Technology is rapidly evolving. And many spheres involved in social change are growing with it.
In this day and age, the effects of social change spread quickly from one area of the world to another. Technological advancements have made the lines of communication of information smoother.
Technology is playing a huge role in driving social change and here are 5 examples of it.
Technology and Social Work
Social work is a part of the mental healthcare sector that is evolving with technology. And the future of social work is digital.
Technology has made mental healthcare services more accessible through the virtual world. Now, anyone can access cost-effective counseling and support online. It is also easier for social workers to be in contact with their clients, especially in emergencies.
Social work has also become more efficient! Technology eases the burdens of case management, appointment scheduling, and supervision for volunteers and workers. Meanwhile, case notes can be encrypted and stored online. No more paper record means less chance of breached confidentiality.
Social media is a powerful tool for the engagement and empowerment of community members and groups. It allows for smoother planning, implementation, management, and evaluation of social programs.
However, there is the possibility of tech failures and service interruption when utilizing online services. And social workers must be aware of setting solid ethical boundaries with clients who may have access to their personal numbers or online account.
Technology and Activism
We all know of the #BlackLivesMatter Instagram hashtag, which was (and still is) used as a tool for information sharing, visibility, and spreading awareness. And what about #MeToo, the hashtag that encouraged the sharing of harassment stories for solidarity and reduction of tolerance?
These social justice movements were picked up easily and assembled a mass audience overnight!
Technology and the invention of social media have allowed for an increased chance of attracting support and attention for a chosen social cause. Think of petitions and fundraising. Aren’t these so much easier now that they can be shared digitally?
It’s also rather easy these days to track your cause’s impact and the effectiveness of your strategies through the use of technology. Not to mention, collaboration and coordination with team members, supporters, and donors have been made smoother!
Now, it’s truly about collective action rather than individual efforts.
Technology and Education
Some may feel that technology in the classroom is distracting. However, there are numerous ways technology can help a student while studying.
The education sector has rapidly adopted technological elements, making education accessible to a wider range of people.
Within an educational institution (primary, secondary, tertiary, etc.), technology allows for learner variability. Neurodivergent scholars, for example, of all ages are known to learn differently from their neurotypical cohorts. However, the schooling system is primarily centered on a neurotypical method of learning.
Scholars with ADHD or ASD can personalize, adjust, and modify settings to suit them best.
And of course, you’ve got the brilliant invention of online courses! In this way, technology is democratizing education and making it available to everyone despite their differences or circumstances.
Scholars and students having access to a host of online resources also allow for greater educational independence and the pursuit of their interests. And it leaves room for self-education and creativity.
Technology and Healthcare
Healthcare has also developed in leaps and bounds since technology started to take over.
It’s amazing to think that we now have access to wearable gadgets that track our everyday health. And alert our healthcare professional if something is amiss. A seemingly simple watch can now read our heart rate and predict signs of breathing problems, diabetes, and blood sugar levels.
This technology, as a part of predictive analyses, has been reducing the number of hospitalizations per year. Early detection of symptoms through AI and ML tools has played a major role in preventing health disasters.
The future of healthcare technology is truly vast. And it is far-reaching! And it is far-reaching! Insert: For example, accessible technologies like the SpeakEASY Portable Voice Amplifier can be hugely beneficial for speech therapists working with their clients.
Typically, access to healthcare is hindered by affordability and physical accessibility. But healthcare disparities are now being reduced through more profound and extensive research, as well as telemedicine.
Individuals dwelling in rural areas who struggle with travel to healthcare facilities can now have their sessions online!
Technology and Environmental Justice
Today, technology is being used extensively, in many differing fields, to reduce our environmental impact.
We are moving away from fossil fuels to cleaner energy. Sun, wind, and water power are now being utilized all over the world. And, while we still use oil-based transport, the public and electric transport sphere is growing.
Additionally, the technology of lab/man-made meat is becoming popular due to the destruction of natural habitats by the animal agriculture industry.
The internet, specifically social media, has also been utilized to bring attention to environmental issues. And it’s been a godsend for forcing companies and organizations to be transparent about all of their direct and indirect carbon emissions.
The generations who use the internet most are the most passionate about the environment. And they will be the ones to hold an organization accountable online for their nonchalance about making their business sustainable.