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Present in nearly all aspects of human life, from the smallest to the largest; computers are used by nearly all individuals and organizations ranging from pupils in classification to doctors in hospitals and even the civil servants who work in the government offices. With so much established on computers today, it is difficult to contemplate simply how difficult life without computer systems would be. In this research paper, the role that computers play in human lives nowadays will be highlighted with the aim of depicting how different human existence would have been without them.
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According to Pontes, Szabo & Griffiths (19), computers permeate all spheres of human existence and is therefore integral to daily functions. As such, life without computers would pose great challenges for modern humans. Had there been no computers, communication would have been very inefficient and largely ineffective. Computers help to connect people instantly, enabling humanity to conquer both time and space. Without computers, it is likely the humanity would still be reliant on the old undesirable methods of communication such as the use of letters or other traditional means which were often prone to delay and which caused serious time lags in the process of communication. The mobile phones in use today, the hundreds of millions of emails that are sent each day, and the billions of tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts, would all be absent without computers. Essentially none of the aspects that allow us communicate would exist, reducing the overall scope and magnitude of interactions between and among humans.
It is difficult to imagine just how complicated the access of information (for whatever purpose) would be in the absence of computers. For one, it is obvious that individuals, be they students or just information users, would acquire that which they need without the aid of computers. Presently, computers confer upon all humans the ability to access limitless information with the click of a button. Through computers, the storage, manipulation and retrieval of information is made easy; without such computers, it is likely, as () asserts, that the process of storage of information would be difficult, involving the use of bulky papers – possible manipulation and retrieval would be even more arduous. Additionally, it would be difficult to safeguard such information in the case of a fire, flood or intentional acts of sabotage such as theft or vandalism unlike the case with the use of computers which allow individuals to back-up information over forward looking technological inventions such as the clouds.
Education, to a large extent has today become reliant on the use of computers. In the absence of computers, it is difficult to imagine how education would be. It is likely that the access of information during instruction would be much more inefficient than it is today as Pellas (159-161) succinctly notes. The completion of assignments and their presentation would all prove more difficult and involving for the learner in the absence of computers. Some aspects of learning such as distance learning would also be absent without computers. Record keeping in schools would also be much more tedious without computers as he responsible individuals would be forced to use papers.
Hospitals are equipped with high technology gadgets which are critical to the process of healthcare delivery. In a world where no computers exists, it would be difficult to carry out many of the functions in healthcare from administration, to support for treatment programs and methods, to scheduling and even billing. Record keeping and coding, as Winner (51) posits, which also depend on the use of computers would be rendered difficult and inefficient; errors and mistakes in record keeping for patients and coding of conditions and ailments would likely arise due to inefficiency, a fact that might endanger lives in the healthcare facilities.
Today, the entertainment sector relies to a big extent on the use of computers, from the production of content, to its modification and even distribution. In a world where there are no computers, it is likely that the creation, modification and distribution of content would be very difficult as Boellstorff (31) alleges. Avenues through which much content is accessed and delivered tot eh consumer today such as the internet would not be present without computers, complicating the way in which humans consume such content. Access to information that then informs education and entertainment, would be very difficult without computers; rendering the results unsatisfactory. Further, organizations and entities such as the government or private sector players all rely on the use of computers to confer efficiency, ease and reliability in the process of service delivery. In the absence of computers, it is clear that the ability of such entities to deliver services to clients would be hampered and rendered inefficient and tiresome.
In a world where each aspect of life is heavily reliant on the use of computers and the internet, it is near impossible to fully contemplate the absence of the gadgets. Without computers, it is clear that all aspects of human life today would be affected from the provision of healthcare to the access to education and the consumption of entertainment content. Access to, storage and retrieval of information, as well as the delivery of services by organizations would be greatly hampered and rendered difficult, unreliable and inefficient.
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Boellstorff, Tom. Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist explores the Virtually Human. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, (2015): 28-41.
Pellas, Nikolaos. "The Influence of Computer Self-Efficacy, Metacognitive Self-regulation and Self-esteem on Student Engagement in Online Learning Programs: Evidence from the Virtual World of Second Life." Computers in Human Behavior 35 (2014): 157-170.
Pontes, Halley M., Attila Szabo, and Mark D. Griffiths. "The Impact of Internet-Based Specific Activities on the Perceptions of Internet Addiction, Quality of Life, and Excessive Usage: A Cross-Sectional Study." Addictive Behaviors Reports 1 (2015): 19-25.
Winner, Langdon. "Technologies as Forms of Life." Ethics and Emerging Technologies. Palgrave Macmillan UK, (2014): 48-60.
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