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What are social implications?

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The term "social implications" refers to the effects that the actions of an individual or group have on such variables as the values, demographics or economic condition of an individual, families or a community. Increased demographic diversity, for example, is one possible social implication of increasing affordable housing within a community. When such demographic changes continue over the long-term, the effect of increasing affordable housing moves beyond having social implications to one having a sustained "social impact."

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All technological advancements have social implications because communities and individuals must invest their financial and human resources to enable them. The social impact on communities that make these investments, such as in Silicon Valley or the Seattle area, is long-term economic growth. The increased tax base in turn improves government services, such as parks and libraries.

The social implications of the Internet, at least initially, included the creation of a divide between those with access to the Internet and those without this access. Another social implication of the Internet is increased access to information and social interactions for those previously isolated due to a disability. As those living with a disability engage with others via the Internet a community also changes as more of its members are able to actively participate in civic discussions and even in the economy, as they identify online employment opportunities.

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