Thetopic I have chosen for my IGCSE Global Perspectives Component#1 is DigitalWorld. The sphere that I am highlighting under this topic is “have technological advancements reached a limitby which they can be called harmful”. The reason why I have selected thistopic is because in recent years, critics worldwide have raised arguments onthe reliability of the role of technology in the life of the average human.
One of the most contentious modern-daycontroversies is technological advancement. We simply cannot imagine our day today lives without cell-phones or washing machines. We have made our selveshabitual of finding shortcuts and alternatives in order to make life easier forourselves. But here we must scrutinize our habits to judge whether or not wehave been carried away too far.The progression of new technology has beentaking place since the existence of the human race. From the creation of basictools like the knives, sickles and harpoons made out of rocks and stones forhunting, to contraptions like the first steam engine or the typewriter.The advancement in technology has beenremarkably fast in the 20th and 21st century. Technology is being created andimproved all the time.
Considering this rapid pace of up gradation, it was mostprobable that along with the positive attributes of these new advancements,people would also begin to consider a critical analytical approach of thenegative aspects of new technology.Every day miscellaneous companiesmanufacture something more advanced in an attempt to win the highest purchaserates against other competitors in the market. This consumerism is compellingthe rate of advancement more rapidly each year. The creation of the iPhone byApple is an example of this. All of a sudden people could call, text, browsethe internet, listen to music, watch videos and click photos all in one place.No other cell-phone company in market could compare to it.
This was certainly apositive, seeing that people could use the phone to store data for work,education, entertainment. But it was only a matter of realization before thenegative claims began as well; too expensive, quick battery power loss andcould a device like this stop face to face communication all together-to namejust a few claims.Technology will always have negative aspects because it depends on what thepurpose of the technology is and who is making use it; Albert Einstein oncesaid ‘Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathologicalcriminal’. 1 One of the greatest negative claimsobserved on past years was against the advancement of gaming technology. Avideo game called Grand Theft Auto was released in October 1997. The game wasbased on violence. It included stealing cars, shooting random people, to moreoffensive content like the prostitute characters.
Computer games were castaspersions on after an incident in the USA with a teenage boy who shot at twopolicemen and a civilian, killing them in 2003. He had once before been broughtto the police station on suspicion of stealing a car, which is something thatrepeatedly occurs in the game series. The media described the incident in sucha way ‘Lawsuit: ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Led Teen to Kill’. 2 Predictably,the blame was levied on the technology and the companies who created the game. Thiskind of media attention can be seen to support the negative claims made byJacques Ellul, a French sociologist. He viewed technology as an ‘irresistible,mysterious force’ 4 which he further described as ‘menacing’5.
Concerned authorities were inspecting how the game was manipulatingand distorting the young boy’s life, they quoted him to have said ‘Life is avideo game. You’ve got to die sometime.’7 This depicted howthis technology has twisted the boy’s mental state and changed his outlook onlife itself, that it is merely a computer game. Considering the fact that itwas technology which led to this atrocity, it can be said that it is no lessthan a monster existing in amidst us. This is enough proof to support tosupport the claim that digital advancement can now mentally and sociallyinfluence humans.
There is little doubt in saying thattechnology has been a significant factor in global economic expansion throughoutthe ages of its development. It has benefited industries and business marketsin considerable ways. The introduction of advanced machinery in factories has ledto increased productivity; all the complicated hard work is entrusted toautomated devices while the employed workers only have to deal with simplerjobs such as management, supervision or maintenance. Furthermore, reaching newmarkets has never been easier. An important aspect of a prospering economy isits ability to sell its excess production to other markets, in other words toexport goods and services.
New means of transportation and communicationhave proficiently shrunken the world and made international trade andaccessibility more effective. On the contrary what should really captivate our attentionhere is the fact that we may be overlooking some major drawbacks of technologywhich could risk capital exchange and economic prosperity. The rate ofdependency on technology has drastically increased. Since technology has becomea fundamental constituent of all modern enterprises, production is greatlyinfluenced by faults and defects of machinery and operative systems.
Even inE-commerce businesses, if the internet connection is lost a lot can go down thedrain.