How fast are we going on a daily basis? Let’s take a step back to a time where there were no cell phones, Internet, smartwatches or interactive TVs. How did we function? Quite well, actually.
I have nothing against technology, but I would like to point out a few things that I have noticed over the years about what technology has done to our individuality, family life, work life and overall quality of life, both positive and negative.
Let’s first acknowledge how technology has improved our lives:
- Technology has allowed us to stay in contact with friends and family all over the world. With Facebook, Skype, etc., we can not only send messages through text, but we can see and hear grandchildren and watch them as they grow instead of once a year visits.
- This ease of communication is also an improvement for businesses – finding new solutions to problems by communicating with experts around the world. It allows for business to happen not just in your area, but global expansion for one’s product through the Internet.
- Cell phones enable parents to be in more direct contact with their children, no more wondering where they are, you can call them and ask or simply put an app on their phone to show you where they are immediately.
- Technology is pushing forward daily, and its development is a revolving door of new and innovative ideas, this initiative is also propelling our youth to keep up and encouraging their educational development. Even video games are accelerating our youth’s thought process – the hand/eye coordination and mental decision making when playing these games are introducing a new way of thinking into our society.
- Brands can now interact on a personal level with their customers in real time. Technology has allowed brands to understand what their patrons are looking for, what is pleasing to them and what their products are lacking. This allows a brand to quickly address the issues to ensure their image remains positive.
- Constant communication allows people to be heard by a global audience. People no longer have to spread news through old school media channels.
- Business moves at a lightning-fast pace now. Remember when you had to wait for the overnight FedEx package to arrive before continuing on a project or issue?
All of these exciting advancements above demonstrate how bright our future is, but this technology also has negative effects as well. Here are some of the effects that bother me the most:
- When it comes to the technology that allows us to keep in touch – Facebook for example – it also allows for easy cyberbullying. Kids are being tormented online with an extreme amount of people having access to intimate details of each others’ lives. People also tend to put too much information about their life on these sites, giving undesirable people the knowledge of when they are on vacation or where they are going.
- Businesses have definitely benefited from technology, but have their employees? Work days used to consist of 8am – 5pm. You then went home to your family, whether it was an easy day of going home, having dinner and family time or bringing the kids to some sort of practice first. It was all about you and your family. Nowadays, with technology, more and more employers are expecting you to constantly check your email and provide answers or support, no matter what time of day. They also want you to answer your cell phone for work calls. Is this really benefiting our personal lives, where is the line for work versus private life?
- Communication, communication, communication. Yes, this exists via technology, but does anyone speak to each other face to face anymore? Our interpersonal communication is non-existent. When you go out to dinner to socialize, look around and take inventory of how many people in the restaurant are on their cell phones, ignoring the people they are dining with. Has anyone considered that this action is rude? It is, and don’t let anyone tell you different.
- It’s all about Emojis and LOLs. These days our children are learning how to process things faster, but that also translates into horrible English and writing. It is not OK when you get into the workforce to send emails with smiley faces and abbreviations or text speak. Because of technology, this is now their norm. They are utilizing it everyday and don’t realize that it is inappropriate in all correspondence.
- In reference to having a global audience, this also means that we are bombarded with information that has no business being out there. People are constantly complaining online, telling everyone about their grievances and commenting on other people’s lives. People think they have a right to comment and judge others; it might have been better when we did not have so much access to other people’s lives and worried more about our own.
OK, you get the picture. Yes, technology has been a blessing and curse. We need to be smart about how we adapt intellectually instead of irresponsibly. By understanding where this innovation can become a value to us each day, we can maintain who we are individually. Ensuring we remain compassionate, family-oriented and unique is most important.