When Computers first appeared on the scene, it was thought they would make us more productive in providing good and services, smarter and possibly happier. Skeptics claim that the opposite is true as computers have proved disappointing in terms of productivity, and have made us less happy and more stupid because information in not knowledge.
- Which of these points do you agree with most? Support your argument with reasons and / or examples from your own experience and observations.
An important point to remember here is that these options were voiced when computers were in their infancy, and now, with the passage of time, we should have a clearer picture.
It is not simply a case of either/or. These days most of us find computers indispensable, whether at work or at home, and they do speed up certain daily routines – for example, doing your shopping on-line. On the other hand, a lot of time is wasted on such things as playing games and unnecessary personal communications – this time could be better spent. On a large scale, in terms of big business and industry, computerised manufacturing and automated assembly lines have greatly increased production. However, this too has its downside, as many jobs are lost as a result.
Whether computers make us smarter or happier is, again, not easy to answer definitely. It is claimed that playing computer games improves certain skills: this may be so, but there is no doubt that spending excessive amounts of time alone at the computer can damage your health and relationships, as well as take time away from other activities such as reading, socialising, playing sports, and so on. However, there is no denying that using computers does make at least some people happy.
While I find it hard to give a definite opinion on whether or not computers make us more productive, smarter and happier, I agree entirely with the opinion that information is not knowledge. Given that it is so easy to turn to the computer when we want to find something out, we no longer feel the need to learn things. This does seem to me a loss, both at an individual level and for society as a whole.