This article will familiarize you with the definition, advantages and disadvantages of Information Communication Technology (ICT). It is important for you to read carefully to understand the basics of Information Communication Technology (ICT).
Information Communication Technology (ICT), or Information Technology (IT) as abbreviated, stands for the use of computers and telecommunications technology and devices to produce, manipulate, store, transmit and securely retrieve information.
These are the tools or gadgets that are used to locate, explore and exchange information. They include the following devices:-
• Computers — Desktops, Laptops, Palmtops, PDAs, Mainframes
• Mobile Phones (GSM)
• Fax machines
• Television sets
Advantages of ICT
Following are the advantages of Information Communication Technology (ICT):
1. It provides timely, better and cheaper access to knowledge and information.
2. It speeds up business transactions, productions and management processes.
3. ICT has made possible for people worldwide, to access internet, in a new and exciting way.
4. With ICT tools, business dealings and transactions have moved closer.
5. It provides a very reliable, flexible, fast and accurate means of disseminating information in modern times.
6. It provides employment opportunities and opens new career fields for people around the world.
7. It is also one of the best mediums for giving out instructions in schools.
Disadvantages of ICT
Despite its numerous benefits, ICT has few limitations, some of which include:-
1. Job loss: ICT application in offices may cut down few jobs as manual jobs and tasks are being automated.
2. Costly: ICT components and tools can be expensive and unaffordable to general public.
3. Loss of Social Bond: Implementation of ICT in every sphere of life is limiting personal human relationships and physical contacts as more work and interactions are based online.
4. Crime: ICT may lead to increase in crime ratings. People are being defrauded online. Cyber crimes like identity-theft, credit card scams, systems hacking, and piracy are on the rise. Internet is flooded with cyber criminals like hackers, perverts, and stalkers.
5. Abuse: This is another disadvantage of ICT. Some examples include pornography (especially child pornography), plagiarism, cyber war, e-mail spams, etc.
6. Addiction: The use of ICT is addictive. Obsessive users can be found spending hours online. This behaviour may lead to stress and other health related complications.
Many parents also believe that the most common adverse effects of ICT may include contact of their child with aggressive or inappropriate contents, endangering their physical health (visual impairment, rigidity, spinal injuries) as a result of prolonged seating in front of the computer, obesity, and loss of contact with the real world leading to addiction. Besides, they also emphasize all positive effects are the acquisitions of new knowledge and skills that the child can benefit from IT for future employment. Parent’s who feel that the use of ICT is more harmful than beneficial to their child; argue by claiming their views that a four-year-old child is too young to be exposed to ICT.