As a product of the ’80s, I am a member of the lucky generation that grew up in a fast changing technological world. Lucky, that is, in some ways more than others. While technological advancements in the last decade have been exponential, the changes have left me feeling both liberated, and less connected in an overly connected world.
How Technology Improved My Life
Knowledge – When online video portals such as YouTube proliferated, the speed in which information became accessible, made me feel unstoppable. There were finally tools at my disposal that could rapidly fill my insatiable need for information.
Flexibility – My work became mobile through the advent of laptops, tablets and smartphones. Suddenly, with new technology, a career in communications meant I could explore alternatives to a traditional “office job”.
Social Connection – Social media has helped me stay connected to friends and family I likely would have lost contact with long ago. Social networks and VoIP have helped me re-connect with old friends, and maintain valuable relationships with people thousands of miles away.
The Downside to Too Much Technology
Pressure to Keep Up– The more you have, the more you need. There is always a newer, faster, phone, laptop, or some other gadget, and if you don’t have it, you’re already behind.
Disconnectedness – Social media connections often feel little more than ceremonious. Status updates are subpar replacements for real interaction, and while I may know what my Facebook friends eat for lunch, I couldn’t tell you the last time we actually ate lunch together.
Time Management – I am forever tethered to at least one electronic device, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t keep up with any of them. There is always a ‘new message’ alert somewhere, and yes, it needs to be answered immediately! With new technology people expect everything faster, and at all times of the day.
While alleviating many deficiencies, new technology has also made life more stressful. Making information more accessible also makes me feel that I am always behind a curve. Enabling people to be more connected has made me feel more removed from the extensive networks of people I now have to manage. For better or worse, technology will constantly be advancing, and along with that will be pros and cons. The best way to deal with it is to find ways to use it to your advantage as best you can.