Technology and Social Change
Technology is the application of advanced information in the design and manufacturing of goods and services. The incorporation of this knowledge improves the lives of people. On the other hand, social change is the gradual adjustment of societal norms and behaviors of individuals over time. This transformation involves community, technology, and environment. Every innovation that enters the market improves the lives of people on various levels. This revolution is a social phenomenon because it affects the humankind by bringing new concepts to the market. The introduction of modernization, such as the internet, computers, and mobile phones, adjusts the relationship that exists between people and their environment.
Impacts of Computers, Mobile Phones, and the Internet
Communication devices, such as computers and mobile phones, strengthen relationships because they bring the ease of interaction between individuals. Many couples meet over the internet on dating sites and social media platforms such as Facebook. Therefore, these new technologies are not only sources of entertainment but also the avenues for maintaining family ties and creating new affiliations. For example, parents use the Internet to check on their children who study abroad. The Internet also provides easy and faster methods of sending and receiving money to people in different parts of the world through the services such as the Western Union currency transfer. Therefore, communication has become easier and faster because of the modern tools.
Before civilization, trade was an internal affair that was only practical when the parties involved had close access to each other. However, nowadays, because of technology, people from different geographical locations can do business easily. Some organizations have their operations and branches in more than one country. These multinational companies use e-commerce as the bridge to expand their activities and, consequently, increase their turnovers. The utilization of computers and the internet transforms the concept of having online business meetings between the board of directors or managers. Therefore, global commerce has become easier because of the new market connections.
Education is important in the modern world, and everyone struggles to receive it. The increasing human population indicates that many people want to learn. However, because of the disparity in income distribution, some individuals cannot afford tuition and accommodation fees in colleges and universities. Luckily, many learning institutions incorporate the E-learning in their syllabuses. Therefore, students can enroll in online education programs and gain knowledge from the comfort of their computers at home. Many schools offer their Internet courses at affordable rates. Hence, low income-earners have the opportunity of attaining the level of education that they desire because of technology.
The equilibrium model dictates that when a change occurs in one part of society, the same modification must take place in its other parts as well to achieve societal stability. Lack of uniform growth in civilization will lead to vulnerability of the society. Therefore, the functionalist perspective relates to this model because it explains the availability and distribution of all the elements of modernization. People with the Internet access have numerous sociological advantages over the ones who lack this development. For example, businesses that advertise their merchandise through online platforms create large customer foundations for their products. On the contrary, an organization that does not use these technological ideas will have a small, domestic client base. Thus, many organizations and individuals shift their social norms due to technological change and the desire to maintain a balance in the population. The international economic field develops so quickly that there is a huge disparity between European countries and African states. Nations that lack adequate financial resources cannot adapt to the modern business trends and philosophies. The explanation is also part of the cyclical perspective that states that the primary cause of social transformation is the growth necessity. Therefore, the equilibrium model is the driving force behind the spread of technology in different regions because of the element of stability that the theory affirms.
The Digital Divide Theory
The digital divide is a trend that describes the huge gap between the less fortunate members of the community and the wealthy persons who have access to modern technology and applications. Many marginalized groups of people who do not own mobile phones or computers despite the rising wave of the recent technological revolution. The inequality that exists between the two divides in the population is a criticism of technology. The conflict perspective posits that divergence is a harmful component of society that causes cultural variation by increasing the development of the rich persons in a community. Therefore, modernization is responsible for the sociological separation of the public into groups.
The Culture Lag Notion
A culture lag is a difference in the pace of social change between two categories in a cultural setting. Some people belong to the group that has access to technology, while others fit into the category that cannot enjoy the benefits that modernization brings. Thus, conflict perspective theory states that a change that creates rifts in the population is not a valid component of development. The proponents of this premise believe that some innovations are dangerous to the peaceful existence of the public. For example, a person who has no money to buy a laptop or a mobile phone will be jealous of his neighbors who own these devices. Consequently, the envious individual may steal the computer to satisfy his desires. On the other hand, the people who have the modern tools will increase their security by installing surveillance cameras and buying weapons to protect their possessions.
Technology’s Influence on Social Epidemiology, Health, and the Environment
Technological advancements provide informative details in the health sector and lead to massive improvements. Scientists use the Internet to carry out research activities that direct them to discover cures for various diseases. For example, the number of infants’ death from polio and tuberculosis decreases every year because of the medical innovations that include the development of vaccines. However, social epidemiology explains that there are people who believe that modernization brings some illness like cancer. The majority of the population with this negative perception is from the rural areas. Furthermore, industrialization increases the emission of harmful wastes to the environment. Pollution is dangerous because it destroys the available natural resources and causes health disorders.
The manufacturing of the fuel-cell vehicles is an emerging form of technology that brings about significant public curiosity. These cars run on hydrogen and, thus, they do not emit any gasses. The world will embrace this unique creation because it does not pollute the environment and promises to preserve the beauty of nature. Other advantages of the fuel-cell automobile are its long cruising range and renewable energy capability. The world has many conservation groups that educate the public on the importance of maintaining a clean environment. Humanity will soon divert to this promising industrial production of cars to ensure a more serious conservation of scarce natural resources.
Technology provides the parameters for defining social change and understanding of the reasons for transformations. The creation of modern equipment and services has both negative and positive influence in the lives of people. Individuals should avoid technology that creates conflict and division in the community. Although some of these developments improve the living conditions of many people, some effects have a negative impact on the environment and societal relationships. Therefore, the public should be careful about the types of technological developments that they decide to conform to and follow.