Over population of a region, overexploitation of a region/border area due to social and political conflict, deforestation, construction of large dams, among others, for one reason or another have caused enormous social and ecological problems in the contemporary world which are found to be even greater factors of social change than migrations and disasters. Technology has been considered as one of the important factors of social change. This is quite true particularly in the context of the contemporary World. This is for the fact that variation in technology affects social organisation and/or structure of a society in a significant way. However, the magnitude and the rate of change could differ from one period and situation to another depending on the availability and use of technology. For instance, change was very slow in the remote past (pre-historic age) when our forefathers used crude implements such as stone tools for their day-to-day activities and survival. With the invention of modern technology, things have become very different with both good and bad effects.
The introduction of machine technology after the inventions and discoveries of advanced and sophisticated sources of energy and capabilities has brought about drastic changes. In other words, modern technologies have resulted in revolutionary change, be it industrial revolution, green revolution, technical revolution, and so on. All these revolutions have been largely responsible to the change in the mode of production, relations of production, old forms of social organisation and structure, old ideologies, attitudes, beliefs, and traditions. This is so, because man adapts to the change of material environment caused by technology.
We have ample examples of such phenomena. The invention of gun powder, atom bomb, and nuclear weapons have changed the techniques of war. The opening-up of transport networks due to modern technologies have enabled people to be more mobile and accessible to other places which would otherwise be impossible in the distant past. The invention of writing and other modern communication system, such as telephones, internet, etc., have made it much easier for people to communicate with each other even in distant places. Likewise, new technologies in the area of modern medicines have also enormously improved the state of human health system and its environment.
Industrial revolution has also brought about many changes in the society. The shifts from agrarian to industrial production or from feudalism to capitalism have effected social changes affecting family relations, religion, and other institutions including the state. In almost the same way, green revolution does bring about changes in the society. While modern technology has been a great boon to man, there are also the other dark side of it. This is mainly due to change of the old ways of life and systems, destructive nature of the technologies being designed or misuse of technologies for destructive ends.
For example, the perceived ill-effects of technology on the society and its social institutions can be observed in many ways. One such impact is the disintegration of community life and promotion of individualism. The abuse of modern technologies to humanity has been quite alarming indeed. We can readily cite a few human-induced disasters due to modern technologies that are very familiar to us.