Long-term Effects of Technology on Society

Technology has a lasting impact on the relationship, communication, and productivity of humans, as we constantly interact with it to carry out their daily activities efficiently and effectively. The advancements of technology have stretched beyond the limitations of human capabilities—creating endless possibilities. 

Technology has therefore been a major driver of change in the world economy. It has produced efficiency in the production and supply of goods and services and has enhanced productivity, quality, and speed. Economies that stand at the technological edge have greatly developed faster and achieved desirable changes and profitability than others. These innovations and technological changes contribute to the swiftness, growth, and influence of a country. Therefore, every society continues to seek technological advancements, which can only happen if the private and public sectors embrace technology in their daily operations. And as they do so, it creates a substantial impact on society in general.

In the labour market, technological advancements are shifting the demand for labour to a more advanced and technical level, making workers strive to upgrade their skills digitally to fit into the fast-paced economy. Unfortunately for some, they have been outpaced by the digitalised world, making them irrelevant to the present level and expectations in many fields. For example, software development is widely required in every organisation, as it helps them carry out their activities with ease and accuracy. This points out that technology makes humans strive for growth and knowledge consistently. New ideas are developed daily to solve societal problems and make certain activities easier, while some are just meant to explore the infinite creative abilities that once seemed impossible. For instance, Elon Musk—the tech giant—is known for accomplishing impossible scientific feats through artificial intelligence. His recent invention from his neural interface technology company, Neuralink, is developing a device to record and stimulate human brain activity.

It is quite impossible to imagine a society without technology, as it has taken over several aspects of human activities, even the little things. Humans are highly dependent on their gadgets, which has made many businesses go digital by changing the way they render services to society. For example, the news media had to minimise the printing of newspapers, which was the popular means of getting information until recent years. Instead, they now publish news via social media, live stream TV, and radio shows. The internet is overtaking others because people can access unlimited information through it, and it’s more mobile and attractive. People can also buy and sell products and services on specially developed software via the internet; they can work online, attend meetings, and do every other productive activity required to make a living.

Societies have evolved rapidly, and it is impossible to reverse the effects of technology as it keeps growing and advancing with time. This is why humans have and will continue to adjust to scientific changes. In Nigeria, software development companies are spreading rapidly, offering digitalised services to private businesses and government agencies, and Hidden Brains is one of them.

Furthermore, the long-term effects of technology on the global economy can either be beneficial or unfavourable, depending on how they are implemented. Although it’s impactful, the downside is undeniable. Below are the positive and negative long-term effects of technology:

Positive Effects of Technology on the Economy

  • Technology has improved the standard of living in society, compared to the non-civilised era when humans relied more on their physical energy to get things done—especially in farming, communication, and transportation. There are better and more effective ways to do things. The energy-draining menial tools and processes are becoming extinct, replaced by smart machines that are almost as intelligent as man.
  • Education is holistic and easily accessible due to the impact of technology in the sector. Teaching and learning are more impactful and adventurous for teachers and students. Students are now exposed to digitalisation and can develop innovations and new technologies in their learning processes. Software development has made learning more collaborative and engaging. Students engage with materials that make their understanding swifter. Thanks to technology, people with disabilities also have an avenue to learn effectively with specially designed software. With the development of artificial intelligent technology, information can be accessed at the speed of light with barely any effort or limitations.
  • As an essential aspect of society, communication is made easier and more effective. Messages are transmitted through phones, social media, and emails; they could be in written forms, video clips, or audio communications. The barriers that distance creates have been completely eradicated—communication can happen irrespective of the physical distance between people. Technology has therefore created a form of connection in the world.
  • Technology has bridged the gap between economic inequalities among individuals in society. Anyone can learn to use technology to their advantage and scale high economically, especially with free access to knowledge and digital skills. Although economic inequalities have not been eradicated, technology has created an avenue for bigger financial goals and career acceleration in society.
  • Business development and growth have been significantly high since the advent of technology. People can get innovative with their ideas and create solutions to problems and demands in society. Many businesses that never existed decades ago are now trending and bringing innovation, financial freedom, and productivity.
  • Agriculture, which is a backbone of Nigeria, has been thoroughly mechanised through technology in farming activities. New tools and software have made farming and other agricultural practices easy, efficient, productive, and fast.
  • Technology has revolutionised the healthcare system—new medicines are invented to cure all manner of sicknesses that humans couldn’t regulate in the past. Some machines can detect health issues that are difficult to diagnose at the earliest stages.
  • Financially, technology has paved the way for many advancements; there are various gateways to making transactions today, creating a cashless society. Also, new currencies such as digital currencies/cryptocurrency have been introduced through cryptographic systems developed less than two decades ago. This technology makes transactions faster, seamless, and safer than the regular methods. It is the first time a decentralised currency has been developed, widely used, and accepted worldwide. Through digital currency, transactions are encoded but transparent on a blockchain network.
  • Life is much more convenient to a great extent with the use of technology. Software such as online GPS makes the location of places easier and faster. This was made possible with the creation and implementation of satellite networks over the earth.
  • The industrial sector began during the industrial revolution in England due to new-found technology called the steam engine. The global industry has continued to evolve ever since, as new machines that out-perform the obsolete ones are being developed.

Negative Effects of Technology on the Economy

  • The use of machines has exposed the environment to constant pollution—air, water, and land—leading to global warming. The earth frequently loses its energy and health due to the harmful chemicals released by machines.
  • The misuse of gadgets has created many mental and physical health issues. For example, addictions to the virtual world have exposed people to insomnia, extreme solitude, poor physical health such as bad eyesight, pain in muscles and bones, etc.
  • Technology creates jobs for people, but ironically, it has stopped many from getting employed because machines and software are constantly created to carry out human jobs, creating a dehumanising effect.
  • The increase in the rate of cybercrimes can be traced to technological advancements. This effect is most definitely long-term because certain people would use their technological know-how to extort, embezzle, and harm others for selfish gains. Also, identity fraud is rising as people’s personal and financial information is stolen and used.
  • The traditional human culture has been negatively altered over time; people rarely communicate physically since they rely on virtual conversations. Natural connectivity and bond among humans have greatly reduced because humans are beginning to lose touch with actuality. The natural environment barely gets any attention because people are engrossed with technology. Many naturally-appreciated connections with the world are gradually getting lost. Activities such as sports, instrumentals, singing, exercises, etc., are now virtually simulated through software development. Also, the strong cultural influence from the western world has made third-world countries lose a large portion of their cultural identities.
  • Through technology, man has been able to build weapons that can cause unimaginable destruction. These weapons have evolved and gotten more dangerous as technology advances. There was a time when man didn’t have guns that could hit a target at an incredible speed, compared to old weapons like arrows and spears. Now, nuclear weapons that can wipe out a whole country have been developed and automated. Yet, more developments are still ongoing.

These impacts are expected to last as long as technology continues to grow and evolve in the world.

However, at Hidden Brains, we are committed to using technology solely for the growth and productivity of businesses, making society have access to speed, quality, and efficiency. Since the technology was invented as a useful instrument, Hidden Brains obliges creating positive changes and bringing ease into various human activities through software developments and automation.

Hidden Brains is a software company in Lagos, Nigeria, that aims to help enterprises understand the effects of technology and embrace the good side. For enquiries, you can reach us via our email at [email protected].

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