Anything in this world, despite how good it might seem, has upsides and downsides. It is always vital to evaluate things so that we better understand them. Computers are no doubt one of the most phenomenal innovations to ever emerge on this earth. The rate of human progress and advancements in all facets of human life owe so much to the computer. On the surface it would seem like computers are solely laden with just great convenience and merits all around. However, computers also have and entail several disadvantages which we must explore. In this article we will outline the advantages and disadvantages of computers so that you know how to navigate your way when using them.
Table of Contents
- 1 ADVANTAGES OF COMPUTERS
- 2 DISADVANTAGES OF COMPUTERS
ADVANTAGES OF COMPUTERS
High Processing Speeds
One of the advantages of computers is that they have high processing speeds. Computers are used for a wide array of reasons or purposes. It can span from mere data storage and analysis to complex computational or mathematical calculations. The computer can do all this at supersonic speeds, something that cannot be achieved manually. Just imagine that at the click of a button a payroll system of thousands of employees can instantly calculate monthly salaries due and disburse them into their respective accounts. Think of how that you can simply select a data range in Microsoft Excel and it automatically and instantly summarize the data by showing you metrics like average, mean, count and so on. So, speed is one of the greatest advantages of computer and computer systems alike.
High Levels Of Precision And Accuracy
The other advantage of computers is that they have high levels of precision and accuracy. Precision is the quality of being reproducible in amount or performance. Accuracy is the quality of being equivalent or near to the true value. We just had to define those two terms because they do not mean exactly the same. Anyways, the computer wields both of those qualities in exceeding measure. This is closely tied in to the speed element because high speeds heavily rely on precision and accuracy. This is made possible by the ability of watertight programming protocols incorporated in the code for any program that runs a computer. This makes it possible to produce consistently precise and accurate data or information all the time. This is something that is not guaranteed when being done manually by human effort.
High Multipurpose Data Storage Capacities
Storage capacities of computer have evolved over the years. Now you can find a laptop or desktop computer having a storage capacity of 1 terabyte (i.e. 1000 gigabytes). This means you can store an enormous amount of data on a computer with ease. The multipurpose element stems from that you can store virtually any data format on a computer. It can be documents, audios, videos and so on. The computer can also process or analyse that data with high speeds whilst being precise and accurate. It is also easy to retrieve that data at any given point. Another thing to add here is that the store of data is much cheaper than manual methods where you would need rooms, physical files, paper and so on. So one of the huge advantages of computers is that they have huge storage capacities.
Automation And Efficiency
Computers are essentially mechanical machines which operate using software. They do not have emotions or sensory perceptions like us humans. They are programmed to carry out automated tasks with great efficiency. They can run all day without getting tired like humans would. This also entails conveniences of multitasking which form the operational DNA of a computer. Earlier we gave an example of a payroll system. Normally you would have humans manually calculating all that and it would take ages. Yet when using a computer payroll system everything is automated and efficient. That is just one example but there are plenty more. Automation and efficiency is one of the huge advantages of computers.
Other Advantages of Computers
- Multitasking – can do multiple tasks at the same time
- Increases your productivity
- Helps organise and process data
- Allows for convenient resource sharing especially for large companies
- Makes file sharing easier
- Compatible with many software which make work easier
- Can assist the physically challenged eg can produce audio so that the blind can read
DISADVANTAGES OF COMPUTERS
One of the disadvantages of computers is that they pose lots of health-related risks. You are looking at people spending prolonged periods whilst seated in front of computers. We are also looking at things like repetitive strain injury, and eye strain, just to mention a few. These are things that can be prevented by managing one’s time in front of the computer. However, it is not always easily manageable and in most cases people will not even realize till later when health has already been compromised.
Threats To Job Security
It is a given that computers have given rise to new jobs that otherwise would not have been there. Unfortunately, they have led to job losses and still continue to pose threats to job security. Sometimes people try to avert this by retraining existing staff to realign but it is not always possible. Picture this, one computer software program can replace tens or hundreds of human personnel. Businesses or companies are often left with no option but to lay off workers because computers or computer systems can do the same tasks faster and cheaply. Thus one of the disadvantages of computers is that they pose a threat tp job security.
Susceptible To Viral And Hacking Attacks
The other disadvantage of computers is that they are susceptible to viral and hacking attacks. There are definitely plenty of safeguards that can be put in place to avoid these things. This still does not completely annihilate the incidence of computers or computer systems being attacked by viruses or being hacked. The annoying thing about this is that these attacks can be done instantaneously and remotely. Data or information can be stolen or compromised in just a matter of seconds.
Erosion Of Physical Human Contact
Erosion of physical human contact is one of the disadvantages of computers. Computers have proven to erode the fabric of society which is physical human contact. There is no doubt about how that there are times when physical human contact is to be avoided. Perfect example is times like where there is an on-going global pandemic. However, computers can seriously compromise the ability of to meet physically. Human interaction is much more intimate and effective when people are interacting in person. Most people have actually replaced their need to socialize by opting to be on their computer being online and all.
Other Disadvantages of Computers
- Wastage of time and energy by many people doing unproductive things eg playing games
- Can enable computer crimes eg online scams, hacking
- Process of manufacturing and disposing computers harms the environment
- They can disrupt work if they break down
- Can lead to addictions eg social network addiction, pornography addiction
We have just discussed 4 each for the advantages and disadvantages of computers but there are several more. Depending on how you choose to interpret it, you can see computers as having a perfect balance between the good and the bad. You could instead see them as being inclined more towards either of sides.