The Advantages and Disadvantages of Modern Technology
By Wanda Thibodeaux
There is little doubt that technology impacts the world to a startling degree. For example, businesspeople around the globe use computers to perform work-related tasks. Some of the impacts of modern technology are positive, but others are not. Looking at a list of the advantages and disadvantages of technology is useful because it provides a means by which an individual may assess whether technology implementation is worth potential risks.
Efficiency and Productivity
An increase in technology generally means that tasks are completed faster and more efficiently. This translates to increased productivity. From the business standpoint, this is definitely an advantage, since increased productivity means better sales, services or manufacturing.
When an organization uses technology properly, the technology typically cuts the number of hours that need to be worked. This increases profit for the organization because it doesn't need to pay workers to remain on the job site. However, if the technology cuts the number of hours drastically enough, some individuals may lose their jobs entirely because the technology essentially completes the tasks that the employee originally did. Factories are the best example of this---as more and more robots complete assembly line tasks in an automated way, there's less of a need for physical workers. According to Small Business Bible, jobs are created by technology too, such as information technology specialist positions.
It is debatable whether or not technology is financially a disadvantage or advantage. On one hand, technology is cost effective, according to Small Business Bible---technology may boost revenue and profit through increased efficiency, productivity and limited man hours. However, a business may lose this revenue and profit simply because they have to support and update all of the technology they use. For example, a business may reduce the number of office employee hours with a handful of software programs, but it then may have to pay a technology consultant fees for installing and answering questions about how to use the programs.
Norwin A. Merens, managing director of NM Marketing Communications, says that having a personal touch in business is beneficial. When an organization uses technology to an excessive degree (e.g., when most operations are automated, more machines are used than employees, the majority of employees are in tech support, or everyone is required to use phones, computers, etc.), it may lose the personal appeal it had. Others may shy away from the organization because they want to do business or communicate with a real person and not a machine.
Technology means that people can perform tasks with an incredibly high degree of accuracy. For example, in medicine, machines can measure the exact amount of oxygen a person is taking in or make an incision to within millimeters.
Technology may cause numerous health problems. For example, according to Practice, Medical News Today, PR Log and Poynton, scientists, researchers and doctors such as Darius Lakdawalla, Tomas Philipson, Amy Drescher and Charles Poynton are concerned about the links between technology, obesity/heart problems, eye strain, deafness and muscle issues. Waste from technology such as the used fuel and emissions from factory machines may pollute the environment, disturbing ecosystems and making people sick.
Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.