NO FEAR — Technology in our lives

NO FEAR — Technology in our lives

The Digital Life: EDITOR'S WRITE

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

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Fear of technology has dogged many people for some time. But the recent rush to use tech in so many aspects of our everyday lives is nothing short of revolutionary. Reducing the initial fears may be far more comfortable than we first imagined.

Much of the change was occasioned by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as individuals, companies and governments were forced to adopt new ways of doing things.

Technology has opened up a plethora of communication tools, taking us from writing letters, sending faxes or relying on a fixed telephone.

Just think what was required when we had a pen pal in another country. That letter had to be taken to the post office and stamps affixed and then posted out to be sorted at another post office and then dispatched by a postman to your friend's home. Depending on the destination, that took several days. And the response followed a similar route.

Contrast that to what happens in an instant as e-mail, text messages, pictures and videos reach you as soon as the send button is touched. The same with phone calls, which have gone from booking overseas calls to direct contact without the intervention of the telephone operator.

The transition has been ubiquitous, almost stealth-like as we embraced the new ways of communicating with the least reservations.

For example, technology has changed the dating game with people of all ages engaging in conversations aimed at finding life partners. Many of those connections turned out to be successful, making liars of those who suggest that it's a lousy way to make friends.

And the Internet of things promises us an even more extensive range of things to make living more comfortable. All the modern appliances now “talk” thanks to Alexa and other digital assistants. Smart apps now monitor our lives on our phones as they send readings of blood pressure and provide reminders about the medicines and supplements we must take to stay healthy.

We have long accepted that the best shopping experience is online with bargains galore to fill up your shopping cart, using credit and debit cards for quick payment.

Then restrictions on movement forced more of us to use online delivery systems for ordering everything from food to medicines. It also boosted the fortunes of companies which had, for a long time, offered delivery services.

As one commentator remarked, we can expect even more changes in our lives for the better, thanks to technology. Rather than express fear, it is better to learn to adapt to these changes and the benefits to be derived.

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