Technology is influencing nearly every aspect of our lives. This has been particularly noticeable since the turn of the century.
Initially, there were many health warnings about technology, For instance, when the smartphone first came along, many health professionals were concerned that mobile phone usage would cause brain damage. But there has been little mention of this in recent scientific literature.
Today, technology has been accepted as necessary for almost everything we do. While, of course, there are still those who militate against it, claiming that it has made people into screen-watching zombies, most people find the benefits of tech far outweigh any disruptions it has caused our way of life.
Here are some ways technology has changed our lives:
Kicking Bad Habits
One health-endangering habit that many people have been unable to quit has been smoking. Despite warnings on the cigarette boxes themselves about the harmful effects of tobacco, the urge to smoke is stronger than any rational reasons to desist. Smokers often attribute their habit to the fact that cigarettes help to instantly calm them down.
Now the use of electronic cigarettes has given smokers an alternative way to soothe their nerves without the need to inhale tobacco smoke deep into their lungs. When smokers draw upon an e-cigarette, a battery in the device heats the liquid. Once heated, the liquid becomes atomized into a vapor that can be pleasantly inhaled. Inhaling this e liquid and e juice is called vaping.
Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes don’t contain any carcinogens. For instance, tobacco cigarettes contain carcinogens like vinyl chloride and arsenic. Another benefit of vaping is that there isn’t any secondhand smoke.
The ease with which we communicate with others at a distant would shock those in earlier generations. Before the internet, before Wi-Fi, telecommunication was slow and expensive.
Now we can communicate with each other across town with the same ease with which we can communicate with someone in another country or continent.
The proliferation of computers, laptops, emails, and video conferencing makes it a snap to contact almost anyone.
Work from Home
The idea that a working professional could earn a good living from home was unthinkable in the past. Today, the idea of telecommuting—working from home using the telephone, email, and the Internet–is taken for granted.
According to Global Workplace Analytics, about 2.8% of workers in the United States, approximately 3.7 million employees, work part- or full-time from home.
Education used to consist of sitting in a classroom. Now anyone anywhere with an Internet connection can get an excellent education online. While many institutions and subject matter experts charge a fee for their services, many others provide a first-class education for no charge at all.
One movement that is changing the world is called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). These are online courses offered free of charge by some of the top universities around the world. For instance, you can audit a class on sociology taught to real Yale students.
By videotaping live classes and then allowing unlimited participation and completely open access via the Internet, the best teachers at some of the best universities generously share their knowledge with the rest of humanity.
Going to a store to buy things is now an option. You can buy almost everything you need through eCommerce websites. This includes things like groceries. Delivery services are offered by supermarkets or large websites like Amazon that have a grocery division.
In many ways, online shopping can be more convenient because you can select from a wide variety of products. Shopping is as simple as viewing product images, reading descriptions, perusing buyer’s reviews, and then clicking a buy button. The product is then dropshipped directly to your door.
This is Only the Beginning
Although we see illuminated screens everywhere, this is just the beginning. The Internet of Things (IoT) is still emerging. While we catch glimpses of this future through home monitoring devices that allow you to switch on the lights in your home remotely, we still only have a vague idea of what the world will look like when devices learn to talk to each other.
Someday, you might be sitting in a self-driving car wondering how you got lucky enough to be part of this century.