Information and communications technology (ICT) is the cause of today’s many social ills. What is your opinion? Support your answer with examples. You should write at least 350 words.
Nowadays, it would be unusual to find anyone between the ages of thirteen to fifty who does not have a mobile phone, a computer or Internet access. It is impossible to deny that information and communications technology (ICT) has had a profound impact on society especially in the past thirty years. However, has this preoccupation with ICT helped or damaged us?
We cannot deny that ICT has brought a lot of positive developments in today’s world. With just a click, we can obtain a voluminous amount of information from the Internet. We need not spend hours browsing pages of books or poring over heavy encyclopaedias to learn more about a field of interest. Besides that, the Internet is user-friendly and caters for all ages. Hence, with the Internet, we will be more knowledgeable about the happenings around us and have greater access to all sorts of information about and around the world.
Apart from that, ICT has also taken communication to another level. ICT has indeed helped us to save time — messages can be sent and received in a jiffy in the comfort of our homes. Within seconds our emails are sent across the globe. The corporate world has also embraced the use of ICT, for example, video conferencing to negotiate a business deal or transaction instead of relying on physical meetings.
However, there is also a dark side to ICT. The sheer amount of information that people are exposed to as a result of ICT has its own dangers. There is a lot of misinformation and undesirable elements like pornography on the Internet as well. Excessive information without any controls or filters is just as detrimental to the psyche as complete ignorance. For example, people may try to self-medicate based on information that may be incomplete or skewed, and violent computer games posted on the Internet may promote violence among children and youths. Children are easily influenced and are not mature enough to weigh what is right or wrong, which unfortunately can lead them to practice harmful behaviour in real life. The anonymity of Internet chat rooms could also mean that people do not really get to know the person with whom they are chatting. They could actually fall victim to conmen or charlatans.
I think that ICT is a tool like any other. It can be used for both good and evil, it has benefits for some and detrimental effects for others. While it may not necessarily be causing social ills, ICT has certainly played a part in disseminating wrong information. It also magnifies the negative effects of too much information, made available to too many people who may not be able to make the best judgements on what to do with the information.