The Paradox of Technology

The allure of technology is that it seduces us into thinking it makes everything easier. However, that is not always the case.

I love my many technological devices. In some ways they have improved and simplified my life. Yet in other ways, they have made my life more complex.

Technology is supposed to make our lives easier. Therefore it should be simple to use. Yet, I’m always amazed at how many times I feel challenged by small things. For example, my friend and I tried to have a video call the other week. Naturally, we didn’t use any of the same apps. After a lot of back and forth, involving regular phone calls, we finally connected through video. And then the video stopped working. It was very frustrating.

Tethered To Technology

I rely on my devices, primarily my smartphone. To be completely honest, it borders on an addiction. I use it for almost everything, especially when I’m on the go. By everything I mean email, phone/video calls, directions & maps, looking things up, shopping, etc. While it is awesome to have so much available at my fingertips, the downside is I always need a power source.

My mother recently lost power and internet due to a storm. The electricity was restored before internet. For a brief moment, she wished it had been the other way around. We’ve all become so dependent on the internet and being “connected”, it’s hard to imagine living without it.

Learning New Skills

Perhaps the most perplexing part about using technology is the assumption that it’s easy to use. Or that younger people are naturally good at it. Learning how to use technology is a skill that requires education, like any other skill we learn.

Younger people are usually more comfortable with technology. They’ve been exposed to it from a young age. But they still need to be taught how to use it effectively.

Along with learning how to use technology, comes the added task of learning how to protect yourself. By protect yourself I mean safeguarding your passwords, personal information, sensitive financial or health information, etc.

Many of us are not taught the most basic skills to adjust the settings on our devices. (Read about it here.) Or how to do privacy checks on our devices. Or why these things are important.

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