The efficiency and safety of transportation, availability of food and healthcare, opportunities for sociability and productivity—all of these are influenced by technological advancements in the twenty-first century. The internet has made it easier for people all over the world to connect with one another and exchange information and resources. However, there is evidence that suggests that excessive use of some technologies may be detrimental to mental health, lead to greater social isolation, and raise privacy issues.
Every day, we take technology for granted, whether it’s bringing us the latest news in a flash, brewing a cup of coffee, or allowing us to talk to a loved one across the nation (or even the world).
Here, we examine the five most consequential ways in which technology has altered our lives in recent times.
#1: Enhanced Interactions
Due to technological advancements, texting and social media have surpassed voice calls as the preferred method of communication.
Video calling is another medium that has grown rapidly in recent years. This idea isn’t new; in fact, it dates back to the time of Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone. However, with the advent of cheap, high-speed internet, it’s never been simpler to transmit and receive the massive quantities of data required for a video conversation.
The continuing epidemic has finally pushed video calling over the edge and ensured its future as a common means to remain in contact, after spending the previous decade steadily seeping into everyday life.
Video calls have changed more than just our social life. As a result of the epidemic, more people than ever are working from home, and face-to-face meetings have given way to video conferencing as corporate employees labor from the comfort of their own beds (or wherever else they can find space to work at home).
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#2: The Loss of Personal Space
Shopping? It’s completed on the website Amazon. Are you meeting up with old pals? It’s either email, FaceTime, or Snapchat. Are you looking for some fun? Netflix bingeing or some internet gaming. Research? You should look it up on Google. The convenience of doing so much of our everyday lives online makes it hard to imagine that this trend will reverse.
While the internet has made many things more accessible than ever before, it has also exposed us to new risks. Our every action is tracked and our digital footprints are left at every site we visit. Knowing this, hackers and con artists actively seek ways to take advantage of it for financial benefit.
Of course, technology has also given us the means to safeguard ourselves and make sure that we are secure as more and more aspects of our life are transferred online, as is the case with everything else. In 2023, this will be much more crucial, since more of us will be using our home networks for business as well as personal use, without the benefit of the firewalls and other security measures afforded by a traditional office setting.
#3: Easily Reachable Stores
While it’s true that many people prefer to do their shopping online, this doesn’t mean that the high street is obsolete. After all, there’s no substitute for physically inspecting an item before purchasing it, and while you can get food delivered to your door, it’s not the same as dining in a restaurant.
Online stores haven’t completely wiped out brick-and-mortar establishments, and neither has technology. No more pulling out cash or entering a PIN; simply touch your card or phone to the reader to pay, and you’re done.
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#4: Better Information Access
These days, learning something requires no more effort than a few mouse clicks. For many of us, we don’t even need to leave the place – just whip out your phone and begin Googling, or even ask your smart home assistant.
It’s hard to imagine now, but there was once a time when you had to physically go to a library in order to get more in-depth knowledge on a topic if any such material existed at all.
It’s a cliché to say it, but apps have made many traditional media formats obsolete. Take global positioning system (GPS) technology as an example; if you want to know how to travel someplace, all you have to do is open an app like Google Maps and choose the best route; this will provide you with instructions and satellite imagery.
Even applications exist that can automatically route cars for companies while also providing information on traffic, weather, safety, and regulatory requirements. It’s safe to say that practically every aspect of our lives has been simplified by the advent of app technology.
Not to be neglected though are the physical devices that all these applications operate on. As the popularity of smartphones has skyrocketed over the last decade, the number of daily online searches performed on mobile devices has surpassed those performed on laptops and desktop computers. Every year, without fail, portable gadgets become a little better.
The cell phone is today regarded as an important gadget for practically everyone, considerably exceeding its initial role as a telephone (to actually speak to people) and becoming our pocket-sized access to an online world.
#5: Virtual Social Lives
The emergence of social media is just another game-changer in our society. It’s hard to believe that platforms like MySpace and the first version of Facebook existed just a few short years ago. With the rise of social media platforms like Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, and others, we can now see what our friends and celebrities are up to in real-time, regardless of how many people follow them.
Companies are also getting in on the action, with the recognition that a skilled social media manager can make or destroy a company’s brand name.
Although the previous few years have been a bit of a roller coaster for social media, never before in human history have so many people been able to communicate with each other throughout the world.
Here are five significant ways that technology has improved our lives. The pace of technological development is unrelenting, so it won’t be long until some of the gadgets and services we’ve discussed become obsolete. In many instances, the next generation of these products is currently being developed in a research lab.
Regardless, there’s no doubt that technology has, and will continue to, have a major influence on our lives, in one way or another. For more information please visit our blog.