Despite the occasional hazard and pitfall, there are many advantages to modern technology. People use technology to communicate with the outside world, to make new friends, to become informed, and to stay in touch with one another. Modern technology also improves the quality of life for people with serious medical conditions and prevents many deaths from occurring.
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In earlier periods of history, people stayed in long-distance contact with one another by writing letters. This was a risky proposition because letters did not always arrive at their intended destination. Fortunately, modern technology has improved both the speed and the ease of long-distance communication. People are now able to stay in contact with one another through the use of social networking programs, as well as e-mailing, video conferencing and texting. According to Kathi Kitner from the "Brisbane Times," one of the things women most enjoy about the Internet is that e-mail allows them to stay in touch with family and friends who no longer live near by.
Access to Information
People use modern technology to gain access to vital information. The U.S. Impact Study "Opportunity For All," examined how the use of Internet access at public libraries benefited the public. They found that people use computers to research types of diseases and explore treatment options. Unemployed or underemployed workers use the Internet to search for jobs and apply for positions that match their skills. People also apply for colleges or job training programs, search for government assistance and benefits, and access legal forms. Students use computers as a valuable research tool for finding online information or locating books related to their research topic.
Although natural disasters cannot be prevented through the use of modern technology, gathering data is critical to saving lives. Volcanologists and seismologists, for example, use data to map geographic areas, establish areas of structural vulnerability, and use sensors to monitor the behaviour of volcanoes and earthquakes so that they can predict when a natural disaster is likely to occur. Meteorologists are able to warn people about the onset of hurricanes and floods so that they can make arrangements to evacuate.
According to the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, technological progress has revolutionised medical care. Serious illnesses can be prevented by early diagnostic protocols using imaging techniques. For example, a photoacoustic imaging technique was under development in 2007 for the early detection of breast cancer. Another hybrid imaging process that uses aspects of positron emission tomography (PET) in combination with magnetic resonance therapy allows medical care practitioners to non-invasively monitor brain tumours and other conditions. In eye care, retinal implants prevent blindness in patients suffering from retinal deterioration.
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- Brisbane Times: Technology and Relationships
- TV.com: As Time Goes By
- U.S. Impact Study: Opportunity For All - How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries
- InterAcademy Panel on International Issues: Natural Disaster Mitigation
- Federal Ministry of Education and Research: Medical Technology