The Ways in Which Computers Have Affected Our Lives Over the last century computers have progressed from a technological wonder to part of our day-to-day life. No matter what a person’s career may be, he or she is influenced by computers. An engineer may use computers to complete complex computations that once had to be done by hand, while a stay-at-home mom may use her personal computer to look up school lunch menus for her kids. Computers have impacted our lives by providing convenience in our everyday life, allowing for automation of many jobs and processes, and providing science with new tools.
In our everyday lives we use computers to save time and energy. Modern television and cellular phones run on computerized systems that save us time, keeping us connected to business and personal contacts like never before possible. Personal computers allow us to quickly complete research tasks, such as learning how to fix a sink that is broken instead of calling a plumber or looking up a new recipe for a home cooked meal. In previous years, these tasks might have taken hours, involving a trip to the local library and a rigorous search through aisles of books to find the right information. Now easy-to-use search engines like Google and Yahoo, make almost any information available at the click of a button. In recent years, many people have computer chips in their phones with more power than supercomputers had in the 1950s and 1960s (Ross 2009). That means that all sorts of information is available at the touch of a button because of the way in which computers have affected our lives.
Computers have also allowed for the automation of many jobs and processes. Dangerous jobs in automobile assembly that once involved risks to people’s lives and limbs now are completed by computerized welding and assembly machinery. Similarly, in textile factories, where dust used to cause disease and even death in the employees that worked there, now computer drafters can design materials and patterns that are cut or assembled by laser cutting machines and weaving machines. Inside nuclear power plants, workers do not have to be exposed to radiation that could harm them because computerized robots are available to do routine tasks inside of the reactors. Modern computers have allowed dangerous and hazardous jobs to be automated by computers, which not only impacts us by saving time, but it also saves lives and preserves the health of workers in hazardous industries.
Computers have also allowed science to provide new tools. Modern medical record-keeping systems make certain that confusion does not happen in hospitals, where previously drug mix-up was common, especially in the emergency room. Also, computerized surgery, such as computerized open heart surgery, allows for fewer errors to happen, saving lives. Even everyday objects, such as stoplights, are now run on computerized grids that ensure that we get to our destination faster and with less chance of an accident. Computers also make the systems possible that keep traffic lights and street lights from going out during disasters, allowing centralized controllers to switch to other backup sources of power from a central control station. Computers have given scientists and engineers the ability to automate dangerous and complex tasks to improve our life.
Increased computer use in our day-to-day lives means that we live a safer, more convenient life. In some cases it may even mean that lives are saved or prolonged, such as when traffic accidents are minimized and the quality of surgery is improved. Computers have affected our lives by giving us unprecedented levels of convenience, encouraging the automation of many hazardous jobs and processes, and providing allowing science and engineering to provide new tools that improve our quality of life.
Ross, John. (2009) Network Know-How: an essential guide for the accidental admin. San Franciso: No Starch Press, Inc.