Social Impacts of Technology: Analysis of the Telephone.

Essay by yipee43University, Bachelor'sA+, November 2003

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Is technology good or bad? This question is the root of a continuous debate on whether the effects of technology on society are more positive or negative. Technology has changed the world in so many ways, and certain inventions have made significant impacts on society. One of these inventions is the telephone. The telephone has become one of the most common tools used in the world and because of this, it "has had a much more profound social effect than any other technical modes of communication" (Cherry 1997). The telephone's profound effects often go unnoticed by the majority of its users. This is what often occurs once a new technology breaks its way into the mainstream of society. The tool's applications become a natural part of daily life and most people never consider its consequences.

There was a time in history when the telephone was considered an advanced, new technology.

The process of inventing the telephone was not an easy one. Alexander Graham Bell had to do some serious convincing to his partners, Gardineer Greene Hubbard, a prominent lawyer from Boston, and Thomas Sanders, a leather merchant with capital from Salem, in order for them to support his idea of voice transmittal. There were many times when Bell's partners threatened to pull his funding because they did not believe the task could be accomplished (Compass Technologies 2000).

Obviously, Sanders and Hubbard did not give up on Bell because in 1876 Alexander Graham Bell filed a patent for his new speaking telephone (Ohlman 719). Bell made it to the Patent Office only a few hours before a man named Elisha Gray, who had independently constructed a similar invention (Compass Technologies 2000). Bell's work was not over after he received the patent for his telephone. His next arduous task was to convince...