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I received my college Bachelors Degree in Computer Engineering, and
have spent the first 12 years of my professional career using,
implementing, and managing computer technology, so I believe that I
have a well-balanced perspective on computer technology as a whole.
There are many possible ways to approach this essay, but I think that
the most interesting approach is to focus on how computer technology,
and technology in general, creates its own necessity.
One hundred years ago, there were no computers; yet life got along
just fine without them. Of course, there were many other technical
advances that had been introduced by then. For example, the Pony
Express was once the fastest way to send information from coast to
coast. But soon, people could send information almost instantaneously
with the Telegraph, and people themselves could make the journey on
the Transcontinental Railroad. Technology brought about faster and
more efficient ways to communicate. The early adopters of this
technology made greater progress than the ones who continued to use
the old technology. Soon, the remaining businesses either came to use
this technology themselves, or were forced out of business, unable to
keep up with the new business realities. Eventually, these
technologies were used by all of society, and became integrated into
the very fabric of society. You could no longer get by in life by
using ponies to deliver your messages.
I would tie in a few examples of how society has changed as a result
of computer technology, and how certain functions can no longer be
separated from it. For example, accounting work that previously
required days and weeks to be done with pencil and paper require mere
minutes with the computer technology now available. As a result,
people are no longer willing to wait weeks for this work that could be
done by others in a small fraction of the time. This is a function of
life where computer technology has changed people's conceptions and
expectations. There is no way to meet these new expectations without
computer technology, so the technology has created its own necessity.
The point I would drive home is that computer technology, like all
major technological advances before it, has helped to rewrite the
rules of our society. And computer technology will remain essential
to our new way of life, until some new technology comes along to
Wikipedia Entry on Pony Express