There have been adverse revolutions, especially in the twentieth century causing immense changes in the social and physical world. These technological improvements will continue at a rapid pace. The upgrades have presented many opportunities and, at some point, impacted positively to people’s social life like the ease while expanding boundaries in social circles.The new technology has made the world interactive; for example, televisions are no longer a one-way medium. Television programs have encouraged people to tweet, text, and call as a way of bridging the gap between entertainment and our lives. However, technology has posed significant challenges like depletion of moral values, systematic inequality created by differential access of technology, violence through technology, difficulty in differentiating real life and life depicted through technology. Technology has become another tool for promoting misogyny and other unethical practices where gay and lesbian intolerance is being developed. This research paper seeks to provide sociological perspectives to explore the various negative consequences resulting from technological advancement.
Any revolution carries with it some social cost that will pose adversity to society. Occasionally, in many countries, equal access to human developments and improvements is still a challenge in society. In particular, technology often creates changes that cause a greater inequality gap. This inequality gap can be bridged through technological stratification to ensure better access for all. There is an ideological presumption in Canada that everyone is entitled to equality of opportunities and conditions to pursue social and economic rewards. Two significant perspectives discuss technological stratification and how it reduces the technological inequality gap. Firstly, there is class-based access to technology, which results in a digital divide(Little & McGivern, 2016). The digital divide is the categorical grouping of people on their ability to access computers, internet services, online content, quality technical support, and digital literacy training.
The digital divide has impacted to rise in the knowledge gap, which is the second form of technological stratification. The knowledge gap is differentially disturbed throughout the social system and is the increasing gap in information for those who have less access to technology(Little & McGivern, 2016). For example, students in schools with better resources and funding are more exposed to technology, thereby giving them an edge in terms of proficiency and employability since they are more marketable in the technology-based job market. Contrastingly, their colleagues in poorly funded schools have no access to technology, meaning they are inept in computer skills, thus incapacitating them in the job market. Sociological researchers have outlined the uneven access to technology in line with geographical regions, races, and classes where they argue that the digital divide is a result of an internet infrastructure upgrade that was onlydone in urban areas neglecting upcountry.In Canada, we can relate the rate of youth computer access and the socioeconomic status in the home. A study stated that approximately a third of the youths whose parent has no formal education could not access computers at home. This can be compared to 13% of the young people who can freely access a network at home and whose parents acquired formal education and completed the high school level (Naiman, 2012). At the end of the twentieth century, the prices of personal computers reduced significantly, making them affordable, making internet usage even among low-income earners to grow, thus resolving the digital divideproblem hence bridging the technological inequality gap.
Violence in new technology
Access to computers rapidly eclipsed the technological inequality gap.Technological advancement contributed towards the popularity of television, film, and video games in the 20th century due to the result of the introduction of information gadgets like cell phones, and computers which supported viewing. The relationship between television, film and video games grew increasingly symbiotic as television companies invested heavily in feature film and video games making. The companies created movies and video games with different titles geared towards diverse target audiences regarding demographic perspectives. As the Films and video games industries evolved, the content has dramatically changed. For example, in teens and children shows, a vast spectrum of violence have been displayed, the graphics and actions moving beyond the cartoon dynamite. This made the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESBR) addressed the violence, sexuality, and drug abuse in films by establishing a rating system for parental guidance. States like California banned the sales of movies and video games to minors.
Aggression and violence have been depicted in children’s film and video games recently involving soldiers at war, robbery incidents, and fights in parties. Many research articles have outlined the relationship between violent video viewing and behaviour in children concluding that children who play violent video games tend to demonstrate increased hostility, aggressive thoughts, and emotions, increasing the chances of showing aggressive behaviour. Repeated exposure to violent content results in increased expectations of viewing violence as a solution to social quarrels. This means that people who play video games can find it easier to imagine and access violent solutions than non-violence ones since they are less likely to see violence as a detrimental act.
Cyberbullying is another act of violence among adults and regarded as a criminal offence. In Canada, it a crime to share intimate images of a person without their consent. This is meant to protect individuals’ privacy in the digital world following the revolutionaries caused by the new technology. The cases of cyberbullying in the form of sharing sexual images, sending threatening messages, and cyber espionage have rapidly increased due to the ease of sharing information through social media platforms. A youth survey revealed that about 65% of cyberbullying incidents were chronic and lasted more than a year. Further, it showed that 70% of the youth often witness cases of cyberbullying online, although a large share of them do not report (Public Safety Canada, 2019). Failure to report cyberbullying has been caused by the lack of reliable and valid measures on the culprits.
Despite it having unreliable measures taken on offenders, cyberbullying is a terrifying event that ought to attract the attention of all due to its toxic effect.Researchers have suggested that the impact of electronic victimization are more dangerous than those of traditional victimization because of the broad audience and lack of emotional cues online(Public Safety Canada, 2019). Also, cyberbullying victims suffer from low esteem, depression, anxiety, academic, and social problems.
Real-life VS Social media life
Technological advancement carries immense social problems. Since the invention of the first social media site, most of the people have been struggling to break free from the unrealistic social media life.A considerable number of them are still stuck in the trap of gazing on their phone the whole day. Studies reveal that checking on social media sites is what most of people do immediately after waking up. The struggle to quit social media addiction is so real, and most people begin the journey do not make it to the end because of the fear of missing out. It is high time we find balance and use social media lacing with caution to avoid remorseful and inappropriate practices mimicked by incoming generations.Social media life robs families’ attention and communication, which have adverse effects on children. In a study, children were concerned about their parents’ phone addiction and showing distaste to spend quality time and interact with their children(The Guardian, 2019). The loose relationship caused by phone addiction can result in family separations.
Although there have been allegations of social media causing depression, researchers are yet to prove it as one of the direct effects of social media consumption. Nevertheless, there have been rising incidents of depression in young people due to increasing pressure to succeed in education, career, be famous and wealthy as painted by most people like celebrities, and speakers who claim to be successful (The Guardian, 2019).
Depletion of moral values
As technology advance, globalization has always been evident with the internet promoting global interactions using automobile devices. The social interactions on the internet have affected the initial way we used to carry out practices. This inevitable change has resulted in painting different cultural traditions. The film and television industries, through programs aired internationally, has led to the formation of patterns in people’s habits and behaviour. The kind of content they produce directly affects these patterns and behaviour. For example, in the recent past, society was filled with immoral acts of nudity and sexuality, which mostly reciprocated from films and television programs. The cases of these sexual activities are still prevalent in social media platforms where people deliberately share pornographic materials, which has adverse effects on society in the long run. When cases of pornographic posting rise, it goes hand in hand with offences like sexual harassment, public nudity, rape, fornication, and masturbation. These kinds of unethical practices symbolize a society with depleting moral values.
Technology has resulted in too often offences like cyber-attacks, spamming, and online conman ships. Recently, cases of internet crimes have increased with a large number of attacks being performed by young people. This shows the mastery and competence the youth have garnered with the technology. The offences are punishable long jail terms, fines, or death penalties. The government and other private companies have invested heavily in preventing cyber-attacks due to the dangers it exposes the companies. Cyber-attacks have resulted in the loss of personal and critical business information.
Technology has in the twentieth century resulted in dramatic effects due to the rise of the automobile like cell phones, television, and computers. Although there are numerous positive impacts of technological advancement, in this paper, we research on the social cost associated with the technology. Systematic inequality is the technological gap created when some people in society have less access to technology and can be resolved through technology stratification. Violence through technology is caused by watching violent and aggressive graphics and materials, especially in minors. Cyberbullying is another type of abuse that causes traumatization, depression, and stress, considering the fewer emotions involved and a broad audience on the internet. With the new technology, it is challenging to differentiate one’s real life and life painted by social media. Lastly, the depletion of social morals has increasingly resulted in crime and sexual immorality.
Little, W.& McGivern, R. (2016), Introduction to Sociology, 234-265, 2nd Canadian Edition, OpenStax College.
The Guardian (2019), The Guardian view on children and social media: a safeguarding failure by the state, The Guardian, retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/04/the-guardian-view-on-children-and-social-media-a-safeguarding-failure-by-the-state/.
Naiman, J. (2012). How Societies Work:Class, Power and Change, 5th Edition, ISBN: 9781552664650.
Public Safety Canada (2019), Info Sheet: Cyberbullying, retrieved from https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/2015-r038/index-en.aspx/.
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