New technologies play an increasingly important role in human lives. Nowadays, it is hard to imagine everyday life without a computer, cell phone, iPod, the Internet, etc. All these innovations become a considerable part of social life and change the way people live, communicate, work, and relax. Technological progress cannot be stopped or replaced.
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This fact has to be understood to provide society with better living and working conditions and appropriate social services. The current paper aims at assessing the impact of new technologies upon society in such spheres as education, healthcare, and working management.
The chosen spheres seem to be a kind of the basis of any society, and if the impact of new technologies in these fields will be evaluated, the impact of new technologies upon society may be understood as well.
Technologies shape modern society and perform the role of a survival tool that cannot be neglected: on the one hand, new technologies may easily destroy society within a short period of time, and on the other hand, innovations can help to overcome the challenges, and people should gain control over all technologies and never forget that they, the people, not the technologies, are the creators of the future.
Irreversibility of a Technological Progress
Almost every sphere of life is in need of constant changes, inventions, and ideas. People should understand the level of their responsibility about the way of how new technologies are implemented. Luppicini (2012) admits that people treat technology as “a complex social system defined by a complex set of human-technological relations embedded in life and society” (p. xviii).
The system of improvements promoted by new technologies may simply shape and reshape society (Naughton 2010). Many experts are ready to argue concerning who or what should run the process. There are many factors that influence the perception of technological progress.
However, one fact is evident and cannot be neglected – new technologies will enter each person’s life one day, and society has to accept every single innovation to survive in such a rapidly developing world.
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Several years ago, people could spend days and nights making conclusions, evaluating the information, thinking about something, or planning a talk. Nowadays, people prefer to surf the web and find answers within a short period of time, use their cell phones or Skype and talk to any person around the whole globe, address an online expert, and get a number of ideas in several minutes (Kiesler 2014).
On the one hand, such technical assistance is a perfect way to improve living and working conditions; on the other hand, such a variety of choices frightens a lot as people stop thinking but rely on some technological help. Society does not want to think but read the already given facts and use them in life.
People do not want to listen to those who are sitting nearby but prefer to ask those who are miles away, by means of Facebook or something like that. However, such dependence upon technologies is an independent decision of people. People have all the chances to make independent decisions, think, analyze, evaluate, etc. but they simply do not want to.
Education and New Technologies
People learn society, its peculiarities, and development when they are at schools. Most of them meet new technologies during the educative process. The choice of the sphere of education and its relation to new technologies is evident.
New technologies promote the development of new learning opportunities. For example, “academic librarians, as facilitators of the research and information-retrieval process, need to apply the new information technologies to information literacy programs actively and train their users to use the technologies” (Kern 2011, p. 92).
One decade ago, many students had to find numerous books, spend many hours reading some general literature to find out an answer to one question, and be upset with their inabilities to achieve good results. Nowadays, students are free to ask for literary help and get it quickly and spend the rest of the time, analyzing the necessary portion of the material.
At the same time, such an opportunity may become an obstacle for society – students become not able to work hard and prefer to use the easiest ways in their educational process. Instead of making independent calculations, students use online calculators; instead of developing a powerful essay, students may buy them online; instead of introducing their own ideas on a topic, students like to read the already developed projects, etc.
Bush (2012) says that new technologies used for education help society to see how far people have not come yet. If students have sophisticated curators, they are lucky to learn how advantaged new technologies can be.
Unfortunately, there are many tutors who do not want to follow the order that is required in classrooms. Such tutors allow using cell phones in class, addressing the web to find an answer in a short period of time, and communicating with peers by means of all their devices.
Such an impact of new technologies upon society is bad indeed. However, if tutors prefer real-life communication, support the absence of all additional devices except those, which are required for a lesson, and promote students thinking, analyzing, and even making mistakes to get to the truth, new technologies cannot do any harm to society.
Healthcare and New Technologies
If the evaluation of the connection between the sphere of education and new technologies shows how society should treat technological improvements, the evaluation of technologies’ implementation to the sphere of healthcare may prove that the techno progress is of high importance. Many experts admit that current health care is poorly delivered in many small towns, villages, and even big cities (Cooper 2010).
People are not always able to get the required portion of help because of information shortage, poor technologies, or lack of experience. New technologies are able to change the way of how healthcare is delivered (Cooper, 2010). Society may benefit from the available opportunities considerably.
For example, people can make an appointment with a necessary doctor online instead of calling the hospital and listening that the line is busy. Doctors can learn a patient’s information if online databases are available and think about treatment quicker. Such an impact of technologies upon society seems to be the most crucial.
Experts admit that the human brain, as the most sensitive organ, can be under a terrible threat from the modern world because new technologies may spread throughout human heads and hearts fast (Greenfield 2013). The use of technologies may be beneficial for one person and harmful for another person at the same time.
Many people get used to searching for information online and forget about the importance of personal experience, professional points of view, and attention to the details. For example, a young lady who has some problems with her stomach may not address her therapist but rely on the information found on the Internet. She chooses a wrong diagnosis with the wrong treatment.
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The results may vary, and some of them are not always good. This is why only professional doctors, educated nurses, and other appropriate experts are free to combine technologies and healthcare to achieve good results and provide society with quality services.
Workplace and New Technologies
The way of how people are able to interpret new technologies’ implementation at workplaces may predetermine the quality of social life as well. Managers truly believe that technologies improve the process of communication between co-workers and workers and consumers considerably (Leonardi 2009).
They hope to provide workers with more time for other activities, facilitate the exchange of information process, or focus on other possible improvements. When society is free to choose services, ideas, activities, etc., they feel happier and more satisfied with the life given. Still, when managers use the same tactics for their workers, they are not always sure about the results of the required organizational change.
In the beginning, people are ready to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the improvements offered instead of making an attempt and trying to accept the change. It is easier for society to follow an old order, familiar rules, and regular norms.
But society is not always able to notice that the earlier offered technologies have already spread and implemented within a short period of time. In other words, people are usually afraid of some changes at first or too lazy to accept something new. But, at the same time, they are too weak to resist the technological progress that is coming anyway and supported by a few people.
In general, the assessment of the impact of new technologies upon society helps to understand that people themselves are able to create the challenges that have to be overcome.
The evaluation of three different spheres of life (education, healthcare, and working management) and their dependence upon technological development shows that people are in need of some changes as well as they are under a threat of the outcomes of these changes all the time.
The paradox of relations between technologies and society is an ability to create the worst things from the best opportunities and vice versa. Even the best ideas may be harmful in the wrong hands; this is why society should be ready to discover, understand, and implement all new technologies in time and use them to survive, succeed, and enjoy this life.
Bush, T 2012, ‘Exploring the future impact of technology on teaching and learning’, The Guardian.
Cooper, G 2010, ‘Using technology to improve society’, The Guardian.
Greenfield, S 2013, ‘Modern technology is changing the way our brains work, says neuroscientist’, Mail Online.
Kern, MK 2011, ‘The impact of new technologies on current awareness tools in academic libraries’, Reference & User Services Quarterly, vol. 51, no. 2, pp.92-97.
Kiesler, S 2014, Culture of the Internet, Psychology Press, New York.
Leonardi, PM 2009, ‘Why do people reject new technologies and stymie organizational changes of which they are in favour? Exploring misalignments between social interactions and materiality’, Human Communication Research, vol. 35, pp. 407-441.
Luppicini, R 2012, Ethical impact of technological advancements and applications in society, Information Science Reference, Hershey.
Naughton, J 2010, ‘The Internet: Is it changing the way we think?’, The Guardian.