Introduction to Computer Information Systems/Computers and Society
Benefits of a Computer-Oriented Society
Our generation strives to be the quick paced society which we are known to be. To do so, our generation uses computers to their full potential in order to do more tasks and to do them at a faster pace. Computers benefit the business and personal world by being able to do the following more efficiently: buying and selling products, communicating throughout the world, enhancing our knowledge, job influences, entertainment, research, and paying bills. We’re now capable of creating new, more and better quality tasks via computer technology. Computers also benefit society with the enhancement of knowledge of medicine which creates more effective treatments for a healthier and longer life. Computers are improving healthcare through robotics and research. We communicate operation results and any surgical problems easily and immediately between healthcare providers all over the world. Using robotics, surgeons can now perform surgeries in remote and/or distant countries without ever leaving their resident hospital. education, computers have changed the way we are able to acquire knowledge and attend school. In the past, school was a physical building we had to attend. Today, we can "attend" school completely online, never having to step foot outside of our homes, or attend both online and on a college campus in what is known as a blended course. We are able to invest our time differently and accomplish more. The convenience of computers is that we are able to access the computer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. This gives our society time to expand our knowledge and create new opportunities for our selves.
Being crucially important to the human race, computers have ultimately altered the way today’s society works, communicates, entertains, and educates. There is hardly any field of career left where technology isn’t essential; every small action performed in a job ultimately goes through some kind of a computer. In the end, being able to communicate and engage in this fast-paced manner enhances productivity levels by a great amount. One area this advancement of computers has immensely impacted is the business field. All businesses use computers to keep track of accounts, money, or make transactions. No longer will it take days, or even weeks, to communicate with someone that might not be located in one’s vicinity, as a computer allows one to easily send and receive emails with just a click of a button.
Another field that has come a long way since the production of computers is the entertainment area. Without the exceptional special effects put into an action movie with the help of our advanced technology, the audience would most likely not enjoy the show, resulting in the potential collapse of the entertainment business. For example, imagine watching the epic science fiction film, Avatar, but without any special effects put into it…it certainly would not be as entertaining as the power of computers transformed it to be. Hence, computers are able to keep both consumers and sellers satisfied, while still continuing to integrate into the everyday lives of average individuals.
Disadvantages of a Computer-Oriented Society
With any benefits, there comes a disadvantage. As for computers, there have been problems with excessive use, security and privacy issues and the problem with a dominant culture. With any product, any excessive use is bad; in this case the excessive use of the computer may result in a lack of human communication for face to face conversation and more communication through the computer. This affects our society’s confidence for when they are in in-personal conversation. To further add, people have the accessibility to abuse their time whereas people tend to be more attentive to their internet accesses and making the computer a time-consuming product. Many of the security and privacy concerns stem from the fact that a lot of our personal business takes place online. One example of a security risk today is malware. Malware can be accidentally installed onto your computer by clicking on a link on a Web page or e-mail message that contains a malware program, such as a computer virus. Once a malware program is successfully installed, it will typically erase data or bog down the computer, but it can also a steal sensitive data from the computer such as passwords or credit card numbers. To fight against malware, a wide variety of security software can be installed which will notify and block any attempts of malware trying to gain access to a computer. Another very common security risk is identity theft. Identity theft is when someone else gains access to your personal information and uses your identity to purchase goods or services. A popular way for identity thieves to steal personal information is phishing, a fraudulent e-mail or website that appears like a legitimate business in order to obtain Social Security numbers or other information needed for identity theft.
Lastly, societies throughout the world compete with one another for the latest technology, pitting countries against each other, While competition can be a good thing, tension and competition. computer use influences our society is that there dominant culture crisis that the cultures, globally, compete with one another for the latest technology enhancements which create a stronger ethnocentrism to the countries. As computers become more accessible and create new ways to be more effective, these disadvantages increase and/or new ones are created.
Differences in Online Communications
It is obvious that, as the computer has evolved, our communication processes through it have as well. Emails and social networks have quickly become the telephone of the past; these tools are not only used in the personal world, but in the business world as well. However, though computers make it easy and drastically more convenient to communicate with people, it is important to follow a few simple guidelines and watch the tone while talking. These guidelines have come to be known as netiquette. Netiquette simply establishes what is and what is not acceptable when involved in online communications. One needs to remember that though it may not be face-to-face, they are still interacting with a human being. Act kind, courteously, professionally, and respectfully. Be sure to adjust your spelling, grammar, and tone of voice depending on the situation you are in; it may be okay to be casual when in a personal conversation, but emoticons and abbreviations don’t look to impressive within the business world. And how can you adjust your tone of voice when communicating by typing? Simply remember to NOT use all caps, which denotes yelling, and watch your use of exclamation points. Too often exclamation points are used when a simple period is best.
The Anonymity Factor
It is an inevitable fact that, with increasing online communications, there is almost always going to be a sense of anonymity. Like almost anything in the world, this can be used for both good and bad purposes. Online, one can be who they want to be. They can have a secret identity, they can make unknown usernames, and they can say the things they want without feeling the judgment of others upon them. This can be used for good if it is for true, honest, and legitimate opinions. Examples of this are reviews, discussions, blogs, and important emails. The freedom of being a faceless commentator makes the individual feel comfortable expressing how they truly feel. However, it is important not to abuse this anonymity. People often use it to insult, harm, or coerce others into fraud. It is essential that one learns how to properly and respectfully use this gift of obscurity without abusing it.
Diving deeper into the aspect of anonymity on the Internet, we see the need for anonymity and accountability. Users need to be anonymous in regards to personal information, such as credit card information but need to be accountable for what they say online. Accountability means that anyone that partakes in misconduct online will be identified and be responsible for the consequences. David Davenport, an assistant professor in the Computer Engineering department at Bilkent University, explains that allowing anonymous communication online ensures that users of the Internet become unaccountable for what they say. He believes that free speech is not hindered if users are identifiable online. One reason for anonymity is the need for information privacy, which refers to the rights of individuals and companies to control how information about them is collected and used. If everyone online could see the credit card number or the physical address of individual Internet users then no one would be safe. Professor Davenport explains the need for anonymity in protecting personal information and for accountability in identifying users that partake in criminal acts online. Perhaps, in the future, as technology improves and is increasingly able to identity persons of malicious intent then anonymity will not be such a concern.
Due to the relative ease of accessing virtually any sort of information on the internet, every user will encounter the scenario of verifying the credibility of that piece of information. It is estimated that there are over 200 billion web pages, yet search engines cover less than a quarter of that figure. This leads to the fact that the internet is bound to provide both accurate and inaccurate information, which therefore places the responsibility of validating what was found on the user. For example, because Wikipedia provides such an extensive database of human knowledge freely and the ability for any person to edit many of the articles, it became apparent early on that there was a sort of “vandalism” taking place. Users would purposefully make false claims relating to that article for entertainment, and this constant abuse of the system inevitably led to a somewhat damaged reputation for the reliability of the site. However, over the years, Wikipedia has improved itself with updated methods of deterring vandalism to provide for more accurate information.
Wikipedia is only one site of billions, though. To obtain reliable information means for a user of the internet to question literally every site. According to Virginia Tech, this “questioning” is composed of five fundamental aspects: authority, coverage, objectivity, accuracy, and currency. Authority relates directly to the source of the information on that page. A user must take into consideration who is creating the information and the associations of the author(s) to other persons or groups (e.g. URL, reputation, expertise). Next, coverage questions the depth of the relevant information. This requires the user to examine the page and determine whether the information is actually useful or not. Objectivity is another crucial component because it examines inherent bias that authors use to further their goals. The information must be factual instead of distorted to persuade the user into taking a side. Accuracy is arguably the most important because it tests the validity of the information. For example, if the page contains a claim that completely contradicts the scientific community, it might be good reason to determine that everything else be read with a skeptical mindset. Lastly, currency examines how up-to-date the page is compared to the present time. If there are multiple updates frequently with links that are still alive (that is, they do not redirect the user to a dead page) then the user can feel confident that the author is providing information that is relevant to today.