Negative Effects of Technology

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When discussing the negative effects of technology, people often bring up the fact that communication commonly occurs between individuals and machines, and not other people. Learn about the pollution caused by technology with help from a science teacher in this free video on technology.

Part of the Video Series: Physics & Electromagnetism
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Hi I'm Steve Jones and I'm going to talk about the negative effects of technology. I'm not actually going to talk about the negative effects because I don't know whether these effects are actually negative or whether they have some positive aspects but these are things that people should be discussing when they talk about technology and things which can have a negative aspect to them. Most of them are social. First of all communication with machines, not people. I mean we are familiar already with it when we phone up some help line and we have to go through a routine of punching numbers into our telephone to get some information. We want to talk to somebody about a problem that we have and we would rather talk to a person and what do we get, some awful phone message, if you want this press one, if you want this press two, if you want this press 99 and you sit there and gradually gradually get redder in the face and more and more angry so this kind of thing is very frustrating and can cause a lot of problems. So this is a social problem of technology because even with the simple telephone, you used to get a person at the other end who says how can I help you and it made you happy. So a second one, taking over the work done by people. We used to have people do a lot of jobs and now we have got robots. They build cars, well they build them very well because they don't get tired, they can work 24 hours a day, they generally don't break down, they don't get ill, they don't have babies and so on so they are very useful the robots. The trouble is the people who did those jobs what are they to do? Well hopefully they will have a different type of job but that isn't always the case so we have to look carefully as to whether robots are the best result of these changes and word processes, have you ever seen a typing pool lately? That is people sitting in a room with typewriters typing letters, no it's gone. Because everybody does their own letters on a word processor and presses a button, it prints it out, sends it and so forth. Probably makes the tea as well. So that is somewhere where work has been taken over from people and is being put in the hands of machines. One definite negative effect is the pollution, poisonous byproducts and whether it is nuclear energy which is technology or heavy metals in all of the electronic devices, there are large amounts of heavy metals which are seriously bad for your health so those end up in the environment and of course one of the biggest ones is led which was used in petrol but now of course doesn't exist any more. Psychological things fitting into society. We get people who actually sit in front of a computer all day and actually live in a different world. They are actually living in a different world. It is a world that is on a screen and it is a real world. They can buy and sell things in their other world so this is a big problem when people actually get into the real world and try and do the same thing and then find it is not quite the same as that. Something which is maybe not a disadvantage, maybe it is actually a positive effect, crime, cyber crime has skyrocketed. At least, however, most money transactions take place on plastic by the internet and therefore people don't get hit over the head with heavy objects and their money taken not so much. So the lack of use of money now is probably a good thing so whether the crime should be here or not I don't know. But think about it. But overall are these effects negative or positive, many of the effects are negative, many will be positive. Think about it. What are the negative effects of technology?

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