Saturday, January 8, 2011

Technology, Isn't It a Good Thing?

Technology can be so cool, and I don't even have the latest or best technology.  My Dell laptop is about 4 years old, and I have Windows Vista on it.  I do have a G wireless network with a Netgear router (N wireless is faster and has a larger range), and Verizon DSL is my internet provider (cable is faster, but it can be unreliable).  Both my laptop and my printer are wireless.

I also have a cell phone that is not a smart phone.  It's primary function is actually making phone calls.  I can send text messages on it, but I do not have a QWERTY keyboard to write the messages with.

Even though I do not have the latest technology, I can still do so much on my laptop.  I have complete access to the internet, both at home and anywhere there is a wi-fi connection.  I can connect with family and friends via email, Facebook, and/or Twitter.  I can also access the news, including breaking news, and weather reports via the internet.  I can manage my finances with Quicken (it is so easy to balance my checkbook) and can pay my bills on the internet (some may say that is not a good idea, but I have had zero problems doing this).  I can also read e-books by using the Barnes & Noble e-reader, and I prepare my GED lessons using my laptop and wireless printer.  This is not be all I can do on my computer network, but I believe you get my point.  I can do a lot on my system even though my system does not have the latest technology.

The reason I find this so amazing is that I am old enough, way old enough, to remember when none of this technology existed.  Bills were paid by check, and those bills were mailed out.  You also might actually go to a place to pay your bill in person (I saw people who still do that at the cable company office just this week).  Most stores did not accept checks.  You had to pay with cash.   Because I have a debit card that can be used as a credit card, I either do not carry any cash or very little cash (I got in trouble once because I had little cash, but that is another story which I probably will not tell).  Technology always gets better and better.  Who knows what will come next to make our lives more productive and enable us to be connected with people anywhere we go.

Is technology always good?  Of course not.  Just like anything else, it is misused.  Our teenagers can be bullied on Facebook or MySpace.  People can be lured into situations where they can be harmed, or even be killed.  Your identity can be stolen, and your PC can become infected with viruses.  In some ways, technology has made us more vulnerable than ever.

Despite the threats and misuses of technology, I am glad that I live in a time when technology has improved our lives and continues to improve our lives (look at some of the product announcements at the CES convention in Las Vegas this week).  I know there are some people who do not have this view.  Some believe technology is even evil.  On a whole, I believe our technology advancements have done more good than harm.  Technology can even be used to help us lessen the harm that the misuse of technology can cause (anti-virus software, for example).  Technology has certainly improved my life and has made me more productive.  It has enabled me to write this blog, which I am enjoying doing so much.  We just have to keep the advances of technology in perspective.  It is just a means, not an end.  We can use it to connect with people, but face-to-face connection, actually being with people, is better.  After all, we are human.  Humans are very social creatures.  We need to be with each other.  It is our family and friends that give true meaning to our lives.  Don't let technology get in the way of that.             

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