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Information Communications Technology Essay Paper

Words: 1733, Paragraphs: 18, Pages: 6

Paper type: Essay , Subject: Cyberbullying

Information Communications Technology Essay.

The era we presently live in has become known as the era of technology. Before we can fully understand how technology has impacted our lives, we need to understand what information communications technology is. According to Oxford Reference (2016, online), information communications technology ( ICT) is “an umbrella term for all of the various media employed in communicating information.” It includes the use of computers, phones, tablets, internet, television, iPads etc. We use technology in communication for efficiency. It allows information and ideas to be shared and transported across the globe easily and efficiently. Over the years the use of ICT has become more and more widespread with 91% of all Irish households having internet access. (Central Statistics Office {CSO}, 2019). This shows that only 9% of households do not have internet access compared to 11% in 2018. The overall percentage of households that have access to internet has gotten progressively greater in the last nine years. The cause of this growth is due to the better accessibility that rural households have to internet access. In the remainder of this essay, I will be discussing the current situation of ICT in Ireland and how we use ICT in our personal lives as well as professional lives. Along with every other topic, ICT has its advantages and disadvantages. I will explore these further throughout the essay. Legislation is also a huge component of ICT and I will discuss GDPR and The Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act 2005. ICT is involved in all aspects of modern life but is ICT affecting the population in negative ways, such as the social abilities of today’s younger generations?

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Of course, a digital divide has always been present in the world. In Ireland a major divide in technology existed between rural and urban Ireland. In the past, rural Ireland had less access to an Internet connection. However, with the advances of technology we have seen an increase in the Internet connection availability in rural Ireland. There are no greater number of networks which provides access to those in real Ireland and also the introduction of fibre powered broadband. The Irish mobile network company Eir is responsible for the roll-out of fibre broadband. It aims to provide nationwide high speed internet access for households and for businesses. It is known as “next generation broadband”(fibrerollout, nd., online). This initiative is working on bridging the main digital divide present in Ireland. On a global scale a digital divide occurs between the first world countries and the third world countries but that is a bigger issue, and due to the scope of this essay, that I will not be discussing. ICT is used on a daily basis by almost everyone both rural and urban and in our personal and professional lives. Many lives revolve around ICT both personally and professionally. Social media, calling, texting, banking and skyping are just a few examples of how ICT is used in our personal lives. Many of our professional lives need ICT to function, from computer companies to banks to schools and even to hospitals. Modern day Ireland is ever evolving to become more technologically advanced. ICT is used for entering buildings using fobs and cards, logging money, taking roll call, for security purposes, for payments, for logging, accounting, research and so much more. ICT has unlimited use in the personal and the professional world and many companies would go under if not for advances in ICT.

As with everything, ICT comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Social media/social networking is probably the most controversial form of ICT presently. According to Drahos?ova? and Balco (2017, online), the exchange of information and communication is the biggest advantage of social media according to 97.2% of the 275 participants, followed by data sharing and education. The major disadvantages acknowledged by the respondents were internet addiction followed closely by lack of security online. ICT also provides our personal and professional lives with efficiency. For example, the use of smart home technology allows the user to verbally communicate with the home and turn on heating, lights, music, ovens etc. E-commerce and online banking have also been a huge time and energy saver. They allow the user to access accounts and money online. This eliminates the need for the person to physically go to the bank but also poses a problem to those employed in the banking sector. ICT is widely used for leisure and enjoyment. Online gaming is as popular as ever and the use of video sharing websites such as YouTube are growing in popularity. People now watch videos and play online games for amusement. However that is not the only use of the internet for leisure purposes. People can now book gym classes, concert and show tickets, playcentres, cinema tickets and even nightclub entry tickets all in the click of a button. In contrast, ICT comes with its fair share of disadvantages. A direct disadvantage of ICT is bullying. Also known as cyber bullying, online bullying is becoming dangerously increased among teens and youths. “More than a third of young people in 30 countries report being a victim of online bullying.”(UNICEF, 2019,online). This staggering figure shows that over 33% of youths have experienced a form of cyberbullying over some from of ICT. An indirect disadvantage of ICT are health issues. Due to the amount of services and amenities provided through ICTs, people no longer have a need to leave the house. The shopping can be ordered online and delivered, the banking can be done online and therefore movement can be limited. This lack of movement can cause obesity and related health issues. The internet can also cause feelings of isolation and loneliness, causing mental health issues. The list of advantages and disadvantages in relation to ICT is lengthy but the main disadvantage that I wish to discuss is the possible lack of social skills because of ICT.

Due to the scope and wordcount of this essay I will not be able to discuss multiple current issues in relation to ICT, such as cost, cyberbullying, fraud, hacking, unlimited access to underage sources (online porn) and gambling. I have choosen to discuss the lack or loss of social skills amongst the public because it is highly topical present and I can also relate to the topic. The loss of social skills among the public is very obviously evident by just observing and interacting with others around us. When walking down a busy street, one can observe that the majority of people are texting, talking on the phone, following a map online or aimlessly scrolling through social media all while walking. Often a member of the public will crash into you because they have been distracted by their phone screen instead of watching ahead. When standing at the bus stop no one is attempting to make small talk with the person standing next to them because of their phone. So the big question is how is this really affecting us as a nation? “Some researchers have noted that heavy internet users seem alienated from normal social contacts.”(Lengacher, 2015, online). The internet has left us with an inability to communicate face-to-face with others at ease without difficulty or awkwardness.

On a different note, the two legislations relating to ICT are GDPR and the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act 2005. GDPR stands for the general data protection regulation. It is a European legislation that is used in data protection and protects and monitors every EU citizens data during processing. The Irish government passed the Data Protection Act in 2018. This aims to enforce all GDPR laws in Ireland and informs people of their data protection rights.( Citizens Information, 2018, online). Some breeches of this legislation include not have records in order or not having permission to process someone’s data. Both of these breeches would result in fines. The second legislation, the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act 2005 was introduced to protect people at work and also to outline each parties responsibilities in the workplace (Health and Safety Authority, nd., online). The employer has a responsibility to provide correct seating setup, computer and screen setup and provide employees that work at VDUs and therefore are using ICT with the correct breaks. ( Citizens Information, 2018, online).

In conclusion, we have now seen that as stated above ICT is using various forms of technology and media to communicate and share ideas. I believe that the social skills of our nation is suffering because of ICT. It is now more difficult than ever to communicate face-to-face with people due to our reliance of social media and phone screen communication. As stated previously, cyberbullying has increased with more than a third of people having experienced some form of bullying online. However on the other side, ICT has made life more efficient for people not just in urban areas but due to technological advances, in rural areas too. ICT has come a long way in the past few years and I expect it to keep evolving as time passes. I believe that overall ICT has a positive impact on our society and although it may have its downfalls, if managed more carefully in the future these problems may be eliminated.

Bibliography

Central Statistics Office, 2019. Information Society Statistics- Households 2019.

[online] Available at: [Accessed on 3rd November 2019.]

Chandler, D. and Munday, R. 2016. A Dictionary of Media and Communication, 2nd edition. In: Oxford Reference [online] Oxford University Press. Available at : [Accessed on 3rd November 2019.]

Citizens Information, 2018. Overview of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) [online] Available at:

HYPERLINK ” [Accessed on 4th November 2019.]

Citizens Information, 2018. Health and Safety at Work [online] Available at: [Accessed on 4th November 2019.]

Drahos?ov?, M. and Balco, P. (2017) The analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of use of social media in European Union, ScienceDirect [online] Available at: [Accessed on 4th November 2019.]

Fibrerollout, nd. Our Technologies [online] Available at: [Accessed on 3rd November 2019.]

Health and Safety Authority, nd. Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 [online] Available at: [Accessed on 4th November 2019].

Lengacher, L. (2015) Mobile Technology: Its Effect on Face-to-Face Communication and Interpersonal Interaction, Undergraduate Research Journal For The Human Sciences, Vol 14, No 22. Available at: [Accessed on 4th November 2019]

UNICEF, 2019. UNICEF poll: More than a third of young people in 30 countries report being a victim of online bullying [online] Available at: [Accessed on 4th November 2019.]

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