Over the last decade, technology has advanced dramatically, which has spawned creations like tablets and Google Glass. Although I am only 26, I have witnessed a change in how technology has impacted my life over the last 10 years, and it has been both for the positive and the negative.
One of the biggest changes I have personally experienced is the fact that it’s virtually impossible to live in a world not connected. When I was a teenager, computers seemed to be something a lot of people had, but it was not mandatory to get things done. I remember I could still find phone numbers in a phone book, could still submit resumes and applications by just going down to the location itself, and text messaging was something you only did when you were in class bored. Even in high school, being connected was not a huge deal, virtually no one had a smart phone yet or even heard of it.
When you go to find a job now, everyone wants you to fill out the application online, and some places don’t even have paper applications to fill out at their location anymore. I have found that paying bills online is nearly impossible to avoid, with so many companies choosing to go paperless. This is something I don’t honestly like, because I hate giving out my bank information over the Internet, due to hackers and potential misuse of information. Phone books are rarely given out these days, because you can just hop online and type in a business or person and find the phone number with a click of a mouse. If you want to do anything in the business world these days, you have to be connected, both online and through your cell phone.
While technology has made it harder to escape living connected, it has had one major positive impact on my life, which is it has given me self-esteem that I never had before. Through the last decade, I have become a writer, a survey taker, and made a brand out of my name. I have found that it is pretty easy to make money using the Internet as a tool for success, instead of just a place to hangout when I am bored. I have always had low self-esteem and thought that I was not good at anything, even in high school when I was working at a local hospital and studying to be in the healthcare field. Writing and doing other things online, I have found a way to associate my name with something positive. I feel like I am contributing to science when I take surveys, and I really enjoy trying to figure out what each survey is trying to interpret or conclude based on the questions. As someone who was a loner in high school, being online and writing or taking surveys has really made me feel like people value what I think or feel, which has given me more confidence to speak out on my beliefs and opinions.
Not everything though about technology has been positive, especially when it comes to dealing with social media like Twitter. I joined Twitter about the same time I started writing, in order to build my brand across more platforms and gain viewers, but Twitter has also been difficult to deal with. There are a lot of cruel and mean people on Twitter that think you are clueless, and often will call you names if you disagree with them. I have had death threats on Twitter, just for expressing my thoughts on topics like George Zimmerman or how I felt about political leaders. Although I try not to let these people bother me, the fact that people that don’t even know you call you names and threaten you, really just makes you feel bad. It’s almost like you constantly have to defend yourself and your views or you just agree with people to get them to go away. There is a lot of peer pressure on websites like Twitter, which makes me feel like I am in high school all over again, but it’s there staring at you all day long.
Through it all though, the Internet has helped me overcome a fear of speaking up about my own beliefs, and it has given me another way to make money, and contribute to society in a positive manner, so it’s worth it. I don’t think I would change anything about how technology has advanced, because I have learned so much about myself throughout each experience.