Nowadays, in the era of globalization, rapid technological innovations and globalization of information, it is already impossible to imagine our life without modern technologies. Technology and electronics, including personal computers, exist in each area of people’s life, and play a very important role. They make life more convenient and sometimes even easier by offering new opportunities that were not available before. This paper will focus on personal computing particularly and on its role in the contemporary society with a specific focus on education, social life and health care system in order to understand, whether personal computing is necessary in all these fields and what benefits it brings.
First of all, it is worth starting with providing brief information about personal computing in general. Personal computing can be defined as the process of using a computer in order to assist in one’s work, education, avocation, entertainment and various domestic activities. The first personal computer was designed and introduced on the market in 1975 in the United States. It received a name Altair 8800, and it had nothing in common with modern personal computers: it was a blue box without keyboard, monitor or disk drive. Thus, basically there was no way of putting information in the computer, or taking the information out of it. Therefore, it is possible to say that Altair 8800 could not do anything useful, however it was a very important invention because Altair 8800 became a prototype for all future computers. (Poole 54) Almost at the same time internet was developed, which started the era of personal computing. At first, internet was not as global as nowadays, as served more as means of connecting computers together. It has quite limited access and was used only by military and researchers, who were conducting their researches in universities. However, already ten years later it spread to universities and some commercial enterprises, which made internet more common among ordinary population. Nowadays internet is an essential part of people’s life and a key component of personal computing since it is means of communication and exchange of information between people of different nations all over the world. (Gilbert and Stoneman 341)
As it has been mentioned above, personal computing plays an important role in the contemporary society and people’s life. One of the spheres, in which personal computers are widely used, is education. Nowadays almost every university and college has the electronic system, which is available for students in order to study, to look for necessary material, delivering papers and communicating with professors. There are electronic libraries that are accessible to students with a great variety of electronic books and articles that they can easily get from their personal computers even without going to the university for this purpose. Moreover, it is also necessary to mention a distance education that would be not possible without personal computing. One of the main and first institutions providing distance education was the Open University established in the UK. Distance education allows people receive a high quality education and necessary knowledge on an interested specialization without participating in face-to-face courses. It encompasses educational programs that allow tutor and student to be apart from each other, but at the same time to maintain communication in a variety of ways. The role of personal computing in distance education is very crucial and important, because with the help of personal computers people got an opportunity to study without even leaving their apartments and to access education as any time from any place. (Beldarrain 140) In terms of the role of personal computing in educational processes, it is also necessary to point out that it plays an important role even in traditional education, when students attend classes in colleges and universities and have a personal face-to-face contact with their professors, since personal computer has already become an important element of learning. More and more students use their personal computers in order to take notes instead of using more traditional method of a pen and paper. Moreover, personal computers are used for keeping important information, lectures and for preparing different papers and assignment.
Personal computing also plays an essential role in people’s social life and communication, especially during the recent decades when social networks were developed. Social networking can be defined as a type of virtual communication that allows people to stay in contact with each other. Various social network websites, instant messaging, sharing photo- and video online can be considered as effective tools of people’s communication with the help of personal computing. Among the most popular social networks nowadays are Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram and some others. According to the statistics, Facebook, as the most popular social network initially created for Harvard students by Mark Zuckerberg, has approximately of 550,000,000 visitors per year. An interesting fact that the first social network was launched already in 1997 and its name was SixDegrees. (Das and Sahoo 223) Though the use of social networks is quiet a controversial issue, most researchers agree that regular access of young people in the modern time is important, because if young people are systematically excluded from social network sites, they lose out on an opportunity to develop technical skills that are necessary in the contemporary society, social interactions and relationship networks. (Ahn 148)
One more social sphere, in which personal computing plays a very important role is health care system. Medicine has been constantly and developing, and new technologies are always appearing by changing the face of the contemporary medicine and how it is going to be practiced in the future. The appearance and development of personal computers have provided new services in the health care system that were not possible and available before. Most of them have made the medical services more accessible, and brought other different beneficial changes. Personal computing in the healthcare has many advantages both for health care providers and patients. For example, with the help of computers, doctors and hospital administrators are able to review patient information, review lab results, provide medical advice, create and send prescription to a patient’s pharmacy, manage clinical messages and etc. Thus, it is possible to say that personal computers have made the work of health care providers much easier and more productive. Those duties that had taken a lot of time before now can be performed much faster and easier on computers. In terms of patients, who use personal computers for medical purposes, there are also many benefits for them. With the help of their personal computers, they are able to view, schedule and make appointments using web portals; view any medical record from the providers’ web portal, view medical information from the internet; find health care providers and pharmacies. (Bajwa) Moreover, researchers also claim that with the help of computers it is much easier to keep heath records that are less likely to be lost. Moreover, doctors are also able transfer health records and important documents about patients over long distances by spending very little time. (Koide and Perskin 4)
Summarizing all the written above about the role of personal computing nowadays, it is possible to draw a conclusion that it is almost impossible to imagine our life nowadays without computers. Personal computers are used in different spheres of people’s life including education, social life and health care by bringing and offering many various benefits. With the help of personal computer, a lot of services and functions that had not been possible before, are available nowadays. Moreover, personal computers made our life and many aspects of it easier and more accessible. For example, nowadays it is possible to stay in touch with friends over long distances with the help of social networks, to get a consultation with health providers and even study without leaving your own apartment and communicating with professors while being on different continents. Thus, personal computing plays an important role and has many advantages.
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Beldarrain, Yoany. “Distance Education Trends: Integrating new technologies to foster studens interaction and collaboration” Distance Education 27. 2006: 139-153. Print
Das, Biswajit and Jyoti Shankar Sahoo. “Social Networking Sites – A Critical Analysis of Its Impact on Personal and Social Life”. International Journal of Business and Social Science 2. 2015: 222-228.Print
Gilbert, Nigel and Paul Stoneman. Researching Social Life. London: SAGE Publications. 2016. Print
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