Technology is intended to make our lives easier because it meets us half way in such a way that it becomes Life-saver, time-saver, energy-saver, money-saver to us. Oxford South Africa Secondary School Dictionary defines the term “Technology” as the practical application of scientific of knowledge for a purpose. According my perspective to technology is that it can be defined in different ways; firstly technology may be referred as complicated electronic devices which mean the source of the radical changes that are happening in all phases of life, lastly can be define as a science applied to practical purpose. Technology can benefit (advantage) to people/economy and also cause harm (disadvantage) to the people/economy of South Africa.
1 Historical background: The advancement of the technology
The modern technology is the development of an old technology. Old technology is replaced by modern technology in such a way that things like coal stove has been replaced by electric stove that coal stove is slower than electric, in addition tape record has been replaced by DVD and CDs, and other things are no longer working and it has been replaced by modern technology. The development of technology made life easer as nowadays some of us, we no longer go and stand in queue, we can use smart phone and computer to apply online while we are at our homes.
2 The advantages and disadvantages of technologies
2.1. The advantage of the digital technology
a Convenience in Education
One of the positive effects of digital technology is convenience in education field in such a way that students can do online application or online registration while they are at their homes and by doing that they can avoid to stand on a long queue, furthermore they can also order books or stationery through online and that will reduce money for transport. Technology has made life easier for teachers in such a way that they can use projectors to teach learners instead of chalkboard in classroom, which is faster than writing on chalkboard.
b Improve Communication and Social Networking
A further advantage of digital technology is improved communication and social network in such a way that we can interact with each other thorough social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram, etc. In addition it can also play important role in the business industry in that they can interact with international business, domestic business and customers in form of video conferencing, fax machine, electronic mail, and the video charting services such as Skype. Social networks enable us to communicate with anyone in the world and form relationship with various people who are some distance away, rather than being restricted to people within our physical surrounding area.
c The convenience of transporting and traveling
The convenience of transporting and traveling is another advantages of digital technology like Modern transport like ship, airplane and electric trains is very simple to travel long distance and also useful, fast and time saving for transporting goods to international countries unlike old one like trucks that is slow and consume time in delivering goods to international countries, where goods like foods and minerals end up being rotten due to slow in transportation. Furthermore it can also carry people to go outside the countries and also within the countries to enable them to reach there on time unlike old transport like camel where people were using it for transport and also to transports goods which are small and slow.
d Easy Access to Information
Easy Access to Information is also another advantage of digital technology, and digital technology like phones and computer pays very important to part to the lives of people by supplying them with information regarding anything that is happening to the whole world. Internet is powerful tool that enable people to have access to information at any time anywhere. On the other hand it can benefit students to access information regarding their academic assessment, and also find information regarding Universities and Colleges. E-mail is also useful tool that enable people to access information regarding employment field such as vacant post.
e Efficiency and Productivity
Another positive effect of digital technology is Efficiency and Productivity; digital technology plays very significant role in the industry or business fields by increasing production. Technology like Machines are faster than people, where people sometimes fail to produce certain maximum number of goods, for instance employees in Brick factory sometimes fails to produce 1000 bricks in a day unlike machine brick that can produce 1000 bricks within an hour. Businesses prefer to use technology like machines to manufacture there products, because those machines save a lot of time and money.
The disadvantages of the digital technology
Despite the positive effects outlined above, there are also negative issues to be considered.
a Cause of Unemployment/Job loss
One of the negative effects of the digital technology is job loss; digital technology has replaced people in such a way that it performs duties/works which used to be performed by people. Businesses /companies prefer to use machines than people, because machines are faster than people, for example business like restaurant prefer to use dishing machine than to hire people, since it saves money and time, for that reason people become unemployed or being retrenched because of that machine.
b Reduction of flexibility and performance of human brain
Further negative effect of digital technology is reduction of flexibility and performance of human brain. Digital technology has negative impact to people in such a manner that people no longer to use their minds to think, they only depend on computer, and for example you can find learners struggle to solve easy mathematical equation, because they depend on calculator and this affects the manner which leaners use their brains and reduce their creativity and intelligent. Smart phones also have a negative impact in that people fail to type full words, since smart phones have predictable words, and that result in failing to know spelling of words when writing essay.
c Increased loneliness and disconnection of social interaction
Increased loneliness and disconnection social interaction is another negative impact of digital technology as well, where people tend to be alone as result of technology like phone and computers in such a manner that they spend a lot of time on social networks like Whatsapp, twitter, Facebook, instagram, etc. and also playing games which cause them to neglect their real life and stay in the same place without moving or taking exercise which will result to both loneliness and unhealthy life. This can also lead to where people will fail to communicate verbally in the workplace or class because they prefer to do things alone.
d Negative impact on health and welfare of the people
Another negative influence of digital technology is negative impact on health and welfare of people in such a manner that it can cause them to sick or to take their lives, for instance electricity can choke them while they are cooking. Technology like electricity can also affects the lives of people in form of pollution.
e A major distraction in classroom and workplace
A major distraction in classroom and workplace is also another negative impact of digital technology: technology like phones cause problems in classroom where student lose attention while their teachers are busy teaching, they are busy focussing on their phones. It can also cause distraction in the workplace where employees fail to do their duties because their attention is on phones and computers busy doing their personal stuff.
Technology is intended to make our lives easier because it meets us half way in such a way that it becomes Life-saver, time-saver, energy-saver, money-saver to us. From the above discussion it can be concluded that digital technology has improved and also play important role in the economy of the country and also in the life of the people at large. It can also affect people’s life positively and negatively.