Effects of Using Computers As the world is developing rapidly, people rely more and more on science and technology. When they define the concept of science and technology, “most people today think of silicon chips, iPods, high-definition TVs, and visual cell phones” (Wilson 320). Among those high-tech inventions, cars and cell phones are two scientific inventions that mostly affect people’s lives. For example, they can get to the destination faster or simply make a phone call to talk instead of taking time to write a letter. However, all of these effects do not stop there.
As people can observe, they no longer work manually or by hand because everything have become computerized. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to believe that “in the future, computing is not computers any more; it is about living,” according to Nicholas Negroponte (27). In fact, the invention of computers has had both positive and negative effects on people’s development, such as, in humans’ social lives, in their jobs, and in human entertainment. First of all, humans’ social lives rely on computer invention because of its helpfulness.
With the aid of technology, using computers with internet access is not an unusual way to communicate anymore. Since computers were invented, communication has become easier and quicker because “computers will join together to communicate with us and for us” (qtd. in Leone 13). For example, international students, who do not live with their family, can keep in contact with their parents via webcam. They can not only talk but also see each other’s face. Talking via webcam like that helps those international students feel like they are living far away from home.
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Maintaining better communications means maintaining a better relationship, so people might say that “computers can foster human contact” (Swerdlow 17). When people are bored or disappointed, they usually log in to chat room or facebook where they can meet many different and interesting people. For example, my friend’s brother immigrated to the U. S. ten years ago and left his girlfriend in Vietnam. The only thing that helped them keep in contact was the computers. They just kept chatting via webcam about how they lived without the other.
Even though they did not live together, talking via webcam helped them maintain their relationship. Three years ago, they decided to get married. There are not many people reaching this destination, but computers provide people one way to keep their distant relationship. However, using online chatting to communicate has its own side effect which badly affects people’s privacy. Although computers have made communication easier, quicker, and more convenient, it has also brought the privacy concerning.
For example, every time people visit a dating or chatting site, all of the activities that they make will be saved and “can be converted into permanent records that, when combined with innumerable other such records, can form a detailed profile of who we are” (qtd. in Wagner 59). It is scary to see our profiles online, meaning that people’s privacy is known as public information which they never expect to see. In addition, most people use a credit card to shop online, and every time they use it, that credit card can be matched to specific titles and be stolen easily.
Using credit card to buy something online is so convenient; however, it is not safe because some online hackers can steal people’s account number and start using it illegally. In fact, using computer to access the Internet has impacted people’s privacy. Secondly, computers play a big role in people’s jobs because computers help people perform work faster and more correctly. Long time ago when computers were not invented, hundreds of people collaborated to trade stocks by using blackboards, chalk, and phones, and with much calculation, stock trading now is so much easier and quicker.
It means people just simply turn on their computers, and all the information about stocks will appear on their screens. Sometimes, “human power is becoming increasingly ineffective in controlling the way information technology shapes our economic and political lives” (Swerdlow 21). For example, in the supermarket, there are too many products with many different price ranges, and computers help employees to complete the sum up transactions faster. In fact, no matter what jobs people are working, they need computers because the world has been computerized.
Some people think that there is a lot of work that computers cannot perform. Yes, there is some work that needs physical movement or physical force, but computers can help people perform other tasks that require a complex thought process. According to Levy, a writer of Quarterly Journal of Economics in 2003, “computers cannot easily substitute for humans in these jobs but they can complement humans by providing large volumes of information”, he implies (30). For example, part of the truck drivers’ jobs is usually to carry goods in and out of the truck, and computers can not help them to do it.
However, it can provide the truck drivers the navigation system to get to the destination quicker. Computers are an intelligent machine that can help people do various work through its various functions, so people cannot deny the crucial role of computers in people’s jobs. However, applying computers in the workplace also has a certain disadvantage. The major effect of computers is that computers create an unemployment problem. Unemployment is a serious conflict because employers no longer need much labor to run their companies when computers can help them in various aspects.
In reality, “[computers] technology is enabling companies to extend their operations and enlarge their profits while reducing their workforce and the pay and security of those who remain by contracting out work to cheaper labor around the globe and by replacing people with the machines” (Noble 40). For example, employers are used to hire accountants to keep their business documents, but when they have computers, those accountants are no longer needed because the employers can handle their documents by themselves with the accounting software.
Moreover, the increased use of computers in the workplace causes another serious consequence which is the decrease of employees’ work skills. According to Joan Greenbaum, a programmer at IBM company, he writes “in the language of work rationalization, the worker who does the same task over and over again…is being deskilled because she does not have a chance to use her own intelligence and knowledge” (63). Employees will not practice anything at all if they keep working on one work over and over again. They have computers which really help them do a major of work, so they do not really need to use their knowledge to perform their work.
In fact, computers are really useful for employees to work on a variety of tasks, but there are some bad consequences following the computers’ advantages. Last of all, computers have influenced humans’ entertainment because they have some functions that televisions or cell phones do not. Mostly, children listen to music or watch movies with a CD/DVD player to entertain themselves, but when they know how to use computers, their use of those inventions is less than after they discovered the effects of computers.
Evidently, “U. S. residents 13 and older consider computers more important for home entertainment than the CD player, stereo or DVD player” (Evangelista E1). A major of teenagers use computers to entertain because of the computers’ functions. For instance, televisions can not be used to go online, but computers can. Televisions do not have “hard drive” to store music and movies, but computers do. Moreover, computers also help teenagers exploit other different activities on the Internet, and one of which is game online.
Playing games online has become very popular because of the advantages it offers. People do not need to come by a game store to find one because there are many interesting games on the Internet. People can also gamble online. Therefore, there is no doubting the truth that computers help people entertain themselves more effectively. However, entertaining via computers connected to the Internet may cause bad effects on people’s lives, especially teenagers. Among game online and movies, the violent images are the most common issue that most parents do worry about.
They seem to act exactly like what they have seen in the movies or the games on the Internet. For instance, one of my friend’s younger brother, who is now sixteen years old, usually watches gangster movies, and his favorite one is “Young and Dangerous”, a Hong Kong gangster movie. He tends to act like a gangster and tries to be as cool as the main character, which he really loves to be. He even gets the same that character’s dragon tattoo on his back. About three years ago, he fought with another group of students of another school and was put in jail for six months.
Therefore, online games and movies may mentally influence teenagers. Additionally, games and movies online also has a bad effect on teenagers’ physical development because they can spend most of their time sitting in the front of a computer, having their eyes glued to the monitor, and playing from early morning until midnight without eating anything. Playing games online is seemly like having drug abuse because when teenagers get into it, they will have difficulty getting out.
Focusing too much on game online, teenagers have lack of exercise which directly affects on their physical growth, and they will become hypoactive which means they are less active and communicative. Therefore, most people, especially teenagers, should realize that watching movies and playing games online too much can cause serious consequences. As time has passed, scientists have invented many great high-tech inventions, and computer invention is one of those.
In fact, every high technology has not only advantages but also disadvantages, so computers are not an exception. Computers have both positively and negatively impacted humans’ social lives, their jobs, and also their entertainment. Now, when people define the concept of science and technology, the first invention which they mention is the computers because computers have become a part of humans’ lives. Computers have many sophisticated functions to perform a variety of work, but people should remember that computers may cause bad effects.
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