From the great space race of the ’60s to the invention of the Kia K900, humans have come a long way since the cave-dwelling days of their ancestors. Technology is the reason why. It’s in cars and trains, computers and refrigerators; it gives the world electricity in the dark and entertainment during boredom. It saves lives. It saves time. It’s constant, and it’s everywhere.
But what about the actual, tangible benefits technology has had on modern society? What results can you point to when making a list of positives and negatives? If you’re ready to be awed by machines, here are just seven ways that tech has left the world a little better than how it found it.
1: Effective Transportation
Cars have become so ubiquitous in the world that many individuals can’t even imagine life without them. They aren’t the only transportation to have changed the human environment, however. Anything with wheels or wings would’ve seemed like science fiction to early civilizations, and the prospect of simply climbing into something with an engine and being able to travel anywhere in the world? That would’ve been absolutely unthinkable.
2: Fast, Far-Flung Communication
It should come as no surprise that technology has vastly improved both the method and speed of communication all around the world. In the days of quills and scrolls, you sent off a letter and hoped for the best; in 2014, you can text, tweet, tumble, call, email, fax and “poke” if you have information that needs attention. What’s more, handheld tech ensures that you can do it all without even leaving the couch! This kind of convenience and open-access communication has allowed everyone in the world can connect, correspond and collaborate on a global scale.
3: Better Goods and Services
It’s an understood psychological truth that people behave better when they know they’re being watched. In an age where every customer has a mobile phone camera, businesses are under this scrutiny 24/7, and they’re forced to stay on their toes to keep their doors open and their lights running. If customers are treated rudely, they can log onto sites like Yelp and leave negative reviews. down detector . If they find dirty, objectionable conditions, they can take video and launch a viral exposé within a matter of minutes. Businesses that want to succeed in the 21st century must keep a constant eye on consumer satisfaction, and in turn, this means better products, improved services and enriched business-to-customer relations.
4: Streamlined Systems
Think about the last time you had to wait more than ten minutes for a cup of coffee. How frustrated did the experience leave you? Now imagine what it must have been like to live in the 1900s when all coffee beans had to be harvested and roasted by hand. Machines have made all the difference in how we perceive time and efficiency, especially in high-tech industries where streaming data is the norm and the Internet is the foundation of business. The automation of processing allows everyone to sit back and let machines do all the work. It’s a wonder to behold, though some people say it’s still worth teaching yourself how to make your own coffee.
5: Meaningful Exchanges
The world opened up with the rise of IT. Not only can people simply log onto their mobile phones to speak with friends from New York to New Zealand, but the quality of their dialogue has improved as well. The more you interact with someone, the more you understand them, and the more cultural barriers cease to exist. Positive, meaningful communication is shared. The U.S. government has already sent shuttles into space with greetings to other life forms who may be out there. Who knows? One day machines may teach humanity to speak to aliens.
6: Longer Lives
The average life expectantly has climbed by 50 years since the 1700s. Advancements in medical tech are mostly to thank for this, though you can also point to everything from better schools to improved agricultural systems. People are smarter now, capable of dreaming, building and creating complex machines, and their gadgets and gizmos have played a pivotal role in how they interact with the world around them. Men in 1790 were grateful to live until their forties. Men who only live to their forties today are considered tragic.
7: Improved Media
Satellite systems revolutionized the way people share information. For the first time, citizens could see and hear global events for themselves; all you have to do is look at the Kennedy and Nixon debate to see how that changed the future. The consequences go beyond politics, however, and also affect science, business, finance, schools, computers and the environment. No industry has been untouched or unshaped by the media. They may cope with its presence in different ways, but it has still become a part of how they operate.
These are just seven positive benefits that technology has had on modern society. There are many more, but it’s a long, exhaustive and ever-growing list, and by the time you catalouged them all, someone probably would’ve invented a new gadget that rendered everything on the list moot. Such is the power of innovation in the 21st century.
Think you understand the positive impact of machines and computers on modern society? Technology has changed the world in millions of ways, but some benefits are more obvious and more meaningful than others. Between longer lives, better communication and convenient automated systems, you wouldn’t believe some of the far-reaching consequences of your mobile phone.