The Positive and Negative Impacts of ICT

As it is known from time immemorial that everything in life is like the two side of a coin, there is always a positive and negative side of every phenomenon. But whether the effect is positive or negative the effects of Information Communication Technology (ICT) is far reaching and cannot be overemphasized. The effects of ICT lens looks at how our lives have been changed, for better and for worse, by the impact of ICT. It includes both positive effects and negative effects and looks at how individuals organisations and society are affected.

Positive Impacts of ICT

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Possibly the greatest effect of ICT on individuals is the huge increase in access to information and services that has accompanied the growth of the Internet. Some of the positive aspects of this increased access are better, and often cheaper, communications, such as VoIP phone and Instant Messaging. In addition, the use of ICT to access information has brought new opportunities for leisure and entertainment, the facility to make contacts and form relationships with people around the world, and the ability to obtain goods and services from a wider range of suppliers.

Improved access to education, e.g. distance learning and on-line tutorials. New ways of learning, e.g. interactive multi-media and virtual reality. New job opportunities, e.g. flexible and mobile working, virtual offices and jobs in the communications industry.

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The second big effect of ICT is that it gives access to new tools that did not previously exist.

Negative Impacts of ICT

Job loss: One of the largest negative effects of ICT can be the loss of a person’s job. This has both economic consequences, loss of income, and social consequences, loss of status and self esteem. Job losses may occur for several reasons, including: Manual operations being replaced by automation. e.g. robots replacing people on an assembly line.  Job export. e.g. data processing work being sent to other countries where operating costs are lower. Multiple workers being replaced by a smaller number who are able to do the same amount of work. e.g. A worker on a supermarket checkout can serve more customers per hour if a bar-code scanner linked to a computerized till is used to detect goods instead of the worker having to enter the item and price manually.