The Recent Negative Effect of Technology on Society

Roy Kantrowitz
Mr. Ingram
English 101/105

Ever since the Industrial revolution, technology has been changing at a
fast pace. People are always wanting a better lifestyle therefore there is
always something new arising so humans can cope with their physical environment.
One of the most important breakthroughs for technology was the agricultural
system. The agricultural system was the basis for the technology of the future.
The agricultural system brought on the need for transportation, workers and even,
battles over land. The need for transportation brought vehicles into the market.
The need for employees brought mechanical robots into society. Battles over
land brought on the need for sophisticated weapons. The agricultural system
brought on a revolution. The invention of the television can bring media and
other forms of entertainment into your house with video and audio combined.
Before 1950, newspapers and radio were the only ways to bring media or
entertainment into the house. Mass production and other job opportunities
brought many people from the suburbs and farms into the city. We can now have
forms of electricity directed into our houses for heating and light. Humans are
more reliant on technology then ever before. All of these technological
advances sound great, however, there is a negative effect to all this technology.
Technology can serve to actually harm humans rather then help them. Competition
between companies or even cities can sometimes make lives for humans even worse.
Take for example when a city builds better and more roads to attract tourists.
This actually creates more traffic, not less. Technology also changes our sense
of common purpose. New inventions such as the personal computer and machines
can change our lifestyles. Even things we take for granted such as the
automobile have negative effects on technology. The oil needed for a car to run
needs to be imported and sometimes accidents such as the Exxon Valdez incident
spills many gallons of oil into the ocean. All of these examples show how
technology has negative effects on society.
First, competition can lead to a negative effect of technology. When a
company in the U.S. produces shoes and a company in Great Britain produces shoes
as well, they must fight for their market share. Lets say the company in Great
Britain purchases more machines that will reduce the amount of workers needed
and improve output, then they can reduce the price of their product. If the
company in New York doesn't follow in their footsteps then they could be forced
out of business. In this case the company is forced into buying the machines
just so they can stay in business. This has a negative effect on the employees
who will be replaced by the new machines. When a city wants to attract tourists
by building better roads to lessen traffic there is a mistake because this will
only create more traffic since there will be more people wanting to travel these
roads. McManus says the inability to see the future is responsible for the
negative effects of new technologies. He also states better roads cause more
traffic congestion, not less. By creating better roads, more people will want
to travel these roads (A-1). If New York City built a new sophisticated
highway to attract more tourists then more New Yorkers will want to travel these
roads as well. Many New Yorkers who previously used mass transit to travel to
work will now want to use a car to travel to work. In effect there will be more
traffic and more pollution. There will be other side effects as well. Real
estate values of areas near the highway could go down. Competition can help a
community in one aspect however it can hurt it as well. Competition can
directly stimulate the economy, however, long term effects such as pollution and
the loss of jobs could explain why the City of New York doesn't complete a
project like this.
Second, technology can change our sense of common purpose. For millions
of years, mankind has been used to doing everything for themselves. For a long
time peoples' main concerns were survival. To survive means to go out into the
woods or forests and shoot animals for the food which the family needs to eat
for the day. People of modern society never think about hunting for food or
clothes. Now, it is all brought to people instantly through a new standard of
survival. The new standard for survival means making money to go to a mall or
supermarket and getting everything a family needs. A family can get food and
clothing at these places without ever having to go into a forest or a lake.
This thought is