Keeping up with technology
The ever-growing use of digital technology has brought us a lot of wonderful and useful convenience to our lives.
With many new vehicles you simply speak your commands, and what you ask is done. You can make a phone call hands-free, turn the radio on and off, change your radio station, and do a multitude other tasks with simple voice commands. You don’t even have to remember telephone numbers as you can program in numbers by name and the name is recognized by the system. It is a lot simpler to remember John’s cell, then it is to remember the actual number if it is not frequently used.
From the invention of the simple little chip that started the computer revolution just a few short decades ago, it has changed all of our lives. Without the progress made in the use of digital technology there would be no cellphones. At times that would be a blessing rather than a curse.
There are few of us who would want to go back to a world without the conveniences that digital technology brings us. We start our computers and type, or simply dictate, what we want to convey to others. It is fast, convenient, and, for the less than confident keyboarders, voice recognition software is a blessing. Dictation software doesn’t accidentally hit the caps lock key and type the next sentence or two all in upper case.
For those who are handicapped and would find it extremely difficult, or impossible, to use a keyboard, it is a godsend. Dictation software gives them an ability to communicate with others in a manner that would be impossible otherwise.
For the visually impaired there are reading programs which allow almost any text to be turned into voice. Our local library was a pioneer in utilizing this technology for those that needed the help. The first units on the market cost about $15,000, today the same technology can be had for a few hundred dollars. It gives those who need it access to written information previously denied to them unless someone took the time to read the material to them.
From our television sets, our variety of entertainment options, safety devices, our household appliances, and many other applications, the use of digital technology makes the products we count on and their function much more reliable.
In this digital world there are some distressing aspects. The feeling of having to be constantly in touch with the world that infects many cellphone users is a pain and a barrier to more meaningful social interaction. One wonders how much time is wasted by subscribing to the philosophy that one must always be available.
Add to that lost time much of the time spent on social media sites and circulating useless emails. For many, it would add up to a great number of lost hours which would have been more productive in doing almost anything else.
As a society, we are beginning to learn how to live with these constant intrusions into our lives. I have always had a great respect for the off button on my cellphone and use it frequently. Sorry about that, but I don’t answer my cellphone or my home phone when I’m in the middle of dinner or some other activity which should not be subject to interruption. We just have to keep in mind that hearing the wind in the trees and the song of the birds is often more important than the latest little bit of irrational panic or other drivel.
We should welcome progress that makes all of our lives easier.
What we do not want to do is become the slave of that progress.