Is technology making your life and work easier?

January 23, 2018 11:28 AM

It is no secret that technology has changed the way we live and work. The impact of the internet and technology on our lives has been both good and bad. Twenty years ago only a select few people even knew about the internet and internet is by far the biggest breakthrough in the world of technology. Now people everywhere from New York to Bulawayo are shopping, socializing, job hunting and doing business online. Here are a few examples of the significant ways in which our lives are being transformed through advancement in technology.

1. Access to Information
‘Knowledge shall increase,’ or so the right book prophesises ominously. People have more access to information than they ever did before. You can get lectures from leading scientists and professors online for free. There are thousands upon thousands of books, podcasts, films, photographs and other documents available online free. And that is not counting the information that is available for a fee. internet users can learn pretty much whatever they want to hear. Gardening, history, music, politics, and religion – you name it.

The internet has also drastically increased the pace at which information is processed and made available to the public. The mass media no longer adheres to a 24-hour news cycle. Instead, they release information to their audiences almost in real time.

Consumers also have more power than ever before. They no longer have to sit through an entire television program just to get one tidbit or buy a whole newspaper just to read one story. Online, audiences can be selective in what they choose to consume.

2. Communication – one of the pillars of conducting business
It is now possible to communicate with your loved one through a myriad of ways. Chatting, emailing, skyping, social networks are just some of the options available. There is no longer just a handful of ways to communicate. You can talk to people at any time you want to communicate. Geographical constraints do not make a difference. This makes it more convenient to talk to people because you can do it anytime anywhere.

It also makes it that much harder to manage relationships, because while the internet connects people to one another, it can also disconnect them from their loved ones who are at home with them if they spend too much time gaming or doing other things online. This phenomenon is called ‘alone together’ families often miss out on face time because of too much screen time.

It is easy for people with similar interests to find each other online and commiserate. Whether they are dog lovers, chess players or stepmothers – they can meet and share ideas regardless of their geographical location.

3. Privacy
Privacy is increasingly becoming a huge concern as we can all notice from the biggest tech news. As people shop, socialize, date, work and do almost everything online a lot of personal information is available out there.

While social media sites often give the illusion that a user can decide how far their information is shared; the truth is that anything that is out there is no longer 100% in the control of the social media user. Employers, governments, market research companies and many other agencies may enjoy access to information that should otherwise have been private.

4. Commerce
The internet has completely transformed the way we do business. It is now possible to buy and sell from practically any country in the world. This makes it possible for companies to trade across geographical and cultural barriers.

Shopping now involves having the choice between buying an item from China, Turkey or the UK, all from the comfort of your home. Shoppers in Africa are buying luxury items, wearable gadgets and other accessories from Europe through the internet. These are items that they would not be able to get at home. American girls are ordering in their prom dresses from China, and the Chinese are equally buying high-end American fashion items.

When it comes to commerce, the internet is the great equalizer. Small mom n’ pop companies can compete with multinationals favorably on-line because the web does not carry with it the baggage of having to own brick and mortar stores.

5. Labour
New technologies have enabled people to work remotely from their homes or different geographical locations. This creates an environment where telecommuting is possible and where companies can hire employees from practically anywhere in the world, making it possible for them to get the right talent without necessarily having to cross borders. They can also potentially get cheaper labour.

 

How has technology changed the way you live and work?

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