How technology changed our life ?



The development of technology opens up many avenues and it has a profound influence on the living standards of people. The Arabian peninsula was not well-developed until about 100 years back. But the discovery of oil deposits in that region brought about a revolution. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have become some of the richest nations of the world by selling oil. The demands of oil technology are enormous. Oil refineries need long pipelines, electric power , good roads, airports, and harbors. The communication system must be efficient.

People from different countries have gone of the Gulf countries to earn their living. The life-style and the social pattern have also changed dramatically. For example, people in these regions now live in high-rise apartments and flats instead of leading a nomadic existence. They use automobiles for their transportation. They cook their food with cooking gas. They wear different kinds of clothes made of synthetic fibers. They do not have to do shopping every day. Once a weak they purchase their household materials including meat, vegetables and dairy products and store them in refrigerators. Their house is fitted with coolers, air conditioners and heaters so that they can live comfortably inside. For their comfort and entertainment they use a variety of equipment such as TV, VCR, etc.

From the Arabian Peninsula we now return to an Indian village to observe changes in the life-style of a villager and find out how new technologies have created new needs for him. Previously, most of the village houses were made of clay with a thatched roof. Now either the arrival of new construction materials, villagers are constructing their houses with brick, mortar, cement and steel. Earlier, villagers used cow-dung cakes, dry leaves, dry twigs of trees, wood and coal as fuel for cooking their food. Now they are using kerosene oil and cooking has for the same purpose.

As electricity has reached a large number of Indian villages, they have started using refrigerators, television, etc. They are buying them and using them for their comforts as well as for their are needs. From radio and TV, they get weather reports which help them monitor their food-production schemes. There is no doubt that they are getting used to comforts and convince offered by new technologies. But at the same time they are reaping the benefits of modern technology. With the help of pumps and electricity they can now irrigate vast areas of land, and now they use tractors for ploughing.

In order to appreciate how adoption of one technology creates need for another, we take more look at a villager. He uses new methods of farming. The use of high-yielding variety of seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, all made possible by advances in technology, gives him a high yield. This requires of him to store the grains in soils and cold storage. He has to sell the grains in the grain market. For this, he needs transportation facilities (trucks, railwatys0 and good roads. He needs ore electricity for irrigation, processing and refining of the food grains, oil-seeds, sugar-cane, etc. Greater income resulting from high yield prompts him to adapt newer technology both for agricultural activities as well as for his comfort.

Impact of Technology

(a) Technology has made the world a smaller place

Radio, TV, computers, fax, satellites, etc., have brought different countries and people closer to each other. We can see on our TV screens any event (e.g., games, ceremonies) taking place thousands of miles away. We can communicate with people of distant lands. New information can spread out very rapidly. With latest information and knowledge we can enrich ourselves.

(b) Technology has influenced the work place

Let us take an example. Previously a ‘Munshiji’ used to take a month or so to do the accounts. The same amount of work can be done by a computer in a few hours. Under the present circumstances we don’t have to snatch away Munshijis job. All that is needed is a change in this working style. Now he has to learn how to operate the computer. A computer producing company has to employ and train persons who can write software to run on the compute. Advancement of technology increases the working efficiency but it does not mean that technological growth will generate unemployment. It may, however, require redeployment and further training.

(c) Technology has led to miniaturization

Extremely small valves, gears, springs and lenses are being made. Millions of electrical circuits are being packed into slivers of silicon. Now we can have machines of the size of a pin-head to do the size of a housefly. With the help of tiny scissors doctors can perform on the child who is still in the womb of his mother.

(d) Technology and Quality of Life

Technology has influenced the quality of life. The indices to measure the quality of life may be per capita income, health care, educational level. Energy availability, etc. With each new scientific and technological advancement, man is improving his quality of life.