Information technology; a curse or blessing
Information technology has created more advantages than disadvantages. Its positive use is a source of great blessing.
This is the age of technology. Information technology is touching every center of life. Information system has made the world global villages. It has brought the people very close. Different forms of information technology are making it easy for people to know what has been happening across the world. New information system has entirely revolutionized economic system. Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven, Bill Gates. It has kept the business open 24×7 all over the world. Technology has globalized the knowledge. Movies and other entertainment programs have been entertaining the people. Information technology has transcended the national boundaries. It is the bridge between people and government.
However, information technology has also created some problems in the lives of people and countries. Through information technology the dominant culture (importantly the Western culture) is replacing the weaker cultures. Activities like Cybercrime, terrorist attacks and online exploitation have increased to manifold.
Advantages of information technology
Information technology has numerous advantages; some of these are discussed below
1. Information technology and globalization
Globalization is as old as man is. But, before the advent of technology its pace was very slow. Technological development has increased the horizon of globalization. Late, role of information technology has turned the world into a global village. If you have a mobile in your hands then you have the whole world with you. Within a short time you can know about what is going on thousands miles away. Information technology has strengthened the globalization to such an extent that now no force can curtail the continuity of its.
Source of image; media.com
2. Information system and reduction in cultural gap
Nowadays cultural differences are reducing significantly. New information system has helped the people to understand good values of different culture. This understanding is rendering pivotal services to eliminate conflicting cultural differences. A common culture is on the way to have its global existence. Promotion of cultural tolerance by information technology is building international peace and global solidarity. The culture of war, violence, oppression, marginalization and injustice is losing its presence with the increasing role of media, especially of social media. It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity, Albert Einstein.
3. Information technology and economic development
Today’s economy is technology oriented. Modern information system has brought a major global economic development. It had brought strategic thinking, market competency, and new types of jobs. Further, credit cards and smart cards make payment safer. Banks, and Companies like Paypal are making money transfer fast and easy. Millions people are engaged with stock exchanges and online earning. The internet accelerates the process of economic growth by speeding up the diffusion of new technologies to emerging economies.
Kuawo-Assan Johnson in one of his study to examine the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) countries except Gunea Bissau for sustainable growth of the region found that internet network development is an important pillar for economic growth in WAEMU countries.
4. Education and information technology
What students are acquiring through modern information system cannot acquire by any other source of learning. Information technology is a dominant source of knowledge. It has made teaching as well as learning easier. Accessibility to education of the students has increased. Online education system has made educational material and data available anywhere. During lockdown period to avoid the spread of coronavirus information technology was the only source of teaching and learning. A survey showed that 52% of graduate students in the U.S. found their online college-level education to provide a better learning experience than their college-level classroom education (Duffin, 2019). In short, digital learning is getting popular for the better development of the educational institutions.
5. Socio-political awareness through information system
Information system has made world socially aware and politically awaken. Traditional practices like gender based marginalization, victimization of minorities and ethnic based hatred have significantly reduced worldwide. People are now more active to protect their fundamental human rights. People belonging to different colors, nations and caste came out of their houses to condemn the allege killing of the innocent George Floyd.
It is information technology which is highlighting the grievances of Rohingya Muslims, Middle East crisis and North Korea ambition of nuclear weapons. Today every common person is aware about the increasing diplomatic tension between the United States and Iran, china and the United States. All these public level development have followed the technological advancement in the of information system.
6. Role of information system during global level crisis
What information system did, and had been doing against the fight of COVID-19 and climate change is a source of inspiration. When entire world was living in quarantine over the fear of propagation of virus, information sources were at job on 24×7. Through different information channels people enabled themselves to maintain mutual interaction. During these days information system was the only source to receive coronavirus related news and awareness.
Similarly, information technology is show the actual picture of natural climate. It is uniting the international community against climate change. Broad level coverage of deteriorating natural climate is making the world more conscious to take pragmatic action to mitigate the challenges of climate change.
Disadvantages of information technology
Besides the above mentioned multiple advantages, information technology has some disadvantages. Here are some negative effects of information technology;
1. Propagation of a single dominant culture
The world we are living in is a multi-cultural world, which has been a major source of entertainment, knowledge and identity. But, information technology is replacing the pluralist world with a single dominant culture, the Western culture. The way of behaving, dressing and talking of young teenagers is of Western style. This may lead to cultural imperialism, which can instigate cultural war, as Samuel P. Huntington mentioned in his the work clash of civilization.
2. Information technology Crime and Terrorism
Information technology has developed mutual communication between extremist organization having same ideology and interests. Terrorist and extremist seek public attention to broaden their scope and agenda. Terrorists want to create fear in the community, because this is what that serves their interests. Information technology in this regard is supporting the agenda of terrorists by sensationalizing terrorists’ activities. Making terrorism and extremist headline of news bulletin has two negative consequences. First, it is psychologically disturbing the society. Second, it is motivating people to join their organizations, as it has power and fame.
News related to crime and criminal are shown in a heroic way. Even in movies and TV dramas role of criminal is of attractive style. According to data from Gallup and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, People in the USA and the UK tend to state that they perceive crime higher than each year.
3. Expense of Implementation and Maintenance
Maintaining and implementing an information technology system within a home or business can be expensive. Software training can also take another challenge in this regard. Looking these factors a term Digital Division is under discussion at international level. Economically stable and technologically advanced countries can easily do this set up. While, poor class of society can hardly afford the cost of this set up.
4. Cyber crime and information system
It is a harsh reality that with the advancement of information technology cyber crime related issues are increasing. Illegal access to sensitive national data is creating rift among countries. The international society has experienced an intense debate between China and American when American government blamed China’ HUAWEI company for stealing America ’sensitive data. Wikileaks is another case in point.
Ways to overcome negative impacts of information technology
Prominent actors of Information technology are required to make this system blessing for the human kinds. A strategic approach and planning should be designed to eliminate factors have negative consequences. Preserve the multi-cultural beauty of world. Design a anti extremist narrative to curb extremism and crime. Further, everyone should have easy and equal access to information system.
To conclude, information technology has revolutionized the socio-economic and political lives of the world. It except few drawbacks has multiple benefits. It is proved blessing for the human beings. In this digital world we should further strengthen the information system.