Advantages & Disadvantages of Electronic Gadgets

By Steve Johnson

Gadgets make many things more efficient, but like every other aspect of life, they come with their own set of disadvantages as well. As of 2011, electronic gadgets account for 15 percent of total household electricity consumption worldwide, as reported by the International Energy Agency. By 2022, that number will double, by current estimates.

Enabling Lifestyles

Electronic gadgets have seen a revolution. In the past, most gadgets served a single purpose: Phones called people; TVs showed television shows. Now, gadgets are evolving to be multi-purpose tools. Mobile phones today not only call, but most allow texting, email, web-surfing, and a host of other features. These gadgets, whether a computer or a phone, allow people to stay more organized, stay in constant communication, and gain access to the outside world much more easily than was ever possible without electronic gadgetry.

Business and Work

Laptop computers, personal digital assistants, known as PDAs, and smart phones eliminate the need for offices for some people. They make work possible that was once impossible without a physical office-hub. Now meetings can be held from nearly any location with a simple computer, microphone, and Internet access. The ability of websites to be established as hubs, working similarly to virtual stores, has also led to a revolution for consumers, opening up the world of Internet retail. The low cost of starting an online-based business as compared to a physical business also helps push entrepreneurialism.

Time and Health Concerns

Electronic devices are designed to save time and make people more efficient. For many people, though, the increase in new inventions take up more time. An efficient gadget might actually provide someone with less free time due to the assortment of additions it’s providing. Regarding health, concerns have been raised about cell phones and brain tumors; however, according to the National Cancer Institute, as of 2011, no link has been determined to exist. Another health concern is that gadgetry tends to require immobility. Video games commonly take some of the blame for rises in childhood obesity during recent decades.

Environmental Impact

A commonly overlooked negative side to electronic gadgetry is their environmental impact. Non-biodegradable, non-recyclable electronic gadgets often end up in landfills or are shipped to crude facilities in developing countries. Without safe and efficient means of recycling, electronic wastes are burned to salvage bits of metal – releasing toxic substances into the atmosphere, polluting the immediate environment and potentially nearby water resources as well. The rapid increase in the number of electronic gadgets, as projected by the International Energy Agency, not only means greater carbon dioxide emissions but also increasing energy demands that will need to be met.