Technology: A Boon or Bane?
Technology is the application of scientific knowledge into practical life. Technology has grown as an extraordinary power to us. Technology is an implementation of knowledge creatively to make human life easier. This practice is changing our lives in a better way in past, present and will change our future too. Technology has penetrated and diversified its shape into every corner of our life, we can ever imagine. So, it is practically impossible to explore the scopes of technology and its effects on mankind in a single blog post. Today, we can admit that we shaped technology and technology has shaped our lifestyle. Let’s dive into ‘Technology: A Boon or Bane?’
What is Technology?
Let’s explore the literal meaning of ‘Technology‘. The word ‘technology’ is developed in a combination of two Greek words: ‘techne’, which means art or craft and ‘logos’, which means word or speech. In the 17th century, the term ‘technology’ was used in discussions on applied arts. But with the passage of time, application and the meaning of ‘Technology’ is changed. Later, the use of the term spread in many fields of studies to process ideas in collaboration with tools and machines.
Technology has brought revolutions in many fields through lots of changes or revolutions, categorised into three types:
• Relation Revolution: The technological revolution plays a big role in the socio-technological paradigm.
• Sectoral Revolution: This type of revolution brings changes to a particular sector like Green Revolution,
• Universal Revolution: Universal revolution in technology is capable of initiating and pursuing long-term effects on humanity. The Renaissance period of the 14th century through the 16th century is an appropriate example of a universal technological revolution.
Let’s analyse Technology Boon or Bane for Mankind or Technology Advantages and Disadvantages
Technology: A Boon to Mankind
Technology has developed an environment for the human that makes its life easier to achieve goals i.e. the telephone was invented to communicate between two distinct persons without meeting physically; and this telephone is upgraded to a smartphone in present days, which is portable and wireless and easy to carry. Now, the modern technology of communication is on our fingertip. Not only communication but also technology has given an advanced dimension to medical treatment, scientific explorations, communication, construction techniques, energy generation, food production, education system, manufacturing industries, military applications,
Advantages of Technology
- Easy to access information: In the 1990s, the internet was not so popular due to a very slow dial-up connection. Later, many people feel the importance of accessing information and data online. This necessity delivered faster connections to the internet service.
- Time Saver: In earlier days, it took a very long time to meet a person or a destination or to communicate as horse-drawn carriages and cow carts were used to transport and hand-written mails were easy to communicate than telephones. Now, modern technology has built modern generation cars, electronic mails, smartphones to overcome those issues. It helps us to achieve our goals in much time and we can focus on our work to progress without time loss.
- Cost Efficient: To make it cheaper and affordable to the people is one of the main goals of technology. It has created an opportunity to access new technologies to be applied in our life.
- Use of Better Techniques: Research works, integrated scientific methods, learning techniques have been modernized with time. From the use of the calculator to modern computers, technology has upgraded mediums of study techniques. These improved methods have brought motivations to every knowledge-seeking persons.
- The material world and virtual world: Technology not just enhanced its spread in the materialistic world but also created a non-existed world or a virtual world. The use of VFX in movies and video games, the social media platforms are the signs.
- Artificial Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence is a new era towards the future, which can be foreseen with the advanced usage of technology. Artificial intelligence is one of the greatest favour of modern technology. Digital assistant, face detection technology, online payment methods, modern search algorithms, etc are common examples of artificial intelligence.
- Medical Applications: Medical science is the scientific study of diagnosing an illness either in the mind or body and treating it or preventing it from further damages. Innovative technologies have made significant improvements to all the field in medical science. Discoveries of new technologies, life-saving drugs, new techniques of treatments and therapies have declined the mortal rate of human beings. Besides, chemistry plays a vital role to transform healthcare science to an advanced level in bioinformatics and medical physics and clinical engineering beyond imagination. New technologies like COVID-Net, COVNet, BI-AT-GRU, SIER model, Benevolent AI, etc have a great contribution to humanity against the COVID-19 epidemic.
- Scientific Applications and Explorations: Technology is an integral part of science. That’s why the term ‘Science and Technology’ is used everywhere. Technology is the application of science, which rebuilds material conditions and reshapes human culture. From the late 14th century till today, technology has revoluted the evolution of human intelligence from the ‘Printing Press’ of Johannes Gutenberg to the ‘Persiverence’ rover on Mars. It has broadened the ways to explore the cosmic nature as well as the terrestrial nature of the Earth. One big scenario can be presented as an example in this context: Technological revolution in scientific studies and applications has made us able enough to fight the COVID-19 epidemic for a long year and so on and shown us the ways that we need to improve for the welfare of all humanity.
- Education System: Technology has improved the education system greatly. It has generated electronic books instead of paperbacks, which has reduced the cutting of trees for making paper. This is a revolutionary step towards nature. EdTech is the new technology in the field of education. EdTech is redefining the education system by creating a bridge of IT tools and traditional educational style aimed at facilitating and enhancing the learning practice.
- Information and Communication Technology: Letters and pigeons are now an ancient technique of communication since we moved on to a digital age of broadcasting, computer science, information processing, photography, printing, photoengraving, typography, telecommunication, etc. The facilities like electronic mails, online voice calling and video calling, dynamic social media platforms, encrypted chatting platforms, AI-based assistant, etc has made it easy for us to communicate in a very short time. Now, communicating satellites, wireless communication towers, submarine communications cables have shortened the communicating time more precisely and built a Submarine Cables Map, which updates the Telegeography regularly.
- Technology in Energy Generation: Energy is one of the most important factors for technological evolution because modern types of equipment are capable to run fully dependant upon energy.
It is believed that the first fire created by humans was the dawn of technological evolution. Later, whale oil served as a resource of energy. In the late 19th century, fossil fuel and vegetable oil replaced whale oil. It saved species of whales from extinction. But, the natural stock of fossil fuel has come to its bottom. Here, technology creates new techniques of energy generation in form of renewable energy and hydrogen fuel, till now. Among the renewable energy resources, Solar Photovoltaic Power, Wind Power and Geothermal Power are fluxed to electricity. Besides, hydroelectric power plants, thermal power plants, nuclear power plants remain big sources of energy.
- Food Production: Modern technologies have improved food production in a revolutionary way. Modern agricultural machinery like tractors, deep tubewell pumps, barrages has made it possible to harvest crops irrespective of time, place. Fertilizer is used to boost the nutrients of the soil. The use of genetic engineering to produce hormones and cloning organisms and new medicines have increased the amount of food production. But, crops get affected by insects. So, chemical pesticide and herbicides are necessary to prevent insects from attack.
Technology: A Bane to Mankind
Technology innovation has brought not only benediction to mankind but also condemnation. Innovations, such as the use of coal as an energy source, have a negative impact on the environment. The development process of technology is not linear. Modern technology has brought the curse of pollution to the Earth and its habitats. The marine ecosystem is being destroyed day by day. Many species of birds got extinct and many more are on the ‘Red List’ of the IUCN.
Disadvantages of Technology
- Negative Impacts on Our Social Life
- Causing Distraction: Technology is for helping mankind to progress. But, imprudent usage of modern technology like video gaming, too much use of social media, etc harms the attentive mind by distracting it. This phenomenon can be seen largely in youths.
- Wastage of Time: The beneficiaries of technology bring dependency and addiction to it, which leads to time waste.
- Lack of Interest in Study: Distraction caused by technology affects the concentration of studying.
- Reduction in Creativity: The creative power of mankind gave birth to technology. But, excessive use of technology reduces the creative power of humans. It is one of the worst effects of technology.
- Social Isolation: The facility of accessing every necessity to be fulfilled brings the damage of social isolation. The attraction of the latest technology hypnotises a person so much in it that the person refuses to meet people or to go outside the house.
- Health Issues: Excessive use of smartphones and laptops harms health by damaging eyesight and hearing, increasing the chance of obesity, brain cancer, skin cancer, etc due to high brightness, high definition sound system and thermal radiation.
- Bad Effects on Childhood: Children get attracted to modern technology as they cannot live without it. But it affects their imagination, concentration, creativity, sleep, eyesight, etc.
- Environmental Damages: Modern gadgets are made of plastic and use electromagnetic waves for network connection. The chips and plastics are not biodegradable and cause air pollution, soil pollution and water pollution. The electromagnetic waves are so much harmful to natural lives in all ways even they can cause cancer.
- Destruction of Natural Habitats: As soon as humans started encroaching lands, oceans, skies, humans started to inflict irreversible damage to the animal kingdoms in the environment. Mankind has forgotten that the planet belongs to humans as well as the other animals, there should be cohabitation. But human is destroying forests, polluting oceans, rivers, lakes and putting other animal life at stake.
- Pollution: The use of fossil fuel for the existing technology pollutes the air by releasing harmful gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitric oxide and methane. The damages to Ozonophere is the result of air pollution. Besides, petroleum and its byproducts pollute the marine environment and harm the marine ecosystem.
- Depletion of Natural Resources: Depletion of natural resources is another negative impact of technology on the environment. Technological evolution has almost emptied natural resources like coal, petroleum, methane etc.
- Military Advancement and Terrorism: Military technology has evolved continuously to improve the mobility, firepower and protection of troops. It is also termed “Armament Engineering”. It is the study to design, develop and test military weapons and defence systems.
The first weapon in human evolution was a stone with a sharp tip. Now, new technologies have been discovered to identify critical areas, to attack in a prominent methodical way, to balance between time, cost and accuracy and to defend troops. Now, many countries have their military department as Army, Navy and Airforce. Latest weapon technology with automated service, the use of sensors and the latest communication devices to detect enemies and trace passers enhanced the reliability of security. Giant warships protect a country in waterways. Superfast airforce reaches the target area very quickly.
But the other side of the coin is not encouraging. Advanced weapons are being used in creating an environment of violence to create a general platform of fear in a nation or society and to translate a particular political or religious objective.
- Cyber Security Threats: The cyber ecosystem is growing very fast and it is predominantly vulnerable to multi-channelled cyber attacks. The cyberattack could be at any level, starting from an individual to any govt or private entity can become a potential victim of a cyberattack. Hence the rapid growth of technology is being misused for financial theft or to propagate religious or political agendas. Hence Cyber Security Awareness is urgent and can not be ignored.
It is straight that a single day, even a single hour cannot be imagined without technology. Technology has become the basic need of mankind as well as the key towards the future. Technology itself has transpired as a covenant between imagination and reality. But, the reality could be harsh unless we learn to use it very carefully. The Earth is the primary home of mankind and several lives and generations ahead and we must care for our home and other habitats. Human needs to be self-critical to make the technology a blessing, by using it through proper innovation and spirit of overall well being of all living beings in the planet. But the technology could be a curse for the planet if we do not advocate for responsible use of technology.