In today’s society, more and more work is done by machines. Do you think the positive effects of the development overweigh the negative effects on individuals and society?
Modern technology has equipped us with machines. There are positive and negative effects of these machines on the individual and the society which I shall highlight in this essay. Overall the pros outweigh the cons.
On the positive side, machines are faster, more convenient and energy saving. Households and industries are much facilitated with machines. Personal use of machines gives people more free time to spend with family and pursue hobbies. Likewise, industrial use of machines reduces manpower for work and increases output. In the words of Oscar Wilde – “The fact is, that civilization requires slaves. The Greeks were quite right there. Unless there are slaves to do the ugly, horrible, uninteresting work, culture and contemplation become almost impossible. Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralizing. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends.”
On the negative side, machines reduce the need of manual work which can lead to unemployment especially in the developing countries. What is more, insufficient knowledge of machine handling and operating is detrimental to uneducated workers and they end up getting injuries or disabilities while working with machines. Technical failures can also disturb the whole working system and lead to losses. Other negative effects of machines are on the health of individuals especially the housewives who rely heavily on machines for the household chores. Machines are a failure where creative work is required. For example, the unique and original work done by many artisans can never be reproduced by any machines. It has been rightly said that a machine can do the work of a thousand ordinary men but no machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.
Overall, the positive effects of machines outweigh the negative effects on the individual and society. However, in developing countries, in order to meet the employment needs of the population, a balance has to be maintained between manual work and mechanization.