2. Compare and Contrast. Identify two modes of doing the same thing where one involves a more technologically advanced method. Example would be snail mail vs. e-mail. List down as many examples. Brainstorm with a partner if a less technologically sophisticated mechanism can actually turn out to be better in terms of reaching for the good life. Is the more technologically advanced always better?
With development happening in the whole world, technological advancements have changed or modified old ways of doing things. If the modern ways are better or not, is up for debate.
Two ways of carrying out the same activity, one more traditional and the other more technologically advanced, are listed below.
1) Physical banking activities are a traditional way of depositing and withdrawing money from a bank, updating cheque-books, checking balance amount, etc. This was more time-consuming and inefficient, as it involved travelling to the bank, waiting in queues. Even for the bank, it was a difficult task to manage the crowd, which led to increasing costs of extra employees, sitting arrangements, etc.
The system of e-banking has reduced this burden to a great extent. These activities now take place online in most cases. The labor cost of excess employees has reduced, which can be deviated to something more productive. Even for the consumers time and efforts have reduced significantly.
2) The traditional way of physical takeaways of food from restaurants was probably more expensive and inefficient for the consumers. The commuting cost, the extra effort involved, etc. made it expensive for the consumers. This also limited the takeaways for the restaurants, as very people could afford this cost.
Modern food delivery applications including Zomato, Swiggy, etc. have made the process very easy and convenient for the consumers. For the sellers, the cost of hiring delivery personnel may have increased but along with that, the overall delivery demands have also risen, which compensates for the cost.
3) The old ways of marketing/advertising were a tad too expensive because the physical presence of marketing individuals was a must. This made it inefficient as the reach of advertising was also less. For instance, insurance agents would go door to door to talk about their policies.
Marketing and advertising through various modes on the internet and TV have made it more cost-efficient and profitable, as more people have access to it.
4) The traditional ways of packaging simple, everyday commodities such as bread were very simple. The packaging was also more environmental-friendly with the use of cloth bags or paper.
The modern packaging of goods is more attractive yet less environmental-friendly, due to the increased use of plastic.
5) The traditional way of consulting a doctor was just to meet the doctor physically and get the diagnosis. There was a more personal touch to the whole process.
Modern medication has many other ways such as online diagnosis applications, applications to check blood pressure, etc. These applications, although cost-efficient, may not always be trustworthy and can be rather misleading.
6) The traditional way of recycling involved physically collecting and recycling items such as plastic bottles, newspapers, etc. This was a better way because it provided employment to the recyclers and also encouraged more people to participate, considering the convenience.
A more modern way of doing this is by depositing plastic bags and newspapers in recycling machines that are available in many public places. The problem with this new method is that very few people are motivated enough to find a recycling machine on a railway station because dumping a plastic bottle on the roadside is easier.
7) The traditional means of transport involved steam engines, coal-based railways, and polluting motorcycles.
Modern transportation means including electric, battery-based motorcycles, metros, etc. are way more cost-efficient, fast, and environmental-friendly.
8) Most traditional production processes were expensive, less efficient, and gave negative externalities in the form of pollution.
However, due to certain regulations imposed and also technological advancements, the modern production processes are way more efficient and give out less negative externalities.
To conclude, certain activities are more efficient using the traditional ways such as medical consultation, packaging, recycling; while the activities such as e-banking, marketing, food delivery, production, and transport have more efficient modern techniques. Thus, technological advancements are not always the best. A mix of both is essential.