Is the growth of computers good or bad
Computers are used everyday and in almost all aspects of life. They can be used to make simple credit card payments online, to pull up step-by-step driving directions on a GPS system, or to even coordinate a massive air attack during a war. As a society, we have progressed a great deal in technology, considering decades ago, checking out at a store was done by hand. Whereas, now we are beginning to see self-checkout stands popping up at places like grocery stores.
It seems like in the near future, jobs that require humans to perform will become obsolete with the replacement of computers. These fine machines definitely make life easier and running things more efficient, but critics of the technology boom believe there are downfalls to this simpler lifestyle. The problems range from the disappearance of mass labor to negatively affecting college students’ academics. However, there is one writer who finds a positive note on the computer boom.
In the coming paragraphs some of the views on the progression of technology is addressed. In “Workers Of The World, Get Online,” futurists Daniel McGinn and Joan Raymond, deal with the issue of computers replacing manual labor jobs and how the world and its workplace is constantly changing due to the ever-evolving world of technology. McGinn and Raymond’s essay, which is published in Newsweek magazine in the Special Edition section, is speaking out to all the workers of the world about what their jobs might be like in the future.
They are saying workers should be especially interested in the growth of computers, their effect on the workplace, and the fact that the classes and structure of types of workers will be changing in the future. The upper-level white-collar workers, such as the lawyers, doctors, investment bankers, and some teachers, will be called “symbolic analysts” (543). And the lower class workers will be those that offer a service, such as a maid, nanny, or janitor; those jobs that have not been replaced by computers.
The middle-class, which seems to be made up of blue-collar workers, will soon lose their jobs because they will be replaced with computers (543). The one thing McGinn and Raymond seem to be sure of is that farming will probably still be around. They argue that people will still be needed to do the basic jobs, which require handling farm animals. I agree with the belief that manual labor will eventually be replaced with the growing field of technology and I do fear a rise in unemployment, but I also agree with McGinn and Raymond when they say this “problem” might also enable for our culture to thrive.
People may be unemployed for a time but there will also be more chances to learn and get certified in using computers. Things may get difficult at a point but I think the final outcome will be well worth the extra trouble and training. Not only has the rise in technological knowledge affected the workplace; it has also affected the universities and colleges across the country. In his essay, “The Great Campus Goof-Off Machine,” Nate Stulman, a student at Swarthmore College, talks about the excessive use of computers for reasons other than academic tasks.
Stulman is telling the Universities that the direct or indirect requirement for students to own or have access to computers is affecting their studies. Of course, these colleges mainly have education and research in mind but students have taken on a different view. Most students seem to be spending precious, countless hours on their PCs doing various things such as playing games, chatting, or just surfing for frivolous information. All of these activities are being done during the crucial times when they should be studying.
Stulman believes that Universities should not be placing such an emphasis on the use of computers and the Internet (562) and the populations of students doing poorly in their classes is an indirect result of such an emphasis. I agree that the increased use of computers among students is a great distraction because I am too a victim of this computer craze. During countless nights, I have ended up sitting at my computer until the next morning, finishing up an assignment. This usually happens to me because I spend the time I should be doing schoolwork, on surfing the web and downloading songs.
I too have a collection of MP3s that would take days to listen to. The problem Universities and colleges are having with computers and students is continued in this next essay. Ian Zack, speaks to the Universities and students about how computers help students cheat, in his essay, “Universities Find Sharp Rise In Computer-Aided Cheating,” This essay comes at a time when cases of cheating have sharply increased due to the ease and quickness of being able to do it on the computer.
The simplicity of searching for papers online and the ability to buy already written papers from online term paper stores makes cheating the most appealing thing to a student who has run out of time or is just plain lazy. Zack also mentions that what many students do not seem to understand is that with the rise of Internet-enabled cheating, there is also a rise in programs and companies that will help professors detect cheaters.
I think this essay is a reality check for professors concerning the fact that the next paper their student turns in, could be a whole replica or just bits and pieces of an already written paper, that was just copied and pasted on under their name. I do agree the Internet offers a lot of temptation for cheaters but I just hope these students keep in mind that even though they think they may get away with a good grade, they will just end up cheating themselves out of an education and increased knowledge.
Then I would have to ask them, “Why are you even wasting your time in college if you’re just going to cheat? ” This next essay views the increased use of computers and the Internet as having a positive affect on users. In “Drag Net: From Glen To Glenda And Back Again – Is It Possible? ” Sherry Turkle, researches the use of MUDs (multiuser domains) and their effect on people. Turkle, a professor at MIT and a licensed clinical psychologist, learns that by hiding behind a computer screen, she is able to take on the role of the opposite sex and enjoy more freedom.
This also turns out to be true for many other people she interviews. By posing as a male, Turkle discovers that not only do men have more ability to roam about freely but also, it is more tolerable for men to make crude comments or to just sit quietly. As a man, she is approached less frequently and the sexual advances she does receive seem less threatening (546). Turkle discovers that Case, a man that has been posing as a woman for a year, has developed a relationship with a man online and that the experience has enabled him to learn many things about women and how they are treated.
Like Case, Turkle learns many things about being a man, like how differently they are treated and how much more self-assurance and courage men have. She is speaking to those Internet users who like to chat online but the reader would have a hard time believing and understanding her findings if they, themselves have never tried gender switching. Although I have never done so myself, gender switching online seems like a good way for people to learn more about themselves and the opposite sex as long as it is harmless “lying.
I have heard of people falling in love over the Internet and it would be unfortunate if one falls for someone who does not exist. Hopefully, people will not let it get that far and these experiences will help people treat and understand others better. There are many different views and opinions on how the growth of technological knowledge and use will affect our lives, culture, and futures. Computers can help our society in various ways. They can help certain people understand themselves and others better through role-playing.
Even the replacement of workers by machines might also benefit our society, such as more leisure time and the ability to do charity work. Students who are engrossed with their computers and use them for the wrong reasons will learn from their mistakes and learn to delay instant gratification and hopefully become more responsible. I believe these are good life lessons for college students to learn. Even though there seems to be negative outcomes that may occur due to this era of computers, I do believe that at the same time, there will be a positive effect on our lives, culture, and futures.
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