Technology is good but has caused so many negative impacts on the society that is being occupied by man. The negative effects of these technological developments are being felt in our everyday life. Man on a daily basis enjoys the good sides of technological development without considering the bad sides.
What is technology? Technology can be defined as the collection of methods, systems, processes, devices and skills usually from engineering used by man to manipulate his environment in order to satisfy his needs and solve his problems. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary further defined technology as the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes. So, technological development can be defined as the increase or growth in technology. The vehicles and other machines we see in the world of today are all products of technology. The word “technology” was derived from two Latin words “techne” and “logia”. “Techne” stands for “art or skill” while “logia” stands for “study”.
According to Edward Wenk, he said this on the negative effects of technological development: “people enjoy what technology can do for them while often ignoring what it can do to them”. The statement by Edward is true as man is busy enjoying cold water from the refrigerator, petroleum used in motorcycles, and vehicles while being ignorant of the adverse effects of these technological products. In the argument between the technophiles and the technophobes, the technophobes believe that technological advancement has done more harm than good to the society.
The Negative/Adverse Impacts of Technological Development
Technological development is echoing everywhere but this same development has cost man a lot. What are the negative impacts of technological development? The negative impacts of technological development in the society are experienced/witnessed in:
- Ozone layer depletion;
- Health degradation;
- Agricultural challenge;
- Depletion of natural resources;
- Unemployment; and
Pollution consists of air, water, and land. The governments of many countries on daily basis have been making plans every year on how to solve the problems of pollution which include those that came into existence due to technological advancement. Every year, governments of various states make budgets on how to solve their environment challenges which in some cases run into thousands of dollars. The pollution caused by technological advancement has given birth to many other ones being encountered by man.
Land pollution, for instance, has resulted from technological advancement globally. Which streets on this planet will you go without seeing one or two polyethylene products, unless conserved areas like presidential villa and other “special places”? It is either empty sachet of water or plastic bottles which were inappropriately disposed of by the users. These are materials which are hard to decompose and have become a public nuisance.
Water pollution is another negative impact of technology in our society. During manufacturing in some industries, the waste from these industries usually flows into the water being consumed by man. Because of the flow, the water becomes polluted by the industrial wastes.
Air pollution is not exempted in this topic. The gases from manufacturing industries and automobiles, including Carbon (II) Oxide and Sulphur (IV) Oxide, pollute the air that is being inhaled into the human system. The automobiles, as well as the generators used in various offices and homes, emit gases which are detrimental to human. Many people have invested the money they supposed to use for something else into hospital bills because of the negative effects of technological development.
Ozone Layer Depletion
What is ozone layer? The ozone layer is the upper layer of the atmosphere that helps protect the earth from harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. From scientific research, it has been discovered that the ozone layer located just above the Antarctica in the South Pole is being depleted by the toxic gases that are evolved into the atmosphere.
Because of the damage caused in the ozone layer, the atmosphere is not being properly protected any longer. In Africa for instance, it appears as if the world is coming to end during the dry season. The intensity of the heat from the sun continues to be on increase on yearly basis. This situation has made so many go naked in their private rooms because they could not withstand the intensity of the heat that is “terrorizing” their location due to the depletion of ozone layer. Countries are making effort to grow in industrialization while they are ignorant of the harmful effects of industrialization on the society. An example of the gas that causes ozone layer depletion is the Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
This is another challenge associated with technological advancement or development. The development in technology has resulted in many health challenges which the world has been facing. This is becoming a “hot topic” as the number of health challenges that are being encountered due to technological development is of high increase. So many essays have been organized by organizations on the negative impacts of technological development as related to health and possible solutions.
During industrial processes, some industries that are situated close to rivers have their industrial wastes being flowed into the rivers and streams. When a man drinks water from such rivers, he begins to have a health challenge, which when care is not properly taken develops into other more severe health challenges.
Due to the depletion of ozone layer, skin cancer has been increasing. The number of men and women that suffer from skin cancer as a result of what technological advancement has caused to the earth is observed in high rate in the African continent and other parts of the world. Another face of the negative impact of technological development is that it has caused skin burns. Because there is intense ultraviolet heat from the sun as a result of emission of gases to the atmosphere, the skin of many has got burnt.
Technological development has had a negative impact on the cultivation of crops and rearing of animals, termed agriculture. There are many kinds of “artificial foods” found all over the streets and markets because of what technology has caused.
Due to technological advancement, a man was able to produce matches and explosives. The matches meant are ignites. Sometimes, smokers go into bushes to smoke which sometimes out of mistake the ignited matchstick fall from their hands. When the lighted matchsticks catch fire, the bush becomes burnt. This affects the agricultural products as the micro-organisms that are to help after cultivation of crops are being burnt or killed by heat from bush burning.
On the other hand, explosives which have been made by nuclear engineers have been used in wars. During wars, these explosives destroy agricultural products. Also, some animals are being killed in the same line; all centering on the negative impacts of technological development.
Depletion of Natural Resources
The materials and resources that nature made for man to live peacefully with has been altered by technology and this in one way or the other has been affecting man. Take paper manufacturing industry, for instance, they cannot manufacture enough paper that will be of enough for the society without cutting down some trees where they source the natural resources they need to continue with their production. Even if they recycle already used ones, they will not be enough to serve the masses. Because of the high demand of trees, deforestation has been taking place, and the availability of Oxygen being decreased.
On the other hand, there are some countries that are naturally endowed with natural resources like petroleum. Examples of such countries are Nigeria and Libya. Due to the high demand of petroleum, it has been decreasing in its reservoir. Nigeria in the recent time is running out of petroleum because of technological demand on petroleum.
Unemployment is a serious global problem. It has made many cries while some would have bought the highest heavy-duty explosive to kill it if it were to be a living thing. Technology in one way or the other has contributed to high unemployment menace that many all over the world have been suffering from. The question many people may ask is “how does technological development cause unemployment?”
Due to industrialization, many jobs that would have been done by man are being carried out by machines. In India for instance, the commercialization of agricultural which involves the use of heavy-duty machines have made those farmers that are not able to purchase theirs go poorly. In the same way, some farmers are no longer hired for agricultural cultivation as machinery does those works at ease. As a result of industrial automation, realization dawned on people that machines do not create jobs as was thought during the industrial revolution (Ugochukwu 2012).
What concerns technological development and corruption? Is the corruption meant here the same with the well-known corruption? The answer is that the corruption we are talking about is that which Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defined as dishonest or illegal behavior, especially of people in authority.
Technological development has made man to indulge in corrupt practices. There are internet scammers all over the world who claim to be what they are not. They sometimes claim to be the owner of one oil well just to dupe people and run away with their money at the end. On the other hand, internet users have been scammed by corrupt cyber criminals as they receive emails which appeared to be original without knowing they were faked. Truly, many men have gone poor overnight because of what cyber criminals have done to them.
There is piracy in the market because of what technology has brought to man. But, wait, is piracy a corrupt practice? Piracy is one of the faces of corruption that is common all over the world. World singers put in their best to sing and produce their songs while other persons pirate such music discs and sell in their shops and markets to make their money. That is enjoying from the stress of other persons. This has discouraged many singers all over the word. The same applies in movie industries and in the area of writers.
Human is not ignorant of the importance of technological development. The development in technology has caused so many advanced effects in the society we live in on the other hand. The ideas of authors on this same topic sometimes vary. Discussed are the negative impacts of technological development on the society.
- Miriam-Webmaster Definition of Technology, retrieved October 12, 2009.
- Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Definition of Technology, retrieved February 12, 2015.
- Ugochukwu, O (2012), The Engineer Professionalism in Society, SCOA Heritage Systems Publication, P. 28.
Okwuagbala Uzochukwu Mike P (author) from Anambra State, Nigeria on March 05, 2015:
Thank you Harish for such nice comment, I believe scientists are doing something to reduce them.
Harish Mamgain from New Delhi , India on March 05, 2015:
My friend, this is a very informative hub. If technological progress causes so much havoc, isn't a simpler life having harmless technological means good for man ? Why should we fall into the death trap for getting some comfort and efficiency ? This is not a progress but digress. Thanks for enlightening us about the technological adverse effects on our lives.