Throughout history, there have been many watershed events that have both positively and negatively impacted society. Change is inevitable and progress is impossible without it. The world is constantly changing with its new ideas, resources, and products, demanding and expecting even faster responses. Governments have evolved, technology is rapidly becoming more advanced, people are changing the way they think, the list goes on. Although there have been many times when change has had a positive impact on society, this does not go to say that all change is good. Globalization is how people, governments, and companies of different nations interact and integrate. This process has brought many positive effects such as changes in education, culture, trade, and technology but these same changes have been the reason for many of the world’s problems today. So, is all change still good? Let’s see.
One negative change that globalization brings is its destabilizing effects on families. Today’s families live in a world that is complex, interconnected, and continuously evolving. The complexity of modern living has changed people’s perception towards marriage and family, as more families are becoming “touch and go” due to workplace demands and lack of time spent together (Lestary, 2013). As a result of globalization, there Is now the issue of individualism over collectivism. The greatest effect of individualism was on sex and the family. In the 20th century, people had more availability and choices of contraception which allowed you to experiment with several sex partners. Divorce rates also skyrocketed as a result of individualism. People were leaving their families when things got hard or when they were simply unhappy because their individual fulfillment became more important. Besides the increasing divorce rates in the U.S., this became a global issue as divorce rates in China reached nearly twenty-five percent by the turn of the twenty-first century, with seventy percent of those divorces initiated by women.
Another negative effect of globalization is trade. This aspect of globalization shows that not all change is good because although foreign trade has been created and expanded allowing the exchange of goods throughout the world, it is also the cause of the increase in tariff rates in many developing countries. For lower-income developing countries, trade can have a negative effect on them. As there continues to be widespread use of different techniques such as computers, cell phones, and fax machines, there is a cheaper and quicker means of trade offered to higher-income developing countries. This decreases the competitive advantage of lower-income countries as technology empowers efficiency in trade by reducing costs and time. As competition increases as a result of globalization, companies are expanding from local areas and their home countries, sourcing materials, and outsourcing labor. Outsourcing is a controversial topic but it is unavoidable. Again, this practice is a result of globalization which has both positive and negative effects. To help prove my point that all change is not good, I will of course focus on the negative impacts. One issue that comes with outsourcing is the loss of domestic jobs. As companies find lower wages, operating costs, and simpler requirements in other countries such as China and India more appealing, unemployment rises in America. It could take many years before countries reach their saturation point and raise their wages and requirements but until then, many U.S. workers have no work and have few prospects of landing a job. As unemployment increases, it leads to less economic growth, decreased consumer spending, and a lower GDP.
One of the biggest changes that come with globalization of course is the advancement of technology. Now it goes without saying that technology has benefited society tremendously as it improves efficiency, creates jobs, makes communication easier, and leads to advancements in medicine, but technological advancements also have cons. Modern technology can be addictive, Americans check their phones over 300 a day and the more it advances, the more it seems to have control over our lives. According to the scholarly journal The Impact of Technologies on Society: A Review, the most important negative impacts of the use of modern technologies on society and its impact on individual behavior are the formation of personal beliefs, social isolation, reduction in the family ties between the family and society members, inactivity, obesity, lack of desire to work different kinetic activities, a waste of time in things that are not useful, increase in the rate of violence, especially in children because of watching violent programs, high crime rate because of spreading video clips presenting all kinds of these crimes and ways of committing them and the spread of lies and rumors causing distraction and loss of trust in such information (Younes and Al-Zoubi, 2015). Lastly, with technology constantly advancing and changing, there is always a demand for newer and more efficient versions of things. This may not seem like an issue but as new technology is put on the market, the old versions tend to become obsolete, leading to old computers, TVs, and electronic waste filling up our landfills and damaging our environment.