Technology has impacted our lives in more ways than we could ever have thought possible, and in most cases, this impact has been positive. Some of the contributions of technology to improving the standard of living in the developing world are:
Increase in life expectancy by as much as 8 years, with the development of newer products and devices for better health management and disease prevention, better and more effective methods for producing and preserving food, and the easier methods of conducting our daily activities.
We can see the impact of technology on our educational systems, communication and even in the way and manner in which businesses are transacted. One important aspect of technological advancement that has enabled interactions on a global scale and made the world one large community is the Internet, making it easier to have more cost-effective social, as well as business interactions with anybody, anywhere in the world.
With all these positive outcomes arising from the growth and development in technology, can we say with 100% certainty that technology has both improved our way of living and at the same time positively impacted on our quality of life?
To determine the answer to this, we need to first examine what is meant by quality of life.
Quality of life comprises three key elements; standard of health, comfort and happiness, and all three must be present in more than adequate amounts before the individual and/or the community can be said to have a good quality of life.
HEALTH: This is one area where Technology has definitely had a major impact, in developing nations. Apart from reducing the mortality rates of most communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, cholera, and malaria among others, noncommunicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and kidney disease have been brought under control by better medicines and diagnostic devices, all thanks to advancements in technology in the field of medicine.
COMFORT: This one word evokes feelings of physical freedom, ease, and alleviation of pain and/ suffering. Technology has practically made it easy to live life as comfortably as possible and its effects can be seen in all aspects of our lives from education (online schooling), through to social interactions using social media, entertainment, communication ( mobile devices), transportation, business and wealth creation and so much more.
Finally we come to the third and perhaps the most important aspect of quality of life –HAPPINESS
Synonyms for happiness include contentment, satisfaction, merriment, and joyfulness. Unfortunately, despite all the advancements we see in technology, making it easier for the average person to live in comfort and style, we still see a high level of dissatisfaction and disengagement within our developing society. This could of course be attributed to the uneven distribution of the more innovative technologies among individuals, resulting in better access for some and less for others. Also, not all technological progress is good, as with the invention of guns and the atomic bomb, the value of human life has been reduced to a lot less than it used to be.
Should we then blame technology for failing to make good on its promise to ensure better and more qualitative life for all. Perhaps, it wouldn’t be so farfetched to say that in actual fact, technology has done and is still doing its best and the onus lies on us humans to do the rest.
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