Nowadays, we cannot imagine our life without computers and the fact is that they have become so important that nothing can replace them. They seem to be everywhere today. Since 1948 when the first real computer has been invented our life has changed so much that we can call it real digital revolution.
First computers differed from today's ones. They were so huge that they occupied whole rooms or buildings being relatively slow. They were not faster than modern simple watches or calculators. Nowadays they are also used by scientist and they may also be as huge as the old ones but they are millions times faster. They can perform many complex operations simultaneously and scientist practically can't do without them. Thanks to them people has access to enormous amount of information. Gathering data has never been more simple than now. They are not only used in laboratories but also in factories to control production. Sometimes it is computers who manufacture other computers.
But not only in science and industry computers are being used. Thanks to them modern medicine can diagnose diseases faster and more thoroughly. Also in banking system computers have become irreplaceable. They control ATMs, all data is stored on special hard disks and paper isn't used in accountancy any more. Furthermore, architects, designers and engineers can't imagine their work without computers. This machines are really everywhere and we depend on them also in such fields as criminology. They help police to solve crimes and collect evidence.
Moreover, computers are wide-spread in education. Except their classic tasks such as administration and accountancy they are used in process of learning. Firstly, they store enormous amount of data which helps students to gain an information. Secondly, thanks to special teaching techniques and programs they improve ours skills of concentration and assimilation of knowledge. They have become so popular that not knowing how to use them means to be illiterate.
Of course except this superb features there is also dark side of computer technology because every invention brigs us not only benefits but also threats.
1. Computers saves storage place. Imagine how much paper would have to be used, how many trees would have to be cut just to store information which is today on hard disks. Data stored on just one CD in paper form would use room of dozens square meters and would weight thousands of kilos. Nowadays techniques of converting data from paper to digital form has also tremendously developed. You can simply rewrite the text using a keyboard. If you are not good at it you can use a scanner to scan necessary documents. At least there are special devices which can transfer our voice into text. Thanks to computers banks, private and government companies, libraries, and many other institutions can save millions of square meters and billions of dollars. Nowadays we have access to billions of information and due to the computer's capabilities we actually don't need to worry not only how to store them but also how to process them.
2. Computers can calculate and process information faster and more accurate than human. Sometimes there are false information in newspapers that due to the computer's mistake something has failed. But it's not truth because machines cannot make mistakes by it's own. Sometimes it's short circuit, other time it's hardware problem but most often it is human mistake, someone who designed and wrote the flawed computer program.
3. Computers improve our lives. They are very useful in office work, we can write text such as reports and analysis. Compared with old typewriters when using computers we don't have to worry about making mistakes in typewriting because special programs helps as to avoid them and we can change them any time. When the text is finished we can print it in as many copies as we want. At least but not at last, we can communicate with whole world very fast and cheap using Internet.
4. Computers are user-friendly. We can watch videos and listen to the music having only PC. We don't need video player, TV and stacking hi-fi any more. Furthermore, we don't have to buy PC's which can take much room due to their other necessary components and wires. We can always buy laptop or palm top which is even smaller, and use them outside anywhere we want.
1. Computers are dangerous to our health. The monitors used to be dangerous for our eyesight. Nowadays due to technological development they are very safe. But there are other threats to our health than damaging our sight. Working with computers and permanent looking on the monitor can cause epilepsy, especially with children. Very often parents want to have a rest and don't draw enough attention to how long their children use computer. This negative effects also concerns TV screen.
2. Computers sometimes brake down. The biggest problem is when our hard disk brakes down because of the data stored on it. Other hardware is easily replaceable. But there are many ways of avoiding consequences of loosing our data, for example by saving it on CDs. Except hardware failures there are also software ones. For example, for many years Windows Operating System was very unstable and that's why many other OS were written. Now the most common are Linux, Windows XP, MacOs (for Macintosh computers). Except of unstable OS another and maybe the main threat to our data are computer viruses. There are billions of them and every day new ones come into being. If you have the Internet connection you have to be particularly careful and download anti-virus programs. Fortunately, there are also many of them and most of them are freeware. You have to remember to download updates.
3. Violence and sex. The main threat to younger users of computers are internet pornography and bloody games. The presence of sexual content or level of violence should be properly marked and parents are obliged to draw their attention to this issue. There are many extremely bloody games such as "grand theft auto", "quake" etc. For example, in GTA you are a member of mafia and to promote in crime hierarchy you should kidnap people, steal cars, robe banks etc. As a bonus you can also run over pedestrians. There are also many games in which you are a soldier and your mission is to kill as many enemies as possible. The other threat to our children is internet pornography. The availability of sexual content is enormous and you can do practically nothing to protect your child, especially when it's interested in this matter.
4. The other threat is that you can be a computer addict. If you spend most of your free time using computer you should go to see a psychologist.
However, I think that the situation is very serious. Computers are practically irreplaceable and we can't make without them any more. They are everywhere, at our homes, schools, at work, in our cars. It is very possible that the next stage of human evolution is some kind of superb half human and half machines. On the other hand I don't think it is the closest future. But the truth is that that computers will rule the world sooner or later.