Sample Engineering Paper on Socio-technical Impact of Engineering Technology

Socio-technical Impact of Engineering Technology (SMART PHONES)


The evolution and popularity of smartphone technology has been considered as a major engineering achievement. This is with regard to the ability of the technology to improve the nature of communication between different individuals in the society. In addition, smartphone technology has also made it easier for members of the society separated by diverse geographical boundaries to engage in an easier and instant interaction (Rosenwald 2). Popular smartphone manufacturing and marketing companies such as Apple, Huawei, Samsung, and Sony among other companies have been able to improve on their level of completive advantage and a market share with regard to the production of adequately designed communication devices. From a socio-technical perspective, it is possible to argue smartphones are playing an essential role in the contemporary society (Rosenwald 2). The development in the design and the capabilities of the technology has necessitated the evolution of a relatively easier life among members of the society. However, there is need to ask questions about people’s feelings concerning the rapid development of technology with regard to the future of the society. The main objective of this research paper will be to engage in an elaborate discussion on various aspects of smartphone technology and their impact on the lives of people in the society from a general perspective.

General objective

To engage in an in-depth research and discussion on various aspects of smartphone technology and their impact on the lives of the society

Specific objectives

  • To assess the impact of smartphone technology with regard to the positive and negative social consequences
  • To find out the extent to which the society consumers technology with regard to t the use of smartphones
  • To assess the role of the smartphone as a tool of engagement and the rude use of technology
  • To assess the development and the adoption of a code of conduct in the sue of smartphones
  • To assess the viability of introducing new engineering design rules with regard to the manufacture of smartphones
  • To assess the risks and the legal aspects involved for the engineer to ensure that the redesigning process of smartphones promotes positive aspects while eliminating the negative aspects


This study will embrace the qualitative approach to research while embracing the exploratory and descriptive research designs. Being a qualitative research the study will derive data from existing literature on the impact of smartphone technology in the society. These will include journals, publications, and books and periodicals derived from authenticated sources. The descriptive research design will be important in the description of attributes by creating a profile of a group of problems with the aim of answering on the impact of smartphone technology on the. Exploratory research design will be used in explaining the phenomenon provided in the descriptive approach.

An in-depth literature review is considered as the most effective methodology of data collection because it will provide a chronological account of the development of smartphone technology and the gradual impact of this technology on the society. In addition, through this approach it will also be possible to develop an understanding of the role that engineers have played in the design of smartphone with regard to mitigating the impact of the technology while at the same time promoting the positive aspect that contribute to the general development of the technology.


Impact of smartphone technology

Positive impact

The design and evolution of smartphone technology can be associated with the desire among engineers in the design of modern socio-technical systems. This is because of the need that the system must exhibit complexities in varieties of ways as a strategy of driving the needs for innovation beyond those used in complex products (Rosenwald 4). For smartphone technology, the process of innovation involved the development of a broad perspective in terms of new ways of thought beyond the traditional systems engineering practices. This explains why the process of redesigning smartphones resulted in the development of a technology aimed ensuring that the users are not only busy but also engaged in different activities facilitated by the use of the technology. From a positive perspective, it is possible to argue that smartphone technology provided the society with an alternative and additional way of engaging in enhanced communication activities (Chen 1).

Engaging in enhanced communication with regard to the society can be likened to the increased digital presence that has been provided by smartphone technology. Prior to the evolution and the popularity of this technology communication was limited because there was need to use variety of devices when communicating different form of information (Rosenwald 4). For instance, telephones only served as a method of communication by word of mouth while emails were only available to those who could access the internet. However, with the design and redesign of smartphones, which are multifunctional with regard to their ability to integrate mobile communication and the internet, provides a platform for digital interaction. In addition, through this technology members of the society have the ability of accessing a multitude of online and media platforms (Chen 1).

The world is increasingly becoming interconnected through globalization and internet technology. Innovations such as smartphones are paying a critical role in linking different members of the society separated by geographical barriers. Through this increase in interconnection, it has become easier for members of the society to make decision on how they would like to present themselves to the world using diverse elements of presentation such as fashion, words, and activities. The interconnection necessitated by smartphone technology is an indication that from a social technical perspective they provide an interface that allows people to seek and share information in a transparent and reputable manner. Furthermore, smartphone technology also allows members of the society to engage in the development and maintenance of relationships in different regions across the world. When perceived in terms of the gains that smartphones necessitate for the society, it is possible to argue that through instant sharing and acquisition of information the technology has improved on the levels of transparency considering that different individuals and groups can engage in instantaneous sharing of information about different sects affecting the society.

The development of smartphone is an indication that technology is increasingly becoming personal. Unlike computers which were first installed in large rooms and desks, smartphone are portable hence members of the society can walk with them in their pockets while integrating it with other devices that allow for ease of use (Chen 1). The portable nature of this technology has made it an easy connection and communication device considering that it is possible for members of the society to engage in communication, and sharing of information anywhere and at any time provided that the factors the promote the functionality of this apparatus such as internet and battery connectivity are available (Rosenwald 5).

One of the social technical ways through which smartphone technology has revolutionized the communication platform in the society is that it allows for the storage of data in different forms and sizes. Through the process of designing and redesigning the technology, the storage capacity of the smartphone has experienced a tremendous evolution process (Rosenwald 6). For instance, Apples’ Iphone 6 is considered as one of the smartphones with a larger storage capacity. This device can store up to 128GB in form of data. The development of this device was based on the understanding that with the current level of information available in the society, smartphone users are engaged in an increased process of information production (Rosenwald 7). Through large storage capacities, smartphones allow for the production and the storage of more data such that users do not have to worry about the possibility of deletion of previous data to make room for more data.

The redesigning of smartphones from a socio-technical perspective has been because of an attempt by the smartphone manufacturing companies to ensure that the social trends that define technology are not on maintained but also enhanced. This explains why the development of the technology has been simultaneous with that of other related aspects such as the internet. The need to ensure high-speed internet provided for the development of Samsung Galaxy s6 and iPhone 5 and 6. This was based on the understanding that 3G and 4G enabled mobile data and services were the next generation of mobile communication systems (Rosenwald 5). The positive impact of this technology with regard to the use of smartphones in the society is that enhances high speed mobile broadband and multimedia which enables an average user to engage in different forms of entrainment activities such as online television, streaming, fast download of information to serve different purposes. The essence of this technology also emanates from the understanding that it is possible to compare their connectivity spread with that of wire line broadband. For those engaged in socializing initiatives and learning activities through their smartphones, 3G and 4G technology provides them with high speed internet and data services even while on transit (Rosenwald 6).

Negative consequences

When perceived from a socio-technical perspective, smartphone can be considered as elements that mesmerize members of the society. This can be attributed to different factors, which define the design process. Aesthetics involved in the design of the smartphone make them attractive to the target customers. While this can be considered as a positive aspect for smartphone manufacturers with regard to their sales and profit levels, there are underlying negative consequences associated with impulse and uninformed purchases of the technology (Torilsmith 1). Smartphone manufactures are increasingly involved in the design of new and improved products as a technique of maintaining their competitive advantage, customer base and market share. However, for the customers, the production of this technology negatively affects their socio-economic capabilities considering that they have to seek additional disposable income to afford the highly priced products. One of the dangers of such development in the contest of the society is that it may necessitate an increase in social crimes such as robbery. In addition, it may also the social cohesion in the society considering that those in possession of highly sophisticated smartphones may perceive themselves as members of a higher social class compared to those with less sophisticated technologies (Torilsmith 1).

The design and the aesthetic appearances that characterize the engineering work involved in the production of the technology contribute to an increase level of oblivion in the society. Increased urbanization has been necessitated an increase in the population of people in urban areas this means that it is possible for individuals operating their smartphones in high traffic areas to be subjected to different forms of accidents while using their smartphones in accessing information or for entertainment purposes. The oblivion in the use of smartphone technology emanates from the assumption that prior to the development of the technology, computers, which were operated in private rooms, provided information access points. In the contemporary society, smartphone users in public consider themselves to be operating under the illusion of privacy. Other than the surprises that emanate from the use of smartphones in accessing information, the technology has also been integrated with different forms of entertainment such as music. The use of headphones as amen of listening to music provides a perfect distraction and a major cause of accident related activities among smartphone users especially in urban centers. Loud music in the ears distracts the ability of smartphone users to understand the events in their environment hence making them highly vulnerable to accidents (Torilsmith 1).

From a socio-technical perspective, the design of smartphone technology is that it changes the social norms of the society. Different members of the society are increasingly becoming disrespectful without noticing while an increasing number of the smartphone users are continuously busy executing work related activities. One of the most affected populations in the society is the teenagers on smartphones (Rosenwald 4). This effect emanates from their inability to engage in social activities outside without their smartphones. Smartphones have increased the level of interconnectivity among different members of the society. This makes it relatively easier for the youth to engage in texting activities while neglecting other activities that are essential in their socialization process. Furthermore, smartphones have also affected family relationships considering that while the children and the teenagers are engaged in different social activities online their parents are busy executing work related activities by responding to phone call and emails. The negative contribution of this approach to the use of smartphones is that it affects the socialization process and the cohesive nature of the society (Chen 1).

Other than the relationship between children and parents, smartphone have also continued to negatively affect marriages and relationships due to their use of smartphones across both genders. The addictive nature smartphone technology creates some form of distraction, which withdraw couples form slimmest that are most essential in the development and sustainability of relationships. Relationships and marriages in any society are development on important values and virtues such as trust, and intimacy. One way by which couples in the society have attempted to ensure that they enhance their relationship is by designating a smartphone and technology free hour, which provides them with moments of intimacy, and the promotion of old fashioned communication. This has however been less successful because the addictive nature of the smartphone makes it relatively difficult for couples to concentrate on sustainability of their relationships free of technology (Rosenwald 4).

Synthesis and testing

Smartphones and the consumption of technology

Companies responsible for design and the manufacture of smartphones comprise some of the most successful forms in the contemporary society. This can be attributed to among other factors the increase in demand for smartphones and the improved level of competition for the development of the most sophisticated and highly developed technology. In the contemporary society, the need to share and acquire information defines the nature of life. This is an indication that more people are acquiring smartphones and registering as members of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and Instagram among other sites. Instagram for instance which is gaining popularity as a photograph and video sharing platforms receives more than 150 million photographs and videos daily (Chen 1). This has been necessitated by an increase in the level of awareness of the use of smartphones and the availability of internet technology to accommodate information needs in the society.

Smartphones as a tool of engagement

It is possible to perceive smartphones both as a tool of engagement and as a destructive tool with regard to its socio-technical impact in the society. As a tool of engagement smartphones Just as any other social technological system has its performance related to the behavioral attributes of members of the society. The behavioral aspects related to such a system underlie its performance and operations with regard to the internal md and external stimuli. As a tool of engagement, smartphones have played the role of enhancing communication among users and the provision of a learning platform. In addition, the technology has also been used in application that makes life easier considering that they make it easier for users to find answers to questions through application such as Google. The ability to receive and access emails using smartphones has been considered as an important milestone in understanding the role these devices play in helping individuals care and develop their businesses (Chen 1).

Other than the use of smartphones as tools of enhancements, the devices also plays the destructive role especially when put into rude use. Smartphone are integrated with aspect such as music, internet, camera, and video interfaces, which augment the role of making and receiving calls. However, the rude use of technology arises in situations where the user operationalizes the technology in the inappropriate societal context (Torilsmith 1). The use of smartphones when addressing academic examinations or in professional interview related situations has affected the ability of members of the society to engage their minds in genuine and acceptable examination or interview etiquette. This has led to high level dishonestly among members of the society. The video and camera interfaces in smartphones allow for capturing and instantaneous posting of live videos on different aspects as they occur in the society. In some situations, individuals have been involved in uploading unwarranted and graphic images and videos, which not only raise privacy related questions but also necessitate the need to advocate for the development of measures censoring the nature of information that can be captured and shared on this platform (Torilsmith 1).

Results and conclusion

Solutions to the negative socio-technical effects of smartphone

In every society, the right to access and receive information is considered as a universal human right. This means that government and other agencies in any society have a responsbility of proving information that is considered important for the members of the society. The design and development of smartphone technology has been perceived as an avenue that makes it easier for the society to receive and share information. The design of the smartphone form the perspective of engineers is based on the understanding that the society is an integral part of the engineering system. This explains why it is the responsbility of the designers to manage any innovation with the objective of fostering a more effective engineering behavior system as a way of influencing the resulting technological outcomes (Roberts et al 30). From this assertion, it will be relatively difficult to develop for the society to develop a general code of ethics that define the use and operationalization of the smartphone. Despite the difficulties and the underlying constitutional limitations, the society can delegate these responsbility at institutional levels. Different institutions have codes of behavior that define the conduct of their employees while in the institutional premises. The introduction of smartphone sue etiquette with social and professional fields can be used in regulating unwarranted use of smartphones with regard to the nature of information shares and the platforms on which they are shared.

The process of implementing these codes at the institutional level will require that organizations merge the ethical codes with their culture to minimize the possibility of any form of disagreement between organizational values and these of smartphones. The process of developing the codes of ethics must also be defined by the ability of an institution to understand and differentiate institutional goals from individual objectives. Such differentiation will increase the possibility that members of the society within an organization will understand the objectives of the codes on smartphone use with regard to societal development (Rosenwald 12).

There are situations where it will be relatively difficult to introduce code ethical codes that regulate the use of smartphones. At the family level for instance, parents can only regulate smartphone use among their children through the operationalization of parental control measures integrated in the technology. These measures are only applicable among teenagers and children. However, youths, constitutionally perceived as adults will be relatively difficult to regulate using such codes. Furthermore, parents also consider themselves as adults and this makes it relatively difficult to introduce codes that regulate the ability of these parents to access or share information. The strategy for the introduction of smartphone technology from the perceptive of engineers is to ensure that information is readily available everywhere. The development of the smartphone has necessitated the availability of Wi-Fi services in parks and in subway tunnels. In addition, there are also free smart phone charging spots in different areas within the society. This can be perceived as an indication that freedom for acquiring and sharing information is irreversible. Introduction of nay form of restriction in an open society using codes of ethics would be unacceptable due the inalienability of the communication of rights of individuals and communities. The responsbility of filtering information and upholding decorum while using smartphones in the society is therefore individual. Any attempt to introduce groups in developing codes would be unconstitutional when such codes target members in the free society.

New engineering design rules and standards of usability

Any form of engineering design rules that define the standards of usability of smartphones can only be developed biased on the agreements meant that the use of smartphones technology as a tool for public computing has negative externalities. However, the determination of the levels of externalities can be perceived as essential impediment in the development of strategies of new engineering design rules and standards of usability. In the design of any technological system, the dictates of engineering require an in-depth inquiry into the behavioral systems, which comprise the ilities of engineering (Roberts et al 31). For effective technological systems such as smartphones to be designed, it will be the responsbility of the designers to assess the survivability and usability of the technology before it is introduced into the market. The survivability assessment of these devices must be based on the finite disturbances that affect the delivery of value to the society (Rosenwald 14). For smartphones, the new approaches in the design can include the incorporation of less destructive notification sounds when an individual is engaged in any form of conversation with someone. This will result in the production of smartphones whose architectural design principles exhibit active survivability behavior (Richards et al 12). The process of introduction new design approaches with regard to device usability will also require survivability design principles to the concept generation on phase of multi-attribute trade space exploration (Richards et al 12). This process will require elements of harmonization of designs across different manufacturers. Through such harmonization’s it will be easier for the designers to embrace uniformity in the market by eliminating elements derived to be destructive to the wellbeing of the society while promoting those perceived to be beneficial in enhancing the objectives of the technology and those of the society (Richards et al 12). Through this approach to the application of design principles, it will be possible for the engineers of a smartphones to augment the creativity of system designers through the consideration of a broad tradespace of design alternatives. It will also provide the designers with a platform of quickly screening varieties of candidate designated for the evaluation of the design concept (Richards et al 12).

The introduction of a new design system is therefore not a prerogative of the designers but an element in agreement with the demands of the society. The main objective of the smartphone manufacturing companies is not only to use technology in the improvement of the life standards of the society but also to ensure high-level profitability through sales. In the process of introducing new measures defining the design and usability standards of smartphones, the designers must consider the demand of the society relative to the demands of the industry. Customers comprise an essential component of their business and therefore their production of products that are below customer expectations will not only necessitate some element of shift but also a reduction in the popularity and sale of smartphones.

The process of implementing new engineering design rules with regard to the use of smartphones must focus on the reduction of the level of oblivion when in public spaces. This means that it si the responsbility of the engineers to develop strategies on how smartphone technology can be used in reduction of oblivion while using the device. One such essential aspect would be to introduce technology that coordinates the environment and the smartphone. This introduction of such an application in the design of the smartphone will improve on the level of user safety when in public spaces. For instance through such an application it will be possible for the smartphone to sense danger related to traffic accidents and stop its operations allow the user to shift focus to the environment and resume operations upon completion of the environmental activity.

The introduction of new engineering designs in the usability of smartphone technology must also focus on the ability of the technology to provide parent control alternatives for children of different ages. This is because throughout the socialization process children grow to embrace and understand different societal assists at different growth stages. The incorporation different parental control measures with the technological systems will provide the parents with a platform of regulating the kind of information that their children can access or share using their smartphones. This is considered as smart techniques that the engineers of smartphone can incorporate to introduce a culture of smartphone etiquette, which will facilitate the reduction of rude use of smartphone technology. Children in this situation will align their activities with the existing social norms hence enhancing positive socialization.

Risks involved in redesigning smartphone

From a legal perspective, the process of redesigning and manufacturing any form of technology requires the consideration of the existing laws that define the environmental and the necessary health standards. This means that it is the responsbility of the engineers to ensure that the resulting product does not affect the health of the users and it enhances environmental conservation initiatives. The use of headphones as a medium of listening to sounds in the form of music or voice is essential for the operationalization and usability of the phone. However, in the redesign process it would be important for the engineers to ensure the reduction of the sound volumes to levels that protect the uses from any form of disturbances when in public domain or to level that protect the public from the activities of the user (Richards et al 12). This may be considered beneficial with regard to reducing public nuisance and protecting the society from noise pollution. However, it may lead to loss of customers who prefer loud music when using their technological devices.

The existence of negative socio-technical effects with regard to use of smartphones provides an understanding that this technological sector has potential of innovation with regard to the opportunities, capabilities and exiting strategies. The negative effects generate opportunities for the modification and improvement of the technology. The risk involved in in the capabilities arising from new knowledge on how to improve the device without eliminating the qualities perceived as vital for its operations with regard to existing strategies. However, the success of the process of redesigning is highly dependent on the ability of the engineers in the smartphone industry to integrate information synergies and new methodologies to enable easy identification of the existing opportunities and capabilities in the development of effective socio-technical innovation strategies, which envision improving the efficiency of smartphones with regard to societal gains.


From a socio-technical perspective, it is possible to argue smartphones are playing an essential role in the contemporary society. The development in the design and the capabilities of the technology has necessitated the evolution of a relatively easier life among members of the society. The devices also plays the destructive role especially when put into rude use. Smartphone are integrated with aspect such as music, internet, camera, and video interfaces, which augment the role of making and receiving calls. Rude use of the technology arises in situations where the user operationalizes the technology in the inappropriate societal context. For future purposes, it is the responsibility of the engineers of Smartphone to incorporate deigns changes enhancing the introduction of a culture of smart phone etiquette, which will facilitate the reduction, rude use of smart phone technology.

Works cited

Chen, Brian. The Smartphone Culture. 2015. Retrieved


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