Neil Postman over twenty years in his book Technology posed the question But to what extent has computer technology been an advantage to the masses of the people? Postman even before the use of computers had not had global reach, had started worrying about the 21st century. He expressed the feeling of how disorienting and stunning the 21st century would be especially as a result of the advent of the use of computers. Neil Postman had no clue how speedily technology would find complete popularity to every corner of the world. Above all, he could not figure out how technology would result in the availability of mass information network everywhere to everyone. Despite everything, Postman failed to understand the wise words of Henry David Thoreau when he said that our inventions are but improved means to an improved means to an unimproved end. The ease of access and dissemination of information has had a significant impact on masses around the world. Postman seemed to have entirely focused his argument on the use of technology in companies which to an extent was true. However, that could only be a problem in the 19th century and not in the 21st century. Now as it stands, technology has simplified virtually all aspects of the human life starting and opened more job opportunities.
As much as I would love to discredit Postman for asking the obvious, I know that the technological advancement could not create a perfect world, not for everyone. In a free world, everyone is entitled to his perception, and we could be all right depending on our point of reference. I would, therefore, confine my contribution to how the use of technology has improved my life and the people around me. I draw my argument form personal experience. As a kid I grew up very inquisitive, I would wonder about why the world, especially the sun, earth were as they were, why some people were a doctor while others are farmers, whether people on the other side of the world were also doing things as we did. All I ever wanted was information. As my dad would say, they had to carry large books into the library and manually search for a concept. That was difficult. Fortunately, with computers, I never want information; I have it all on my android right in my hand.
In the 19th century, there were no movie shops; people would walk into the theater hall to watch drama or cinema. Residents of small towns would miss all that fun, besides; the dramas on specific themes would only be played once, meaning when you miss, there would not be any other way of watching that again. You must now be conversant with my point here, yeah, with computers; watching a movie has become very easy. One only net to access internet bundles to access and download any movies they desire regardless of his or her geographical locations. The modern explosion in digital video technology gives new generations access to thousands and thousands of films already produced. Furthermore, one can electronically store the movie they would love to watch some other days on the flash disc or DVDs. Postman must have wondered how the computers change to improve the world; it was just too obvious, the computer gave masses a better life.
Besides, communication in the old days was better done through booths or fax machine. One would have to walk to the booth station to wait for or make a call. Already I imagine how it would happen in times of emergencies, for instance, hostage situations. You cannot tell your kidnapper to give time to make a call or send a message or e-mail to the police. That would not happen. Fortunately, the computers have made it easy to address such situations, including the tracking of GPS location. The kidnapper in the modern world must be worried, I guess in the movie that I have watched, the first thing a kidnapper check is the place cell phone. Also, the encoding of the information, transmission, and transfer has become very easy as any call or text is just a button away. The current invention of social platforms like Facebook, Tweeter among others enables us to reach our friend who is far away as well as video stream our locations and activities to our friends.
Marketing is another area that has witnessed much evolution and benefits a lot as a result of computer technology. Unlike the old eras where one would walk goods to the market to look for buyers, the current technology enables people to conduct business from their sitting rooms. Business people only need to upload the video or picture of the products they are offering on the social platform for the prospective buyers. Buyers, on the other hand, have time to peruse through the goods before going for the more ordering for room delivery. I believe that masses in the 21st century are pretty lucky due to computer technology as they can access markets and products far away than they could have reached physically. Besides, the companies in the modern world utilize online marketing and advertising to expand their markets and increase their sales.
In the 19th century, most of the operations of a company were manual; the employees would manually monitor machines that produce goods. I wonder how workers in the sugar factory would identify flaws in the machines. It must have been hectic. Thanks to the computer, every process is duly monitors, the record taken against the targets in operation including the efficiency. Consequently, less labor is used to produce this product thereby reducing operational costs and improving efficiency and quality of the final products.
Lastly, others would argue that computer technology has rendered most people jobless as a result of the adoption of intensive machine methods of production, or that it enables kids are accessible to pornographic films. The truth is that technology has created more employment than before, most people currently work from their home, the quality of products we currently consume is far much better. As a matter of facts, life with computer technology has improved. The major problem with most people is fear for change. We should always embrace change most especially a constructive change. On the pornographic films, parents know better. A kid will grow up embracing the values of installing in him or her. W needs to interrogate ourselves why we focus too much on the negative thought most of which can be mitigated.
To answer the question posed by Neil Postman, computer technology has made the world a better place. We can easily communicate with our friends anytime anywhere; we can apply for jobs while in the bedroom and work from bed or sitting room wherever suits. Lastly, we can access any information on anything or anyone anytime. I dont have to buy a newspaper to get updated. I get hourly updates anytime.
Greenfield, Patricia M. Mind and media: The effects of television, video games, and computers. Psychology Press, 2014.
Bowman, Nicholas David, and Mete Akcaoglu. "I see smart people!: Using Facebook to supplement cognitive and affective learning in the university mass lecture." The internet and higher education 23 (2014): 1-8.
Enli, Gunn, and Hallvard Moe. "Introduction to special issue: social media and election campaignskey tendencies and ways forward." Information, Communication & Society 16.5 (2013
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