Information technology makes it easier to do the tasks that would have been more difficult and time consuming without it, a prime example of which is the use of the word processor instead of the manual typewriter. According to Michael Handel at the SRI Institute, however, automation using I. T. may lead to unemployment. If you have computers that run certain processes or monitor certain activities running, then you don’t need to hire somebody to do that for you (Handel, 2003). Privacy and Individuality. Information technology is also changing the way we live.
With the advent of social networking sites like Friendster, Myspace and countless of others, it has been easier to find new friends and maintain relationships and contact (Dwyer, 2007) . IT, while making it easier to buy products and services and have them delivered to your doorstep without leaving your home, like a book from Amazon. Com, also raised privacy issues like hackers gaining access to your credit card information, or personal data. Even one’s behavior patterns on the World Wide Web, like the sites being accessed, and the amount of time being spent on a particular site can be monitored.
Co-workers, hackers, and family members may have their own personal motivation now have access to illicit computer programs to get such information from one’s computer. (Rittenhouse, 2004). Computer Crimes. Computer crimes are on the rise and it may involved the unauthorized use of a computer (stealing passwords, or accessing another’s computer via a backdoor program); spreading malicious computer programs like trojan, virii and worms; or an online version of stalking and harassment.
The underlying premise is that computer crimes are done by people who lack respect for property and privacy of other people (Standler, 2002). Ironically, computer crimes are also being battled via I. T. Various Web sites have come up with online privacy tools, virus detection and deletion programs, tips on how to detect illicit computer activities, among others. Societal Solutions. One of the most widespread and easily-seen effect of I. T. on society is the way people get their news nowadays.
Before, people have to rely on rumors and the next morning’s papers, and eventually, the evening broadcast and breaking news on T. V. The thing is, people have to wait before they get the news. Now, all they have to do is to log on to various news Web sites to get the latest happenings, on a wider variety of topics. They can get news from Somalia, or news on the latest Britney happening. The problem with this is that there tends to be a lot of wrong news coming from unverified sources. An example of which comes from the the Virginia Polytech Institute and State University shooting a year ago.
At that time, many students, checked out sites on the Internet, like Fark. Com, Facebook. Com and other social networking sites to get information on the shooting. But then, it happened that one unnamed student became suspected as the gunman when his own Facebook. Com profile showed pictures of him and his gun collection. The student became the subject of death threats, and hate campaign, until news came out that the real gunman was shot dead and the unnamed student’s identity was verified (IDG News Service, 2007).
Health Issues. Speaking of misinformation, the World Wide Web is full of it. While the Web has made it easier to obtain information on various topics like what to do when you’re pregnant, how to make bombs, how to cook the best lambchops, it would be wise to check the reliability of the information presented first. Make sure that the site, or the writer of the article is authoritative on the subject matter. Take special care when it comes to one’s health.
As in the case of Dumex’s Web site, take all information presented there with a grain of salt and a word of caution. While healthcare advice is plentiful on the Web, it might be best to consult one’s physician if you’re sick. Leslie Teach at Emory University puts it succinctly when she says that previously health-related videos, books, brochures were tediously edited and reviewed before released to the public, and that’s not happening with Web sites.
Health improvement, disease prevention, and information about diseases are the primary health-related information that are being accessed. Teach gives a number of criterion for evaluating health-related Web sites, including:
a clearly stated purpose of the site;
no evident bias;
the site is not a disguised advertisement;
all aspects of the subject are adequately taken up;
the site provides accurate information, with documented sources.
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