increasingly using computers. Due to their vast facilities of computers are becoming more and more popular among house holds also. Increasing number of people are using computers in their day to day life. (Malcolm 2000)

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Along with several advantages of computer, many disadvantages also exist. Computers being machines containing many sophisticated parts, always have the risk of wear and tear and system smash up. Repair and reinstallation of computers becomes very expensive. Thus the computerized systems are at the same time both delicate and complicated in nature. Another disadvantage of computer systems is misuse of computers. Now days several illicit soft wares are available, which make possible unauthorized use of computer accounts, Illegal access to computer systems. Deliberately infecting computer systems with viruses or jamming computer systems, spoiling data fortification schemes, illegal accessing of other’s bank accounts, leaking question papers before examinations by hacking computer systems, harassing people on network, publishing illegal documents on network etc are general ways of misuse of computer systems. Use of computer system in several production units and organizations resulted in reduction in use of human resources. This leads to unemployment, further resulting in poverty and increasing crimes. Now days, with the advancement of technology and extensive use of computers, man is becoming more and more depended on it. Thus the whole generation is in jeopardy of losing the Sovereignty of emancipated thought and self confidence. (Mewar, 2007)

Conclusion

All the authors are in favour of preparing the students, teachers and authorities for a possible collapse of IT. However, while Hitch is more on the traditional or conventional side of teaching, Wepner is happy to make IT a part of her life and profession but they both are cautious and worried about ‘Techno Blunder’ and find it a better option to prepare for the worst rather than suffer. However, it should be noted that There has been an unprecedented acceleration in man’s knowledge of and power to control his material environment, such as, first of all steam, then electricity and now atomic energy simultaneously with these discoveries and inventions, there has been a similar accretion of knowledge about the materials used in manufacture and a progressive refinement of the machines them selves. Computer is the driving force of all these sections and thus the impact of computers on society is huge and it is fundamentally positive in the overall scenario but it is always better to b prepared for the worst condition and the authors suggests a development of Plan B in such state.

Bibliography

Givens, J. (2008) The Increasing Human Dependence on Computers. Associated Content, Inc.

Hitch, L.P. (2002) ‘Being prepared for Technology Snow Days’, Center for Applied Research, vol. 2002, no. 24.

Malcolm, C. (2000). Who Made the First Computer? The University of Edinburgh. Web.

Mewar, P. (2007). Health Problems Caused By Use Of Computers. Web.

Wepner, SB. (2004) ‘Technology Run Amok: The Top Ten TechnoBlunders’, International Reading Association, Inc. Web.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Dependence on Computers in the Modern Era." July 17, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/dependence-on-computers-in-the-modern-era/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Dependence on Computers in the Modern Era'. 17 July.

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