In the twenty-first century, technology has permeated virtually every facet of human existence, from the ease and security of travel to the availability of food and healthcare, from interpersonal interactions to work output. The internet has made it easier for people all over the world to connect with one another and share information and resources. However, there is evidence that suggests that excessive use of certain technologies might have negative effects on mental health, foster social isolation, and raise privacy concerns.
Every day, we rely on technology more and more, whether it’s to provide us the latest news in a flash, to brew our cappuccino, or to video chat with a loved one across the nation (or even the world).
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Which new inventions have become indispensable to our daily lives the most quickly? Is our reliance on technology at an all-time high thanks to the coronavirus epidemic, or has it helped us get through the year’s difficulties?
Here, they examine the seven most consequential ways in which technology has altered our lives in recent times.
Ways Technology Impacts Our Lives
- Improved Communication
- Decreased Privacy
- Accessible Shopping
- Better Information Access
- Virtual Social Lives
- Flexible Working
- Smarter Health Tracking
1. Improved Communication
It’s safe to say that Alexander Graham Bell’s revolutionary invention, the telephone, has had a decent run since the inventor first spoke into it with the immortal words, “Come here, Watson, I need to see you,” in 1876. When Bell first envisioned telephones, he wanted “one in every town.” Of course he was right; in fact, these days, everyone carries one around in their pocket. However, technological advancements have led to the decline of the audio call in favour of other forms of communication like texting and social networking.
The use of video calls has also increased rapidly in recent years. Although the idea has been around for about as long as Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, the advent of cheap, high-speed broadband has made it practical to conduct a video conversation. Join the Tech.co email list today!
Enhance your life with technology by subscribing to our weekly email. The ongoing pandemic has finally pushed video calling over the edge and ensured its future as a common way to remain in touch, after spending the last decade steadily seeping into everyday life.
With lockdowns and isolation on the rise, video calling has become a popular way for people to keep in touch with their loved ones. Even if you weren’t familiar with Zoom before the year 2020, you probably are today. While there are many alternative video conferencing apps available, Zoom has become the industry standard. This is supported by the fact that the company has boasted of 300 million ‘daily participants’ this year, up from a’mere’ 10 million in December of 2019.
Video calls have changed more than just our social life. As a result of the pandemic, more people than ever are working from home, and face-to-face meetings have been supplanted by video conferencing as office workers relocate to their living rooms (or wherever else they can find space to work at home).
As Zoom is ideal for getting up with friends, it may not be up to the task of keeping your business afloat while the epidemic sweeps the globe. Several well-known video conferencing systems have been tested by us, and we can recommend the best one for your business in a matter of minutes.
2. Decreased Privacy
In recent years, the amount of time we spend online has increased dramatically. One study found that Americans spent six and a half hours a day on the internet in 2019, a number that has almost certainly increased after the implementation of lockdown policies.
Shopping? It’s completed on the website Amazon. What are you doing, catching up with your pals? We use apps like FaceTime and Snapchat, as well as email. In search of some fun? Netflix binge or some internet gaming. Research? Get on Google. The convenience of doing so much of our daily lives online makes it hard to imagine that this trend will reverse.
Although the internet has made our lives easier in many ways, it has also increased our susceptibility to harm. Our every click is tracked and we leave a digital trail at every website we visit. Hackers and con artists are aware of this, and they actively seek to profit from it.
Of course, technology has also provided us with means of safeguarding ourselves as more and more of our lives move online, as is the case with everything else. We can’t rely on the closed-off security of the physical office in 2022, when many of us will be doing not only personal browsing but also accessing shared business networks from our own homes.
The password manager is a useful piece of software for ensuring the security of your data. A password manager can safeguard your existing passwords, recommend strong new ones, and even keep an eye on the web to make sure your personal information isn’t stolen. Furthermore, it will eliminate the widespread anxiety associated with the prospect of forgetting any of your numerous passwords. In addition, some of the top applications only cost a few dollars a month, making it a terrific low-cost solution for increased protection, so there’s never been a better time to invest if you don’t already have one.
The virtual private network is another significant step forward in security (VPN). A virtual private network (VPN) can conceal your online activity by rerouting it through another server. There will be no record of what you are viewing, and you will be far less vulnerable to hackers. You can feel safer logging into public Wi-Fi networks. Recently, they’ve gained popularity not only among homeowners, but also among companies. What do we advise? Surfshark. In our comparison of several VPN services, it came out on top thanks to its many useful features and user-friendliness.
Anti-virus software is a welcome protection against the various online threats that lurk in wait. Included in this category is malware and ransomware, both of which are typically created with the goal of monetary gain. Anyone can become a target, even the government, but having reliable antivirus software can help stop these threats in their tracks.
3. Accessible Shopping
While it’s true that many people prefer to do their shopping online, this doesn’t mean that we should disregard traditional shopping centres. After all, there’s no substitute for physically inspecting an item before purchasing it, and while you can get food delivered to your door, it’s not the same as dining in a restaurant.
Digital innovations haven’t eliminated the need for traditional storefronts. There is no longer any need to pull out cash or enter a PIN when making a purchase; all you have to do is tap your card or phone to the reader to complete the transaction.
A Point of Sale (POS) system is an invaluable asset for every business, no matter how big or small. A point-of-sale system allows businesses to accept electronic payments, keep track of inventory, issue electronic receipts, run loyalty programmes, track sales, and much more. In fact, some point-of-sale (POS) systems provide free hardware and have monthly plans that start at just $30. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our reviews of several POS systems and start comparing them right away.
It goes without saying that you can do your shopping without ever leaving your house. Since the vast majority of us now have access to a tablet, laptop, or smartphone, we each have a virtual storefront at our fingertips from which we can purchase virtually anything.
As a result of technological advancements, shopping is now accessible to more people. In the past, opening a storefront required more than just a concept and a computer; today, all you need is an idea and an internet connection.
Selling your stuff online is simpler than ever. This is because of the accessibility of website builders, which allow anyone to make a beautiful, functional website in a matter of minutes, perfect for promoting and selling their wares online.
4. Better Information Access
Today, learning anything requires no more effort than a few mouse clicks. Many of us can find the answers we need without leaving our seats; all it takes is a quick Google search or a query to our smart home assistant.
It’s hard to believe now, but there was a time when you had to physically travel to a library in order to research a topic in greater depth—if such information even existed. These technological advancements have made it possible to find millions of websites devoted to any topic imaginable, from “crochet patterns” (Google returns 129,000,000 hits) to “Roman history” (1,360,000,000 results).
It’s become a cliche, but there really is an app for everything, and many of us now find that we have little need for many other forms of media. Take global positioning system (GPS) technology as an example; nowadays, if you want to know how to travel someplace, all you have to do is open an app like Google Maps and select the best route, which will include not only directions but also satellite imagery. In fact, there are apps designed specifically for businesses that can automatically direct vehicles while also providing information on traffic, weather, safety, and legal requirements. Learning, dating, eating out, and pretty much everything else in our lives have all been simplified by the advent of app technology.
The hardware platforms on which these applications operate should not be forgotten. The popularity of smartphones has skyrocketed over the past decade, and mobile devices are now used more frequently than desktop PCs and laptops for conducting everyday web searches. Every year, without fail, handheld devices get a little bit better.
The mobile phone has evolved much beyond its basic use as a telephone (to make voice calls) and is now our personal portal to the Internet wherever we go.
5. Virtual Social Lives
The advent of social media is yet another game-changing innovation. There has been rapid development in this field, making the early days of MySpace and Facebook’s precursor look like ancient history. Now more than ever, we can see what our friends, acquaintances, and even celebrities do during the day thanks to real-time sharing platforms like Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, and others.
A competent social media manager can make or ruin a company’s reputation, so it’s no surprise that businesses have joined in on the fun.
The path of social media over the past few years has been rather rocky, but never before have so many people from so many different places been able to communicate with one another. It has allowed for the proliferation of social criticism and movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, but it has also left us exposed to things like voter manipulation and skewed democracy brought about by the likes of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica disaster.
While interacting on social media might be entertaining at times, it has been demonstrated to have a negative impact on users’ psychological well-being. It’s gotten so bad that several governments are demanding action from social media giants to protect their youngest users. According to research conducted in the United Kingdom, nearly half of young women feel that social media has a detrimental effect on their self-esteem.
Although the impact of social media depends on the users’ attitudes and actions, it appears to be here to stay whether we like it or not.
You have the option as a consumer to not participate, but companies that are slow to adapt will be left in the dust.
In today’s highly connected world, digital marketing is crucial for any business that wants to succeed.
6. Flexible Working
While the year 2020 will be remembered for many unfavourable developments, the widespread normalisation of remote work is likely to be regarded favourably. Due to the severity of the epidemic, many people were forced to stay home from work. One research found that 42 percent of Americans were telecommuting at its peak. Companies like Twitter and Microsoft have already stated that their employees can work from home indefinitely, suggesting that this tendency will persist long after the pandemic has ended.
Many people have found that working remotely has been a revelation, allowing them to forego the hassle of travelling while also providing greater scheduling freedom, fewer negative effects on the environment, and the option of working from anywhere they like. Once again, technological progress enables this: the union of hardware and bandwidth makes this possible.
That’s not to imply there aren’t difficulties while working away from the office; managing a team that’s spread out in different places might be difficult. But once again, modern technology saves the day, this time in the form of remote working software that may help with things like planning, time management, focus, and structure.
7. Smarter Health Tracking
The popularity of fitness gadgets is another technological development of late. While we have used technology to assist us exercise for quite some time, the instant feedback and advice we receive from devices that can track our workouts as we accomplish them is something we have never before experienced.
Look no farther than Apple, whose Apple Watch is widely touted as a fitness product, to understand how seriously we take the fitness tech business. As of early 2019, the firm had sold over 31 million watches, making it the most popular watch brand in the world, even more so than long-established names like Rolex and Omega.
So, what functions does a fitness watch have? The days when a “sports watch” could only keep track of your lap time are far behind us. We can now keep tabs on our vital signs, from heart rate to blood pressure, as well as our exercise routines and sleep habits.
Tech.co has analysed and reviewed several popular fitness trackers this year, including the FitBit, Apple Watch, and Garmin Forerunner, so you can make an informed purchase.
Conclusion: The Impact of Technology
Seven major positive ways in which technology has altered our daily lives have been discussed. Of course, technological development is inexorable, so you can bet that some of the tools and services we’ve discussed will be rendered obsolete in the near future. In many cases, the development of the successor to these tools and services is already underway.
Regardless, technology has had and will continue to have a significant impact on our lives.