So many technological innovations happening all around us that it’s hard to understand how they might be affecting us and changing the way we live. Industry-specific and location-specific technologies will have different effects in different ways, of course, but here are three ways we see technology changing the lives of nearly everyone.
1. Real-time everything
For hundreds of years, news was delivered primarily at the beginning of a person’s day, via the newspaper. A hodgepodge of town gossip might bring in more information throughout the day, but for the most part, people received and digested the news in the morning.
Radio technology changed that, and television followed soon after. It seemed as if television was real-time and delivered news as fast as possible, but the Internet and mobile phones have changed the pace yet again.
It’s possible to talk with neighbors about an earthquake within seconds on Twitter, and text-based notifications can alert people in the event of emergency weather developments. The real-time world is really here now, and it’s here to stay.
2. Perfect memory
We don’t have perfect memory capabilities, but computers do. Using a smartphone or computer to file away everything you once depended on your brain for is a new benefit being brought to the world by innovative technologies like Evernote, or systems based on the getting Things Done methodology.Freeing up mental bandwidth has a lot of benefits, and the perfect memory of computers offers us the ability to do that.
Transparency online takes many forms, from personal reputation to online reputation. Personal reputations are now affected by sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, where a person’s work history, evaluations, and other “character traits” can be examined by all. It’s oddly similar to living in a small town, where everyone seemed to know everything about everyone else.
For businesses, those same effects occurs. Companies now are reviewed online by consumers, and that’s a risk of transparency. But the upsides are many, for the savvy consumer and the business that operates in a transparent manner.
A person buying a house, for instance, will save thousands of dollars by comparing mortgage rates in Canada, and prospective homeowners will love sites that help them do that. Businesses that earn repeat customers in mortgages and real estate will be generate the profits necessary to serve those customers well, which is a win-win for everyone!