In the 1989 film, Back to the Future 2, Marty McFly took his first glimpse in the distant future of 2015. With hover boards and flying cars and big TV screens the future never looked brighter. As views we are expected to notice how large a role technology plays in our lives and how much it will grow. Yet now that its 2015 we already see Google’s new self driving cars, hover boards tested by Lexus, and the accelerated growth of the internet. With all these new and fast changes in our lives, how exactly is technology affecting us?
First off, with new automation in our lives things are much easier to get done. With automation we can input and easily calculate data. Machines are constantly calculating data from programs designed by people in places such as keeping track of supply inventory in a store, calculating airplane landings in airports, or machines building cars in a factory.
Although these methods are all still used today, people are developing new ways to utilize technology. In recent years Google and other car companies have developed functional and safe self driving cars. Of course they are not yet open to purchase for the public, but these cars have already traveled thousands of miles and will likely been seen more frequently. Car crashes kill 40k people in the US , so with these new cars the roads have the potential to be much safer. Because these autos aren’t stupid, sleep deprived, or selfishly texting on their phones, companies will only invest more into them.
According to the US Bureau of Labor, 3 million people work in the transportation industry. So what exactly will happen to all those drivers if robots take over their jobs? Only time can tell, but this does pose worrying questions to other jobs that could potentially be replaced by automation and mechanical minds.
Now, onto the social side of technology. Social media does help us connect with other people, perhaps relatives that don’t live near us, easily and helps us share our lives. For example, Skype can create face to face conversations over thousands of miles. However many have argued that media networks can disrupt and shorten concentration; with so much information at the palm of our hands, we can easily be distracted or get lazy.
One phenomenon, Phantom Vibration Syndrome, has recently developed in our society. At times we think we feel our phones buzz in our pockets, but in actuality our nothing has happened. It appears as though our bodies have naturally wired ourselves to perceive an itch as a vibration on our phone. In a sense phones have literally changed the way we think!
Okay this post wasn’t to rant about the end of the world as we know it. We won’t have to worry about a Terminator invasion anytime soon, and I’m not saying that we should ban all social media. Rather, I’m saying there are always two sides to an argument. As for technology, it can makes our lives so much easier; yet technology changes our bodies and can pose a serious employment threat in the future. The future of technology still remains a mystery, but as a society we have to be ready for big changes to come.
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