Nowadays, over 79% of Citizens in the United States own a personal computer at home and over 67% own mobile phones. Those who do not own computers have free access to them at local libraries or paid internet cafés, those without phones have the capability of using Pay-Phones on the streets of almost all towns and cities in the United States. Everyday Americans across the country spend their time in front of their Computer screens; e-mailing, shopping, banking online, talking to friends through Instant Messaging services, or even buying groceries.
Technology is constantly developing, creating shortcuts for those who have access to the Internet. The big question is: Is this a good thing? Or is this development just increasing laziness of Americans. The Computer overall is an extremely useful tool, it is an excellent aid for scientists, doctors, developers, architects and engineers, providing reference for them and enabling them to work faster, completing tasks that without the help of a computer could take weeks, months or even years. The Computer has also provided jobs for a lot of people such as developers or PC repair services. As well as being a great work-aid, the computer has also become a great reference-tool, with the use of sites like “Google” or “Wikipedia” the computer has gotten rid of the need to use Encyclopedias or Dictionaries. Computer technology has also provided us with capabilities of contacting people all over the world with programs such as “Skype” or “MSN Messenger”, webcam technology even allows us to be able to get a live video feed as well as live audio feed. The Military has even adapted the use programs like Skype for Military personnel overseas to be able to contact their families back at home. With many of these good points mentioned about Computer Technology, come many bad points and weaknesses. Although many jobs are gained through Computer technology, many jobs become obsolete as the workers are often no longer needed as there task can be done for free by the Computer. This saves the company’s money in the long stretch, but the worker is at a disadvantage. As many companies have moved on from workers in factories and on to machines and computers, this has given many people the opportunity to gain money illegally from companies through ‘hacking‘. Many so called ‘hackers’ have taken advantage of the increased use of computers to set up, fraudulent internet sites aimed to steal your money. Not only do hackers practice fraudulency, but many other hackers have used their computer skills to gain access to classified government information, as organizations such as the FBI, CIA and The Military, do a lot of work involving the internet. This type of hacking is known as ‘Cyber-terrorism’ and is rapidly becoming a huge problem and threat to National Security.
Computer technology does not only have negative effects on the Government and the average worker, but children in our society today are also being effected, often without knowing it. Everyday children are spending hours and hours on the computer, mostly talking to friends or surfing the internet, when they could be outside doing sports or hanging out with their friends. Internet sites such as, “Myspace”, “SchuelerVZ” and “Facebook” have become more and more popular in recent years, eating away precious time that children could be using for more useful things like sports or schoolwork. Such sites have also been used – along with online chatrooms – by adults for the wrong reasons. These internet sites can be used to find out personal information of children, making it easier for pedophiles, kidnappers or other criminals to find their victims, and carry out various crimes. Not only do adults use the internet for bad intentions, but children have figured out ways to do so too. Many internet sites aim to help children cheat in school. Internet sites, with the help of school curriculums, have taken advantage of this and put out access to essays and information used for plagiarism by students in elementary schools all the way up to college. Copying and Pasting from sites like “Wikipedia” has also become a huge trend in the student world, this makes it harder for teachers to correct work, and the child doesn’t learn anything from it.
Although Computer technology has enabled us to excel in society, it has increased the capability of many large companies and allows us to access great masses of important and fun information, but it also have many bad side effects that constantly challenge us on a day to day basis. So the big question is, is this a good thing, or were we better off without it?