My morning routine is pretty much always the same: I wake up, shower, get ready for work, then on the way to the office get something to eat that my wife wouldn’t let me eat otherwise (don’t judge me). And somewhere in all of the morning rush, I manage to peruse multiple sites all related to IT news to catch up on the latest and greatest in my industry.
With that, I have noticed a growing trend that begs the question, “Is technology going too far, or not far enough?” In fact, almost daily we are witnessing the impact of technology that otherwise we would never experience. For instance, the number of stories related to self-driving car crashes seems to be on the rise. And yes, though this is a burgeoning technology, it is the technology itself that is failing human beings, in some instances, causing injuries and even fatalities.
Yesterday, I read an article that illustrates the impact of mobile devices on young people. It would seem that the constant staring downward at mobile screens is causing bone spurs to form at the base of people’s skulls, resulting in neck problems. Need I say more?
But that’s not where technological impacts end. There are the more invasive acts of technology that also seem to be on the rise. With the advent of IoT, we are now experiencing far more security risks—including cameras on laptops and smart TVs that can be hacked, allowing access to people’s homes.
Then cybersecurity threats are on the rise and are impacting everyone, both in business and personal. The scams that are constantly being introduced are designed to keep the bad guys one step ahead of the good guys—the technology being a means to a criminal end.
And finally, there is the use of technology that for many seems to be a step in the wrong direction. I am referring to such technology as IT-enabled security systems, drones, and everything else that seems to steal from our favorite old SciFi horror flicks. Or perhaps I’m the only one that remembers 2001: A Space Odyssey? Fitting given that Amazon has just patented “surveillance as a service” technology as an additional use for its delivery drones.
In all, this is not a condemnation of technology. Far from it. After all, I’m the guy who leads a company that maintains technology for other companies. Furthermore, for those who know me, technophile doesn’t come close to describing my addiction to new technology.
This is more of a question that I pose to all of you. As we adopt more and more technology into our lives, have we forgotten what it’s like to live without it? For instance, the last 15 years has been an incredible leap forward. From smartphones, to apps, to as-a-service technology models, and more—everything we do seems to stream to us in nanoseconds.
But as we use more and more technology, our link to a former, simpler life seems to be fading fast. And with that, our reliance on devices and connectivity seems to dictate everything from our shopping habits, to social interactions, travel, business, the list is virtually endless.
So, where do we go from here? The world isn’t changing, it’s already changed. A global village that is connected with the swipe of a finger. The challenge now is to ensure that we remain in control of our technology—not being complacent and allowing technology to control us.