Modern Technology: Impact on Society

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Technology plays an immense role in modern society, and it is impossible to imagine the current state of the world without various innovations. While people now have access to such technologies as smartphones, televisions, and the Internet, there is still ongoing research and scientific developments that could make people’s lives easier. Nevertheless, while there are those who relish the idea of innovations, there are also those who oppose this behavior. The latter believe that technology leads to harsh consequences and makes the issues of the 21st century more acute. However, a plethora of studies indicates that technology, especially smartphones, has a positive impact on society by bringing awareness and eradicating social inequality.

Breakthrough: The Smartphone

People were separated from the rest of humanity throughout most of history. Still, the necessity to contact each other was so strong that it transformed how people communicated and provided them with new opportunities. Nowadays, about two-thirds of the world’s population has a smartphone, which links billions of people in unprecedented ways (The Smartphone). In only one generation, it transformed the telephone from a means of communication to something that has grown to rule people’s lives.

A Morse code, circuits, and signal transmission were among the steps taken to build a method for conveying messages swiftly across large distances. First, scientists researching the modern phenomenon of electricity and materials made an astounding revelation in the early 19th century (The Smartphone). It was discovered that an electrical current might generate a magnetic attraction. As a result, Morse created a receiver that could send signals using a pen through an electric signal.

Morse’s telegraph quickly linked Americans all throughout the country. Within a few decades, a massive network of electrical cables had covered the globe. High-speed electronic communication evolved into the international nervous system of business, media, and politics. Later, in the nineteenth century, Alexander Graham Bell developed the prototype of the telephone (The Smartphone). Guglielmo Marconi also questioned whether cables were required to convey telegraph signals (The Smartphone). Using antennas, Marconi concluded that messages could be received from far distances.

However, one man was ready to take the human speech in a very unexpected direction. Homer Dudley, an engineer, was attempting to discover how it could be possible to send voice via an intercontinental cable in the early 1930s (The Smartphone). The bandwidth of the wires was insufficient to convey human speech. It was later feasible to build a machine that could convey messages using numerous frequencies.

The crucial component that eventually aided in the invention of the smartphone was introduced in the 1940s. Hedy Lamarr, an American actress, pioneered signal hopping, which is the foundation of all current wireless communications. The hypothesis proposed fragmenting a message and sending it in bits. Later, in the 1950s, Jack Kilby invented the integrated circuit (The Smartphone). These technologies enabled the mobile network, which allows users to send billions of megabytes of data daily. These developments also aided in the introduction of new types of technology and the miniaturization of gadgets such as smartphones. As a consequence, engineer Philippe Kahn communicated the first digital image over a cellphone in 1997 (The Smartphone). Consequently, video-sharing and smartphone applications could be introduced.

Impact of the Technology on Modern American Society

The issue of technology and its impact on society is discussed by many. While many claim that technology contributes to the rapid lowering of the literacy rate, others assert that technology is a conduit to spread awareness in various fields. For example, Bowman claims that video has been a critical instrument in the battle for human rights and political justice for the past 60 years. His study focuses on crucial historical times when the video played an important role in revealing systematic racism and violation of human rights. As the battle for social and economic justice and equitable legal protection proceeds in our generation, new media technologies act as judges against unjust imprisonment and brutality against racial minorities and vulnerable communities.

Bowman further discusses how community journalists’ use of mobile phones and the internet has supplanted experienced reporters’ use of cameras, notepads, and pencils to chronicle human rights violations. People around the countrywide used smartphones to record the brutal choking of Eric Garner and the atrocious killing of Walter Scott, among many other occurrences (Bowman). The recording of these instances was significant in giving a vivid image of confrontation with police forces and spurring debate about police and racial relations concerns (Bowman). Simultaneously, footage shared on social media and shown on national TV has played an essential role in organizing measures to fight for equal legal support, holding law enforcement authorities responsible for their conduct, and spreading awareness about wrongdoing and inequality in America.

Similarly, a study conducted by Tynes observes the impact of technology on overall awareness and social inequality. Even though a connection between trauma exposure on TV and poor mental health consequences was identified, not much is known about the role smartphones and social media, and other types of online communication play. According to the most current Pew Internet Research poll from 2018 on teenage technology usage, 95% of adolescents have access to a smartphone, and 45% claim they are online almost all the time (Tynes). The use of cellphones, video sharing sites, and social networking sites provides unparalleled access to information about police violence and other crucial concerns (Tynes). This greater awareness has resulted in significant movements centered on the problems of underprivileged people, as well as the installation of accountability mechanisms such as body cameras.

Another study focuses on technology’s positive influence on politics and public concerns in the 21st century. According to the researchers, these issues comprise a broad range of political communication and indicate the pervasiveness of political expression in modern culture and non-electoral times. Without efficient circuits of such outlets capable of delivering political statements, the political system cannot operate in a proper way (ul Ghafar and Zahir). Political communication is concerned not just with electoral campaigns but also with enabling people to make educated decisions in order to participate effectively in an election system.

This study conducted a survey in which smartphone and social media influence was assessed to provide further evidence. According to the independent data research, 70 % of participants believe that the Facebook application regularly provides political news and opinions, compared to 52% for Twitter and 50% for WhatsApp applications (ul Ghafar and Zahir). Thus, smartphones serve as a conduit for additional information on ongoing matters in this respect. Smartphones and other technologies increase awareness in populations by accentuating the most significant issues and providing opinions on various events.

Pang also illuminates the impact of technology on modern political communication. The researcher claims that smartphones have radically altered the trajectory of political communication in past decades by increasing individuals’ access to political material and possibilities to voice their own viewpoints within social connections. Prior studies have revealed a link between informative usage of mobile phones and civic and political participation in social life (Pang). This study, which is congruent with this field of inquiry, investigated how smartphone use impacts levels of political engagement as well as offline engagement, offering a portrayal of a new sort of mobile political expression.

According to Pang’s hierarchical regression study, browsing media and microblogging on smartphones are positively related to political communication. Furthermore, the findings show that smartphone political expression has a direct impact on offline political involvement (Pang). Moreover, the findings support political speech as a moderator of particular smartphone use and offline political engagement. Lastly, the report examines future studies’ possibilities and limitations.

Sekabira studies the influence of technology from a different perspective. Researcher asserts that smartphone technology has been widely embraced in several developing nations since the year 2000. Available literature suggests that small farmers’ market access and revenue have improved as a result of their usage of smartphones (Sekabira). Aside from money, mobile phones may have an impact on other aspects of social security (Sekabira). Such more significant social welfare implications have rarely been studied up to this point (Sekabira). A great deal of work has examined the impact of smartphone usage on access to the market, input and output pricing, agriculture trends, and family income using micro-level statistics.

Nevertheless, the author claims that smartphones may have an impact on other aspects of social welfare, including gender equality. Recognizing such larger implications is critical, particularly in light of the United Nations’ Sustainable Growth Goals, which go much further than a restricted range of financial development metrics (Sekabira). While several new studies have examined how smartphones may affect food sufficiency and other aspects of well-being, empirical data is limited (Sekabira). The researchers address this issue in this study by utilizing panel data from a survey conducted.

After adjusting for any influencing variables, the findings of Sekabira’s study revealed that smartphone use is strongly and positively linked with average earnings, gender equality, and nutrition. Female smartphone usage is significantly connected with household income and social well-being than male smartphone usage alone, according to gender differentiation. Women appear to gain substantially from smartphone technology, which is understandable given that many women are frequently restricted in their economic opportunities (Sekabira). As a result, the technological innovation that reduces transaction costs and provides new kinds of communication can be very beneficial to women (Sekabira). Women’s pay increases and greater access to education have a favorable impact on their negotiating power within the home, promoting gender equality and other social welfare factors.

Hence, modern technology plays an integral role in contemporary society by illuminating the acute problems of the 21st century. It took a long time to create the technology as people know it now. However, after so many generations, people can make new discoveries and contribute to the improvement of society. Nowadays, millions of people have access to smartphones or other gadgets. This allows them to not only connect and communicate with each other but spread information. While many people can consider technology an enemy of society, technology helps people gain insights into the ongoing issues and gain awareness, therefore, helping eradicate the problems.

Works Cited

Bowman, Michael. “TV, Cell Phones and Social Justice: A Historical Analysis of How Video Creates Social Change.” Race, Gender & Class, vol. 24, no.1-2, 2017, pp. 16-26.

Pang, Hua. “Mobile Communication and Political Participation: Unravelling the Effects of Mobile Phones on Political Expression and Offline Participation Among Young People.” International Journal of Electronic Governance, vol. 10, no. 1, 2018, pp. 3-23.

Sekabira, Haruna, and Matin Qaim. “Can Mobile Phones Improve Gender Equality and Nutrition? Panel Data Evidence from Farm Households in Uganda.” Food Policy, vol. 73, 2017, pp. 95-103.

“The Smartphone.” Breakthrough: The Ideas That Changed the World, directed by Sean Smith and Ben Harding, Bigger Bang Communications Ltd., 2019.

Tynes, Brendesha M., et al. “Race-related Traumatic Events Online and Mental Health Among Adolescents of Color.” Journal of Adolescent Health, vol. 65, no. 3, 2019, pp. 371-377.

ul Ghafar, Majid, Muhammad Shahzad, and Neelam Zahir. “Impact of Smartphone Applications on Political Behaviour of Youth.” World Conference on Media and Mass Communication, vol. 4, no. 2, 2018, pp. 36-43.

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