I am a big fan of technology. I have an I-Phone 6 anxiously awaiting the release of the I-Watch. I have the latest version of word. I VPN to my office computer from home. I have all of my information in the “Cloud” always available from all of my electronic devices. Appointments listed on one device cross over to all of my devices keeping me up to date by the minute. I receive emails on my cars mechanical health and weather alerts tied to my zip code. My car monitors my position and the speed limit and informs me when I am traveling too fast. I’m connected.
My question is, “Is this all healthy?”
Technology is designed to make our lives easier. They are created to make our hectic lives easier. The problem is that society, and ourselves simply raise the bar on our expectations to keep pace with the technology making our lives more hectic. It’s not technology, it’s people.
Do we really need to monitor and respond to our work emails when we are off? Having this available could be helpful BUT as we have the technology on our phones it becomes expected that we respond, 24 – 7. I find myself checking my email often when I am away from work and often prompting a phone call to follow-up. A click of the mouse and we send an email requesting a meeting with people. Would we have done that if we had to call each person to schedule that meeting?
That piece of work I was unable to complete at work is now accessible from home through VPN. A couple of clicks and I’m controlling my computer at work able to continue the task. Before this was available I was forced to wait until Monday, but not now. It follows me home.
We fire off text messages and emails requesting information and activities of others. Would we have made all of these request when we had to get up and find the people and make the request in person? A quick text without human contact stating what you need. A real time saver?
Our cars have GPS. We load in the address and the lady in the GPS guides us right to our destination. What would have we discovered if we had the opportunity to get lost without her? Have we lost the ability to explore and find new places.
Before cell phones, if we didn’t want to talk we let the phone ring and the caller assumed we were not at home. With cell phone the caller expects an instant reply. With GPS phone and GPS cars someone always knows where we are. We have lost our privacy.
As I said I love technology. But as we continue to seek devices to make our lives easier why must we continue raising the bar on our expectations making our lives harder. Sometimes it’s nice to just hide and have some time to ourselves. Society, through technology is making that impossible. As technology continues to increase our abilities, society will continue to increase their expectations of us. It’s not the technology. It’s us.
Now if you will excuse me, I need to check my emails.