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Historical forces are the building blocks of society. Think about it; what would life be like without constant advancements in the economy, technology, and society? Astonishing technological advancements have been used to improve our social interactions, infrastructure, healthcare system, emergency services, agriculture, weather and so much more! Technological advancements are the cornerstones of society, which help pave the way for a fruitful future.
Across the spectrum of human life, many personal everyday activities involving technology have become significant in contributing to society on a much larger scale. One prime example of a personal activity that has influenced society on a much larger scale is the virtual world of Facebook. Over the years, Facebook has become the leading innovator to a variety of social interactions. Through C.Wright Mills’ Theory of the Sociological Imagination, people across the globe can better understand the consequential and lasting effect Facebook has had on both people and society in a much broader, yet consummating standard.
Thanks to Facebook, the idea of online human interaction is at the click of a button! Over the years, Facebook has become an essential factor in helping many people stay connected to friends, family, and other acquaintances. According to the Newsroom, Facebook exceeds almost one billion active members. However, Mills believed that “people’s mentalities have swept only a series of limited orbits…in which they had only supposed themselves to be familiar” (Mills 1) or in other words—many people only seem to expose themselves to limited views without looking at the bigger picture. This quote becomes vital in understanding the impact Facebook has made over social interactions across the world. For instance, besides the common ritual of posting pictures for the world to see and keeping in touch — Facebook has provided the capability of: reuniting distant friends and family, promoting businesses through advertisement, and has even been implemented for the use of education and awareness! As for physical interaction, Facebook can also be viewed as a psychological tool used to help individuals with a fear of face-to-face communication by evidently removing the abstract need for physical interaction.
Many individuals can stay up to date and informed with politics via Facebook. Allowing for one to view political standpoints of peers, and people across the country. This goes to show how essential Facebook can be as a tool for education. Mills believed that the use of the sociological imagination was the most “fruitful form of self-conscience.”(Mills. 1) Or in other words, the best method of being aware. This quote is not only important in understanding things from a larger social scale, but it also helps show the significance Facebook has had on historical forces throughout the years in a broader, yet unrecognized sense. For Example, Facebook has changed the way we interact by making it easier and quicker to meet new people, find social events nearby, advertise your company, or even brand yourself to a specific company with little to no physical interaction required. Some people even believe that our economy and society are ran under the idea that “quicker means better.” Facebook has attributed to this by vowing to make constant improvements to their databases, which in turn has made them one of the quickest sources in getting information around with little to no interruption. When all these ties together it becomes evident that Facebook has become the quickest and one of the most efficient ways to “connect” with others. This role Facebook also gives insight as to how our society functions. For instance, in our daily lives we are bombarded by images created by social media. Social media has influenced individuals on what they can say, and what they cannot say. However, Facebook has become the voice of reason in the social media field by helping individuals express ideas, beliefs, and other views through campaigning, and other methods of activism. This relief Facebook has provided shines light on the pros and cons of our society. Therefore, making Facebook a tool in creating awareness, which can then be used to better our economy, and society! This goes to show that the use of our sociological imagination becomes seemingly important in being able to fully understand the complexity of Facebook, and how it is much more than a fundamental system of posting pictures and writing to friends.
C. Wright Mills believed that the sociological imagination would bring us knowledge about ourselves and the world around us. The idea of the sociological imagination is the belief that an individual must look at things from a different perspective. Mills believed that looking at things from a different viewpoint helped individuals understand the bigger purpose, or “bigger picture” of a function or situation. It is important to apply this kind of sociological perspective in our daily lives because it is the foundation to understanding the social world. Mills believed that there were deeper routes for every action, function, and situation that occurred in society. He also believed that it is up to us as individuals to scratch beneath the surface and find the hidden meanings behind personal everyday activities that most people don’t seem to notice.
Another example of how technological advancements have helped society would be the ongoing development of society’s infrastructure. Plumbing is essential component today—without it we might not be able to cook ,eat ,bathe or pretty much do anything that required the use of water. In Alice Munro’s How I Met My Husband, it’s evident how technological advancements can be life altering. Edi is amused by what the Peebles could afford to have in their house, “Sometimes I thought about the way we lived at home and the way we lived here and how hard it was imagine when you were living the other way.”( Munro 133). One of the many things the Peebles could afford was a decent plumbing system installed in their house. Plumbing granted access to water at a faster rate, with less physical effort in obtaining it—”There was a pump in the yard. That’s the way people used to get their water…I noticed he was carrying a pale….I can get it from the tap and save you pumping”( Munro 135).
Global life expectancy has greatly increased over the last few decades with the introduction of new technological advancements such as vaccines, artificial hearts and prosthetics from 3D printing, etc. One major advancement in the healthcare organization would be Electronic Health Records systems ( EHR). According to the Healthcare Information’s and Management System Society, EHR’s are defined as “a longitudinal electronic record of patient health information generated by one or more encounters in any care delivery setting. Included in this information are patient demographics, progress notes, problems, medications, vital signs, past medical history, immunizations, laboratory data, and radiology reports.”( HIMSS 1).EHR’s are responsible for assisting health care providers and medical staff in delivering higher quality of care to their patients. Being apart of a medical team can be very stressful and sometimes overwhelming. Health care providers often work very long shifts( 12+hours) in addition to working long hours, most health care providers have an abundance of patients to maintain and provide care for . In the mix of tackling on a high census over a long period time—error can occur. EHR’s decrease the risk of medical related errors drastically by providing a data base full of stored information on patients and information related to their illness and alerting medical staff when information charted is within an abnormal range. The hospital of Vermont implemented EHR’s in their facility’s and reported “ a 60% decrease in near-miss medication events,20% increase in completion of daily fall assessment helping to avoid prolonged hospital stays,25% drop in the number of patient charts needing to be pulled for signing orders and dictated reports”(University of Vermont 1). If something is overlooked by a staff member the HER’s are equipped with software that won’t let the medical staff utilizing the tech to move forward without addressing any rising or missed issues in patient information or conditions. EHR’s aids healthcare providers in meeting the domains of quality healthcare—safe, timely, effective, equitable, efficient and patient centered.
Another Technological advancement that has reshaped society would be the Global Positioning System (GPS). The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) defines GPS as “a United States space-based radio navigation system that helps pinpoint a three-dimensional position to about a meter of accuracy (for example latitude, longitude and altitude) and provide Nano-second precise time anywhere on Earth.”( NASA 1). In todays society GPS is responsible for assisting many in getting to a desired destination. Aside from finding your favorite restaurant or the next nearby Starbucks, GPS can be utilized to help victims in times of emergency’s. A GPS tracking company by the name of Angel sense has dedicated their work to the protection of children and adults with autism. There deice always provides parents and caregivers with instant access to their love one’s location . The device will immediately alert the caregiver if the love one with autism wonders off a certain radius. In 2015 a mother was able to save her daughters life from an aggressor. The device alerted the mother and she was able to utilize the audio feature on the device, allowing her to hear the dreadful screams from her child’s mouth. Shortly after she was the authorities were called and responded promptly. They arrived just on time to save her from the aggressor whom was apprehended on site. Countless cases like these happen yearly, and thanks to the software emergency responders have access to, many lives are saved, and many people are helped in times of great distress.
Farming is a lifestyle that has shaped our world and aided in today’s and with a growing population agriculture is in constant use of new technologies that excel the work of a farmer and the rate of fresh produce. Farmers use many technological tools in a more modern way of farming known as Precision Agriculture. Precision Agriculture is a method to farm management that uses information technology to ensure that the crops and soil receive the precise conditions and nutrients for optimal health and productivity. In traditional farming , farmers making ends meet off the land with very little earnings that arise from sells and bought only items that were essentials to them and family members. Farmers must become much more productive because of the amount of people they have to feed/ sell to. According to Farm Flavor, “In the 30’s an average farmer fed on average 4 people, in the 70’s the average farmer fed 70 people and in 2010 the average farmer fed 155 people the ratio of farmers to consumers only continues to grow apart.”(Bertone 1). We count on farmers and scientist to explore and find new innovations and more efficient ways to do things, in order to make their work load easier and produce enough food to feed humanity. Technological advancements systems such as precision agriculture does just that, they allow for a high amount of quality produce at a faster and more efficient rate.
With the assistance of technology mentioned above such as the use of GPS, farmers steer machinery more accurately ( hence the name precision agriculture) —Inhibiting an overlap of crops. Modern day farmers also utilize this technology to precisely chose what areas of land to plant in. By using a complex algorithm, a farmer can take into consideration the different angels, soil conditions and the degree of sunlight that shines over one section of dirt compared to another spot. This complex tech system not only produces food for us, but it is greatly making an impact of climate change. According to National Geographic’s “Agriculture is accountable for 10-15% of all human induced climate gas emissions worldwide. Arable farming emits CO2 and N2O. N2O is a 300 times stronger climate gas then CO2. In the Paris Agreements, many governments made commitments to significantly reduce emissions, to slow down the global warming process.” ( National geographic 1). In summary this data is showing how the methods used by traditional farms adds on to the problem of climate change. From the vehicles and plows used emitting off Co2 to the trees and plants destroyed in the process, they are al contributing factors in global warming. If farmers were to incorporate modern-day farming methods, it would drastically increase our chances on overcoming the global warming issue.
Technological advancements are what our future relies on but unfortunately there are certain people and factors that use it to hinder society. Countless institutions and people find ways to become corrupt. Technology is always vulnerable to corruption. We are constantly being watched through devices with cameras and audio recorders. Some say it’s an invasion, others argue it’s for our protection. Some say the technology that is created now is affecting the youth of the nation, opening doors to bullying known as ‘Cyber Bullying’ and creating more unhealth sedentary lifestyles. Everything in life has its Pros & Cons, not one system, institution or person is perfect. We can only hope that responsible, truthful and honest individuals are operating and utilizing these wonderful innovations to better our world. In a 2009 interview with Steve jobs, he was asked how technology has changed the world and his response was truly ground shaking: “it’s simple, we try to make tools for people. Tools to enjoy entertainment, communicate, tools to create… and what we find is that technology can surprise you on the upside. We didn’t design apple thinking of YouTube, or education but we now have software where students or anyone can access lectures…that why I look what we do we make these tools and are constantly surprised at the wonderful things we can do.”( Heiferman 2011). This exemplifies the protentional man has when it comes to Technology; it has truly enhanced humanity for the better.
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