There’s no doubt that computers have become an essential part of our day-to-day life as a form of modern technology. They are present in forms you wouldn’t expect them to be. Think of various payment systems, ATMs, bus or train card readers, all of those flashy signs around town, and machines in various industries in modern cities. They are all controlled by a computer. And while they’ve brought plenty of benefits, they also have downsides. We’ll get into both in our list of advantages and disadvantages of using a computer.
Comparison table of advantages and disadvantages of using computers
Advantages of using computers
The computer, as we all know, has a lot of advantages. Irrespective of the configuration and available resources, a computer is always useful. These are the advantages of using computers.
1. Workflow, organization, and productivity increase
Computers improve and speed up workflow, especially in large companies that have hundreds of employees. Being connected to one large system of computers eliminates the need for files having to be written or printed on paper, and for employees to walk from floor-to-floor to interact. In most cases, unless they went on a lunch or a bathroom break or to stretch their limbs, the employees wouldn’t need to get up during their shift. Also, regular backups prevent files from being vulnerable to disasters.
In other industries, computers help employees by monitoring machines and other “slave” computers. This allows the manager to send commands and read responses, and thus operate and maintain a wide variety of connected devices. It also helps keep things organized, as it can indicate to employees what to do, and when to do it. This makes the workflow more efficient and increases productivity by a wide margin.
2. Education and communication
Just go to a library connected to a school and university, and the effects will become apparent. The majority of students will have a laptop on their lap or the table. Computers have helped education by making books, presentations, and audio/video content available for consumption in a digital format. This eliminates the need for heavy books that quickly become outdated, and allows students to study anywhere, and anytime. The communication channel between them and their professors has also opened because of computers. Both sides can interact in real-time instead of waiting for a new school day, and give and receive updates, questions, answers, and clarifications on the matter.
3. Access to a wide array of data on the Internet
Using computers isn’t limited to studying on an official course. They can be used to browse a nearly limitless list of topics of interest to you. This will satisfy your curiosity and help you find answers, no matter how stupid the question is sometimes. You can also find groups of like-minded individuals, or even start a business or find a job. The Internet can also be a vast resource when it comes to entertainment. Watching videos, listening to music, playing video games, or chatting with friends and family are all part of the charm of computers.
4. Data storage
Having more than one hard drive inside one computer case carried a wide variety of benefits. It allows you to keep a massive database of things personal to you. Those can be journals, pictures, videos, chat logs, school projects, and much, much more. But it also allows you to download and store collections of movies, TV shows, e-books, video games, music albums, and more. The improvement of hard drives will ensure your files will be accessible for a while, and easy to carry around. The growing data storage capacities also benefit other types of technology such as science, media, medicine, education, information, and others.
Convenience can be sorted under both advantages and disadvantages of technology. We’ll list it as an advantage of using computers here, but make its drawbacks apparent below. The most obvious benefit is ordering food, clothes, furniture, household items, and other types of service from the comfort of your couch or computer chair. You can also spend hours picking out the details online, finding the best price, browsing for discount coupons, and ultimately paying with a few clicks. In the end, the items will be delivered to your doorstep. This eliminates the need to leave your house for shopping or the actual purchase.
6. Automation and assistance
The advantage of computers getting smaller with the advancement of technology is that they can be integrated into various industries. Although there are thousands of implementations, and thousands more in development, engineering, and office-based tasks jump out to us. For example, production lines in factories can be automated, and hire employees only for monitoring and maintenance. Computers are also present in all modern cars, boats, airplanes, as well as banks, ATMs, lights, traffic, and even medicine – such as administering medicine, tracking levels of blood sugar, and monitoring patients.
7. A doorway to the future
Computers have been serving the purpose of accomplishing things that the human brain cannot process. Even though we are the superior species that ever walked on earth in terms of intelligence and the ability to invent things, we are still incapable of certain things which the computer can do much better. Using it, we were able to accomplish a lot of things a lot faster. So we can consider computers as a doorway to the future, providing us a better platform to work with.
8. Computers can make money for you
When used correctly with the right set of skills, computers can make you a lot of money. Freelancing is a great example of how you can make money using any types of computer, such as a desktop PC or laptop. No matter what you are good at, if it can be done from the comfort of your home, you can start earning a livelihood. As technology progresses, more and more jobs are available to be done from home. All you have to do is getting good at something you love, find people who are looking for similar services, and get paid for the tasks.
Disadvantages of using computers
With advantages, there are disadvantages as well. Computer usage can result in bad things if used incorrectly or for the wrong purpose. These are the disadvantages of using a computer.
1. Computers are costly
We’ll start with the most obvious disadvantage of technology – it is expensive. Although the cost goes down with time, the products you’re buying depreciate as well. They become either outdated or obsolete, which means you always have to buy new and updated products.
Discarding old computers or pieces of computers leads to electronic waste, which is hard to recycle. This, in turn, leads to pollution of soil, water, and possibly air, if there are toxic chemicals used. And almost every single computer part uses some form of material that is harmful to the environment. It is a fact that we cannot avoid those materials from being used to build a computer. However, once discarded, they don’t end up well for the soil or the earth in general.
3. Health problems
Sitting for 8 hours per day, 5 times per week can be forgiving. This is applicable if you lead an active life outside your job. But, we don’t live in an ideal world. Some people work more hours and more days. Others keep sitting in front of a computer outside their desk job. This leads to eyesight damage from looking at a screen, declining bone health, muscle atrophy, worsening body posture, and back, neck, and joint pain, and loss of mobility. If you also have a habit of snacking or drinking fizzy drinks while using your computer, it can also lead to obesity.
4. Addiction, isolation, and wasting time
Some people feel a compulsion to use the computer all the time. Although we empathize with them, this is an addiction, essentially. They slowly start to isolate themselves from their loved ones, stop communicating in real life, and potentially, become depressed. They are also wasting the time they will never get back and can suffer from insomnia, fatigue, failure to focus, and loss of studying or work performance.
5. Privacy compromise
If someone truly wanted to track your habits, they would find a way to do so. Yes, you can use incognito windows, change your IP address, and encrypt your traffic using a VPN. That definitely makes it harder for the perpetrator, but not impossible. This is something you need to be aware of, and accept when you start using a computer connected to the Internet.
6. Spread of false information
Spreading information, whether it is true or false, is extremely easy using a computer and with the help of the internet. Even though we cannot blame computers for the acts of bad people, they still help to spread false information all over the internet. Without a computer, it will be a lot harder for people to you just go online and start typing whatever is in their mind.
7. Computers could reduce attention span
Because of the huge flow of information and entertainment content available online, using computers for a while could result in short attention span. Multitasking is the biggest reason for this. As the primary reason for using a computer is its ability to do multiple things at once, your brain may adapt to focusing on things for a smaller amount of time. This could eventually result in inability to spend longer time on things such as studying.