Social impact

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Key Points

  • Technology has transformed how we communicate with one and other, allowing people to communicate with a large number of people right across the world.
  • Technology has transformed how business is carried out, allowing businesses to trade with other companies and customers over a much greater area.
  • Technology has allowed businesses to become more efficient in how they operate.
  • The impact of technology on society has been both positive and negative.

Information

The impact of computing systems on society has been vast, and has transformed the way that we communicate with each other. Many of these changes have been positive, however there have been negative consequences of these developments. It is important that you can discuss the impact of computer technology, looking at both the good and the bad.

Positive Impact

  • Social media has allowed people to communicate with others across the world.
  • Platforms such as Twitter have given activists a new found voice and global reach, allowing people to hold power and authority to account.
  • Social media has made it easier for politicians to communicate with the electorate.
  • The increasing use and developments in mobile computing, coupled with social media, has transformed the way that news is reported on, making it easier to report on news stories across the world, and share it with a larger audience, you no longer need large news crews to be able to report on events.
  • The world wide web has allowed global communities to spawn, covering a wide range of topics and interests, allowing people to discuss and share information about hobbies and areas of interest with like minded people.
  • The spread of social media has allowed people to become more aware of political and social issues, not just in their own countries, but right across the world, encouraging the rise of Global Citizenship, allowing people to campaign and be active on a whole range of global issues.
  • Technology has made it easier for people to access education. When people live in an area where it is difficult to get to school, technology can bring the school to them.
  • Massive amounts of information are out there, allowing people to educate themselves in a large number of fields.
  • Commerce has benefited from computing science in a massive way. Many companies now trade via the internet, transforming consumer shopping with sites such as Amazon. This has given consumers larger access to goods that might have been more difficult to obtain in the past.
  • Businesses can now store large amounts of information which they can share across all areas of their business very quickly. This has made businesses more efficient at processing data and helps to bring down costs and cut down on waste.
  • Business leaders now find it easier to communicate and trade with foreign partners due to improvements in mobile and communications technology (video conferencing, Skype etc). This makes it easier for deals and partnerships to be formed with other businesses.
  • Business can now automate parts of their operations, cutting down costs and improving efficiency.

Negative Impact

  • Much of our personal details are now held on computer systems. This means there is a great need for security in order to keep them safe.
  • Security breaches of personal details have caused a great number of scandals, and led to large sums of money being stolen.
  • Social media, gaming platforms, even corporate and government systems come under attack by people wanting to steal information.
  • It has now become very important to ensure that data is encrypted in order to help secure it against criminals.
  • Certain governments use technology to spy and intrude on the privacy of its citizens.
  • Certain governments use technology to limit the freedom of speech of its citizens.
  • Online harassment has become a problem in recent years with people using online platforms to harass and bully other people.
  • Concerns have been raised over the impact the use of technology, especially mobile and social media, on children and their ability to communicate with each other.
  • The increased use of online platforms (such as Amazon) for shopping has been blamed on the decline of high street shopping, with shoppers preferring to shop online at home, instead of going out to the shops.

Videos

Further Information

Test Yourself

Teaching Resources

http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/z9g987h/revision/1