Technology has reached into the lives of each of us. Regardless of how we might try to avoid modern technology it affects cannot be denied. Cell phones, email, internet, GPS are just a few of the modern technological devices that have changed the way we live. Cell phones make us available nearly anywhere to nearly everyone. The internet has become the chic way to meet potential partners. The GPS has replaced the use of maps as the preferred method of finding directions while traveling while stock trading online has caused many stock brokers sleepless nights.
A mere twenty years ago many of the technological changes that are in common usage today were mere ideas. Yet, they have quickly been incorporated into each of our lives and the changes seem to be occurring with increasing rapidity.
The most obvious effect to the increased use of technology in our communications is globalization. (Aragon, 1999) Quite simply, the world has become much smaller as information has traveled much farther and much faster than it ever did. Data no longer must be sent through slow methods such as snail mail or even fax. Within seconds data can now be sent around in the world in seconds replacing methods that once took days or even months,
The increased use of the new technological devices has also caused a significant change in how we work. Offices are being replaced by work at home workers. Individuals working online are now working in San Francisco for offices in New York or Boston.
The technological revolution is having its effect on both our personal and business lives. In business the revolution is on speed. Whatever can increase the speed in which business can be done has been embraced. Increased speed is viewed as increased production. Increased production equates into increased profits.
In a reflection of how technology has impacted on business, one of the most popular majors on college campuses today is information systems. The growth in this major as a career choice has been geometric over the past twenty years as more and more businesses have moved into the technological world. As the internet has become the world market place, the need to accumulate information, analyze it, and apply it properly has increased the need for personnel that know how to properly do it. Thus, the need for more professionals trained in information system.
Improvements in technology have also changed the basic business framework. Historically, businesses were centered in large office buildings. High rise buildings have dominated the downtown landscape throughout the twentieth century as corporations attempted to keep their entire operations in one location. That scene, however, is changing rapidly and technology is a major reason for it. It is no longer necessary to house entire business under one roof. Cell phones, laptops, networking, emails, video conferencing have made outsourcing a reality. A reality that has decreased the cost of doing business and may have, arguably, decreased the number of available jobs.
Technology has also allowed entire new industries to develop. There are now hundreds of businesses whose entire storefront is in cyberspace. These businesses transact their entire business over the internet. Their personnel needs are extremely low with their computers and internet presence being largely responsible for their success. Ebay, Google, Facebook, etc. are the most famous of these type of businesses but there are hundreds more less known but no less remarkable.
The one technological advance that everyone uses on a daily basis is the cell phone. Inherent in the use of the cell phone are several other technologies but the simple use of the cell phone, minus these other technologies, has changed our lives substantially. Multitasking is looked upon as a valuable skill. (Bregman, 2010) In both one's personal and business life, it is an ability that allows us to get things efficiently and quickly. Through the use of cell phones, multitasking has become a reality for nearly everyone. Now it is possible to work away from one's desk. It is possible to call for help if stranded on a rural, snow covered roadway. It has allowed us to check on matters at the office while lying comfortably by the pool at a remote resort. Simply, we are no longer tethered to a phone.
The use of cell phones is not limited to the mere task of calling our friends, family and business associates. Since the introduction of text messaging in the fall of 2000, this technology has completely changed the framework through which many of us communicate. Messages and conversations can now take place that are not forestalled by a failure to reach the person, by low bandwidths, or discomfort caused by one's shyness. For many persons, texting has become the preferred option especially among the younger generations. Take a walk through any public forum today and you will likely see hundreds of people walking with their heads lowered glaring at their cell phone screen; more likely than not they are not dialing a telephone number but rather typing a text message.
Some argue that the proliferation of text messaging has caused a breakdown in interpersonal communication but there are arguments to the contrary. Because texting is so simple to learn and allows for instant access to the person who one is trying to reach, many claim that it has opened new areas of communication. Parents can now reach their children instantly. Teenagers and young adults who in the past might have felt they were too busy to contact their parents are now more prone to take the few minutes necessary to text in a brief note to mom or dad.
The same concept has worked effectively in the business world as well. Before the advent of texting communication was limited to the use of an actual telephone call. Such communication was dependent upon the availability of the person you were trying to reach, your location at the time of the call, and the needed privacy surrounding the need for the communication. Texting, however, has eased most of these inherent problems. Texting is fast, personal, and nearly guaranteed to reach its intended recipient.
Without dismissing the argument that cell phone use may have a chilling effect on our interpersonal communication, there is one negative effect that cell phone has caused that is not arguable. The almost universal use of cell phones has caused punctuality to quickly become a thing of the past. Having a cell phone near at hand apparently makes it easier for us to explain our whereabouts and, thus, to explain away the requirement to be punctual.
The use of cell phones has also limited the range of privacy. With the use of conventional land lines it was possible to find some solitude away from the telephone. The mobility of the cell phone has caused a generation to grow up not knowing how to be alone. The cell phone has become the constant companion of many of us. Whether texting, talking on the phone, or surfing the net, cell phones are a constant presence for a great part of the population and, in the process, privacy has become increasingly more limited. Ignoring unwanted intrusions into one's privacy are no longer possible. Saying that one missed a call is no longer an option. Short of saying that your cell phone was off there is little excuse for missing an intrusion related to the use of a cell phone.
Probably no device represents the rapidly technology in modern society occurs than the cell phone. How long ago was it that bag phones were all the rage? Shortly thereafter the true hand held was developed and then colored screens. Now we have texting, live sports updates, stock trading, and video capability. What are the limits of this technology?
If one could answer this question accurately a fortune could be made. Increased speed is a certainty but look for increased networking with other devices such as television, improved and smaller designs, and improved photographic and video capability. Beyond that only the imagination of the next generation of engineers will limit the possibilities.
Closely equal in importance to the impact of the cell phone is the presence of the internet. Since it first emerged as an aid to the military and academic research, the internet has exploded on the consumer scene. It now invades nearly every aspect of modern society. It is used as form of communication. It is used as a means of shopping. It is used as an educational medium and as a means of storing information. (Porter, 2001)
In communication email via the internet has virtually eliminated the use of traditional hand written or typed letters. Such letters commonly referred to now as snail mail, are now considered far too slow. Used for both personal and business use email has made instantaneous contact between corresponding parties possible eliminating the delays inherent in snail mail. Correspondingly, instant messaging, a form of texting done on computer screens, has replaced the telephone as the preferred…