A recent article by MIT technology review that discusses the 10 most advanced technologies outlines some of the newest ideas in a variety of fields that will solve many current problems and allow for new ways of using technology. This got us to thinking, with all the amazing benefits that technology brings us everyday, what are some of the things it takes away?
Set the scene: “back in my day kids spent the whole day outside, running around with friends, this new way of sitting in front of a screen all day is just crazy” says Grandpa. Grandkids laugh a little, roll their eyes and go back to their video game.
There’s no doubt that modern technological advances have created massive improvements in fields such as our potential for knowledge sharing, medical care, communication and education, for example, but it is also important to consider what are the drawbacks of having everything we wish for just a click or push of a button away.
Many couldn’t imagine their life without a cell phone or smart phone, but if you are in your mid to late 20’s or older, you spent much of your life without this modern technology. Smart phones of course have many benefits. They allow for an ease of information sharing for users of multiple social media platforms, they can be the gateway to a different realm of society. If you’re walking down the street and see something cool, you can capture that moment on video to share with friends and family later.
What comes with the potential to be connected at all times also comes the potential for exclusion. Sometimes the more connected you are to your social media networks; the less you are connected to you social reality networks. 30 years ago, a day out with friends would be spent solely with friends, enjoying the experiences that are happening in that time at that place. Now, there is potential to be checking your phone, seeing what others are doing and not being present in that moment, but rather drifted off to your social media universe.
Another great benefit of smart phones is the ease in which they allow for travel convenience.Many cities all over the world have Apps for their public transport systems. The Telegraph lists their 25 best travel apps which make trip planning whether it is for a commute, a detour or a holiday so much more convenient and allows users the ability to save time by giving the easy directions right to them, rather than having to search through maps and ask directions.
Modern technology also allows users to be able to reach a massive audience cheaply and quickly. This has been a benefit for many businesses, which are now able to identify their target audiences through information gathered with the potential customers online behavior. Email has also created the ability for businesses to send out mass mailings extremely inexpensively and very quickly.
But what also occurs with mass mailings and information sharing is the lack of personalization. For many customers, they receive tons of email SPAM daily and just click delete without even opening the message. Many businesses are going back to the basics and considering the benefits of the conventional mailing system, where the potential customer has a physical item in their hand and are much more likely to open the letter and read it rather than just sending it to the waste bin.A big down side of conventional mailings is the cost associated with them, but many times you can find bulk mailing products very cheaply like here.
Modern technology has also completely changed the way that education is conducted. The search engine alone has given teachers and students access to so much more valuable information for research the learning than ever before. Not only that, but technology allows for students to get a broader education for a lower price tag. Online courses and universities allow for flexibility for students who may have other responsibilities that would make learning in the classroom difficult or impossible.Education Week recently published an article outlining the benefits and drawback of technology for education.
Going back to our early quote from Grandpa, a major drawback of technology is that it is so addicting! The ever-changing face and information keeps our constant attention. Like many other things, technology has massively changed the way that we live as human beings. It has both created and destroyed jobs. It has provided us with new worlds to live in, while sometimes taken us away from our present moment. It has also brought many life saving advances to the medical field and has given us the potential to open our creative minds further than ever before. Technology is incredibly inspiring in both concept and in practice, and should be respected for both its benefits and drawbacks.