No Live Without Information Technology
In the past, people used more of theirs powers and nature powers to do many things like farming and sailing. Then, when James Watt invented steam engine in 1769, the world started to change. We called it Industry Revolution. One of the characteristic of this is substituting human role in many fields of work to machine. This steam machine has pushed industrial fields to produce more products. Besides that, it has motivated others people to invent other things, such steam ship, locomotive, and many other machines.
The Industry Revolution has become important milestone in human civilization. The other important milestone is the invention of computer. The computer era started in 1940’s when Dr John Mauchly and Prosper Eckert invented ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator). Its weight 30 tons and it needs 140 meters square area. It also needs 130 KW to operate it normally. ENIAC is the first generation of computer.
After that, the development of computer keeps on increasing. Based on Moore’s Law, we know that the number of transistors that can be inexpensively placed on an integrated circuit is increasing exponentially, doubling approximately every two years. So, the ability and capacity of computer increase, but the size of it decrease. Now, there is personal computer (PC) in each home, office, and other places. Or if we are a mobile person so we can not take PC everywhere, we just need laptop to substitute it.
We can use computer to finish our project report and the school task, design layout from poster, make business presentation, calculate and analyze a group of data, and many other things. Nowadays, computer is also equipped with multimedia application as entertainment and education media.
Now, computer is just not as a computer. It can be connected with internet to see what happen in the world in present. Not only for that, internet can facilitate us to chat, send mail, or download and upload photos, files, and others. Internet gives a new color in social interaction pattern and information access. People can communicate with everyone, whenever and wherever they want. They also get easier access to get some information from various website in internet. George Gilder, visionary author of Telecosm, states that bandwidth grows at least three times faster than computer power. This means that if computer power doubles based on Moore’s Law, then communications power doubles every four months. It means that internet user will increase in later years.
Computer and internet are two things that can not be separated from people activities now. IT has influenced in many sectors such as business, education, even the government sector. In business area, IT makes same opportunity for company from America and Indonesia to promote their business. IT also supports many office task, like written before. Disappearing time and space constraints with internet opens new opportunity to distance working. People can do their works from home without need to worry about the traffic jam or take care of the family, for woman. In education, IT creates many innovations such as distance learning, interactive multimedia animation, and online try out (www.sekolah-online.net/tryout). In Indonesia government, IT has not used widely yet. It is still limited in creating a website, communicating in email, or only for some software applications.
Beside the good effect, Linda Wilbanks said her opinion so we have to be careful about IT. She warned us about IT security problem. It is possible if there is an unintended audience reads certain information about our work or personal life. It will disturb us. We can not guarantee if our IT device is stolen or lost, the data will be fine, not used improperly. The other IT problem is related to our personal lives. More people doing more and getting more work done because they have IT personal device connected internet. So, they have decreased our time for themselves and their family. They can not sleep normally again. They seldom play with their child because they always have a deadline works.
The IT use also creates people become more individually. This indication can be seen in many big cities in Indonesia that use IT more in their lives. People seldom have many conversations with their neighbor. Even, they just know few names of their neighbor. In office area, IT push people to work in front of computer all of work time. The employees don’t have time to talk, not about the works, with other people in the same room or division.
But, the bad effects should not make us to decide not using IT. Maybe it is probably too soon to say that we can not live without IT. There is no research about that. But, I want to propose three arguments that support my opinion. First, many sectors use IT as supporting tools to run their activities. It is not only for typing, printing, sending or receiving mail, but also some companies use software application in their systems such payroll system, administration system, and financial (purchase and payment) system. If they leave it, the companies will get many difficulties to operate their activities. It is not only in business sectors. Because IT has become wide, it will be same consequences to other sectors if there is no IT supporting.
Second, IT is a vital part of our life now. You can see that every people have his or her own hand phone and PC or laptops with internet connected. They use it to communicate to each other not only for business, but also for social, family, and personal activities. Sugeng Wibowo said that internet can be helpful media in natural disaster. Internet can play role as communication media, information media, fund collecting, and for looking for lost people. With mailing list or discussion forum, we can share and get information about hobbies and many other things.
Third, IT has proof its effectiveness and efficiency. With IT, activities become faster to do. Works can be finished in short time. We can send document to other office in different province or country with email, no need to come to post office. It doesn’t need many days or weeks. Just wait for five or ten minutes, or faster than that, and the document will come. Any tasks done by IT will keep more precise and accurate so we can say that IT is effective. We can finish our targets well.
I agree with the statement of Michael J Miller that the big question is how we will use technology. IT develops rapidly, both of software and hardware. We can not avoid that. The role that we can do is uses it wisely. We know that we don’t live just in office. We have home and family too. So, we have to arrange our time and works. We also have neighbors, friends, and other communities. We have to interact with them. It doesn’t need to have a conversation all the day. But, it is not because we have hand phone and email address, we have conversation with them in SMS, phone or email. We need to have face to face conversation. We need to visit our neighbors and friends home to know each other deeply.
We must also increase the security when use IT. It is better if we backup our data in computer, laptops, and hand phone. We have to ensure that our IT device has been protected with best security. So, if it is lost or stolen, the data can’t be misused. We must avoid using hand phone or typing messages in SMS or email when we drive a car. It can danger our self and other people. We have to protect our surrounding from porn and other bad contents from internet.
Based on my arguments, I can not imagine if someday there will be no computer, hand phone or other IT device. Maybe we can live because there are still many foods and water. But, we can not “live” actually. We can not send documents to our clients because there is no internet connection in our computer. There is no phone, too. We will feel live in an uncomfortable world.
IT is still in very development progress. Bill Gates said that the power of computing will be ubiquitous. He also predicts that we will be accessing computing capabilities on an ever widening range of devices, often taking advantage of nearby displays and projection surfaces.
That we can do now is to give balance proportional using IT in our lives. The positive and negative effect may still be there. Because of that, the main role is handled by us. If we can control IT use, it will give more benefit to us, and vice versa.