An estimated 62% of world population or over 4.95 billion people in the world currently uses the internet. About 74% of the global population (5.8 billion people) had access to clean drinking water in 2020. Look at the numbers inching closer and you’d realize the fast- paced penetration of technology, becoming a basic necessity for survival in the modern world. With over 2/3rd of our population using at least one digital gadget, technology has already become an integral part of our lives. It affects our personal as well as professional lives- making online payments to a vegetable vendor or working from home- technology is replacing age-old systems and breaking the norms every second. Marketing has become Martech, Advertising – Adtech, and even banking, financial services and fields like education have new monikers like fintech, edtech and so on. Technology has made itself indispensable in all fields of businesses and world economy.
While using and understanding the growing need and development of technology to run the businesses, it is also necessary to understand its drawbacks. So, let’s look at the positive and negative impact technology is serving us with in the future:
Positive Impacts of Technology Transforming Various Sectors
Give me a morning when you haven’t looked up your phones. Most of us now wholly depend on online transactions and transfers. While these changes have made our lives convenient, some of the other important benefits technology has impacted us with are:
Hassle-free transactions across sectors
One of the most revolutionary outcomes of technology is the ease of online banking and transactions. Customers today can buy and sell products globally, opening up the market and making it completely demand and supply-driven, minimizing the mediators. The world has become more equal for businesses, where local and global companies can function and compete with each other at ease.
Open access to education, Upskilling and Reskilling for all across the globe
Online education has opened up a new avenue of studying across the world. By recognising skills learnt online, students now can graduate from top universities from the comfort of their homes. Online education has also helped fight illiteracy by reaching the remote corners of the world.
Better healthcare facilities
Technology has helped develop better treatment equipment for several life-threatening diseases. With tech-enabled healthcare, experts today are able to develop customised treatment and care protocols. One of the biggest examples in the world of effective use of technology in healthcare is the app – Arogyasethu. By tracking the spread of Covid through an app that used third party and crowd-sourced information several waves were deterred or mass endemic could be avoided, many lives were saved.
Quality machinery and technology have optimized the manufacturing of finished products. The advancements in technology also signals manufacturers about the market, demand, and supply etc, systematically. While technology has provided machines and automation to reduce the production time as well as costs, it has also helped in measuring the supply and demand efficiently to reduce wastage and surplus inventories. A manufacturer can now assess the customer’s requirement just with the help of AI and Data science models that predict the demand and supply trends for their products.
There is no denying that technology has made our lives easier. Be it using PayPal, Google Pay, ordering food online, commuting, shopping or even, working; clearly technology is providing us with a comfortable and convenient lifestyle at ease.
Cloud computing and cloud services
Whether you compare cloud storage to the olden day paper filing method, or the fact that we carry huge amounts of data in our phones and laptops along with us all the time without occupying any real space is mind-boggling. Today we are able to extensively store, study and trade with the power of data because of technology.
Books, CDs, hard disks, paper etc were used for various professional and recreational activities. However, the advanced features of technologies help save resources by making virtual storage for videos, documents, audios etc. A reader now has a library just a click away from him/her.
Global job opportunities
With online education and learning systems, the skill gap of job seekers across the world has minimized. This means that the quality of education has arrived to an acceptably unified level. Plus, job seekers can now easily apply and attend interviews online from home. Thus, making the global job sector open to public.
Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney Hotstar… the list of OTT platforms goes on. The intervention of technology in the Entertainment sector was such that it forced the union of TV and cinema. While people waiting to watch the next episode of a show for a week earlier, it is now bought the right opposite for the audience with binge watching.
Summing up the positive impact of technology in each sector today, it is safe to say that technology has raised revenue in every sector. But, along with these perks come the side effects, let’s address them too
Negative Impacts of Technology Transforming Various Sectors
The positive impact and our increasing comfort with using tech definitely thrills us. However, like every coin has two sides, so does technologies impact on various sectors. So, the negative impact we have to watch out for are:
Negative effect on human health
Cemented to our computers, human physical, mental, physiological and emotional wellbeing have been greatly impacted. The excessive usage of technology has impacted in increase in eye strain, body pains, stress, anxiety, sleeplessness etc.
Increasing stress and mental illness
Features like WhatsApp, i-msgs etc allow users to receive quick replies. Just like messaging, we are used to a fast-paced life. With everything happening instantly, humans have become impatient, restless and a slight change in plan can cause a mental breakdown. As the Gen-Z call it – FOMO, we all have experienced that sometime or the other too. Increasing stress caused due to online life has impacted sleeplessness, stress and has triggered a rise in mental health concerns.
- Increased dependency on technology
From transactions, work, study to even play, we seek our smart phones or laptops. This dependency tends to control our life. One glitch in the internet or the computer can put a thousand processes on a halt. Thus, scary as it is, most of our lives are on a smooth run on the courtesy of technology.
Technology has been making life easier by providing alternative services or gadgets to cut down on human labour. While some see this as an advancement or a technological boon, what we miss to see is that it replaces human labour resulting in further job cuts.
Rise in cybercrime and fraud
Due to the increase in technological intervention, we have witnessed a rise in cybercrime, cyber bullying, online frauds and misuse of personal data. According to purplesec cyber reports, cybercrime has risen 600% since covid. This alarming rate is due to the openness of data, technological usage and network vulnerability.
Lifestyle, Business and overall income flow dependency
Online buying and selling has expanding businesses beyond boundaries. However, while buyers and sellers work online, businesses are dependent on technology for their income flow. Thus, making it a major risk factor.
Decrease in human interaction
With almost everything working online, human interaction and inter personal communication has reduced among people. Social lives of people and human friendships are uncomfortable in the present day. On the other hand, relationships and friendships too are made online today. This showcases the change in relationships and friendships due to technology.
With increasing unemployment, technology has only made it tougher for jobseekers to find a suitable job. Companies now look out for all-rounders; this makes upskilling absolutely necessary to secure a good job. This means that technology has not just increased the bar for skills and quality of education but also, demands regular upskilling and updating to make a good life today.
Social media posts, messaging, push notifications, ads, marketing campaigns, blogs, videos, podcasts, courses and so much more is available online. Every piece of information takes up space in your mind, exposing us to more information than mankind has ever been exposed to. In fact, experts say that humans suffer sleeplessness due to the overworking of the brain because of overload of information that we are constantly consuming.
Excessive track, privacy breach and manipulation
We all have been a situation where we share a message about wanting to shop for a dress or a phone and we are notified within seconds of an ad of a dress or a phone. This is because of the constant technology tracking that we sign up for, knowingly or unknowingly. This is resulted in tech being capable of manipulating our thoughts.
Political parties too have been accused of using tech to turn people against or for them using data that is available to them. We all remember the iconic hearing of Mark Zuckerberg on the invasion of privacy when Facebook was reported to manipulate elections.
Similar to that incident, imagine how many of us have been tempted to make a purchase because of a manipulative ad or make decisions being influenced by social media. This is something to think about, right?
Whatever said and done, we can’t put internet in the basket of white or black. Internet just might be the grey area we need to venture into but, need to maintain self-control, awareness and caution while using it.
We dwell in a digital age where we want technology to function for us at all times. Technology is a double-headed sword. Therefore, we must prepare ourselves by learning about the consequences and problems that this new revolution will bring. The movement has kicked into high gear, and the transformation is well underway. So, embrace the technology while taking steps to mitigate its harsh effects!