Digital Technology: Advantages and Disadvantages
“Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master” (Lange, 1921): these are the words of Christian Lous Lange, a Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize recipient, long before the dawn of the digital age. The majority of technological advancements have both positive and negative effects on society as a whole and digital technology is no exception to this phenomenon. We are undoubtedly living in a digital age where we use technology on a daily basis and this has transformed the way we interact, socialize, learn, do business and entertain ourselves. Our lives are made easier and information is at our finger tips, but, there too is a dark side to the comforts and simplicity digital technologies bring.
With the advent of social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram and the boom in the smart phone industry, people are more connected than ever before. Phones are no longer just for calling but rather portals to interact and share our thoughts and opinions with people through the internet. Our interactions are no longer slow and limited geographically but, through digital technology, communication is immediate and global. Yet, in all this connectedness, there can blurring of the lines between real and virtual. One can disappear into a virtual world which, at times, is less serious and complicated than the real world. A world where your image or perception of others is based on how many likes you get or how many followers you have. This can lead to antisocial behaviour; choosing virtual over real; choosing to interact digitally over real experiences. Being permanently connected can also be distracting and the constant need to check, update and monitor social media is slowly being recognized as a form of addiction.
As the communications landscape gets denser, more complex, and more participatory, the networked population is gaining greater access to information (Shirky, 2011). Digital technologies such as smart phones and tablets give us portable access to immense amounts of information at our finger tips. Search engines allow quick and easy access to any information at the touch of a button. This allows us to perform complex tasks without having to do things manually, eventually making certain jobs obsolete. This improved efficiency allows us...