My mind flooded with memories when I was asked the question, “how has technology changed your life in the last decade?” Then I realized I was still thinking the last decade included the ’90s and was ready to talk about the exponential growth of the internet and cellular phones. Alas, that was a humbling realization. Mortified by my memory lapse and the passage of time, I turned my thoughts to the last 10 years of my personal life to gauge how technology has changed it.
My Most Life Changing Technology
Ten years ago, I was waitressing at a notoriously “criminal” restaurant that did nothing by the books and nothing on computers, and I was working side jobs that were paid under the table. The internet was well up and running and wireless was pushing its way to the “must have’s,” cell phones were getting outrageously advanced, and MySpace was the hottest new thing.
What changed me into a technological lifestyle came late 2004/early 2005. I decided to go into the field of Medical Transcription. I was introduced into a new world of technology, the most important of which was the expansiveness of the internet and its wealth of abilities. I learned and mastered the art of online research and recognizing reputable sources, and I began to understand complex medical record platforms that were on secure lock-down for confidentiality.
Doctors used to speak into a recorder and the transcriptionist would physically take the recorder and transcribe the document. It was time consuming, to say the least. That went away with digital technology. Doctors can now use online platforms and get the job done faster and easier, and transcriptionists have more access to resources and shorthand technology. Of course, none of this made the docs speak any clearer or stop eating while talking, but it did cut down on turnaround time and documentation.
This field and all of its massive technological advances turned my life around completely. I’ve learned skills as a researcher and work in the field I admire.
Hair-Pulling Catastrophes and the Language of Robots
I sometimes joke around and say that technology makes me want to go outside and bang some rocks together to regain my sanity. Technology can be overly complicated. When your entire living is made online or through other technologies, a malfunction can turn you into a raving lunatic who threatens inanimate objects. When internet goes down, or platforms and websites decide to “hiccup,” it’s like your whole world is ending. Unfortunately, trying to explain that to someone in IT working on the problem is about as productive as explaining dream interpretation to a swing set.
In my personal opinion, the robotic-like language is the hardest part of learning technology, especially since the last 10 years has proven that no matter what you have, something newer and better will come out tomorrow. It can make you feel like your brain is a jelly substance that doesn’t belong in your skull. There is no way to get around this, however. Technology, in all its glorious aspects, is not human and therefore cannot be described in human languages.