We hear a lot about the evils of technology, and how it’s forcing us to become disconnected from our fellow humans. While there are some arguments to be made about these legitimate concerns, they often overshadow the great things technology does for us every day.
The connecting power of technological innovations arguably dwarves the downside of its sometimes-outsized role in our everyday lives. The truth is that technical innovation has benefits in nearly every industry and the lives of almost every person. Here are some significant examples that demonstrate this.
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What are the Benefits of 21st Century Technology?
In Business: Security and Productivity
Let’s start in the business sector where, for many, IT is synonymous with electronic progress. From massive connected computer systems, to cloud storage and microservers equipped with network repository function, the powerful machines of industry are run by high-tech breakthroughs. In an age where cyber-security is crucial to the safety of data, security, redundancy, and speed are key components.
Stepping away from the computer stacks for a moment, though, we can see the business impact of cutting-edge technology on employees at most levels in nearly every field. Unique user profiles allow you to sign into any computer on your network, and usually enable automatic backups.
You can stay connected across devices to access email and important files. Even the most elementary of productivity tools like to-do lists, reminders, and calculators have all seen high-tech makeovers.
In Health: Better Monitoring of the Body and Conditions
Speaking of makeovers, improving your health and appearance has never been easier, and it’s thanks to recent technological innovations. Think about this: if you suffer from high blood pressure, it’s now possible to monitor your heart rate (and even your blood-oxygen level) with a smartwatch or other relatively inexpensive wearable device. You can track your steps with your phone or time a run or workout with a built-in stopwatch.
Beyond exercise, advanced technology can also make it easier to maintain a healthy diet for weight loss or due to allergy concerns. We can start with the fact that any search engine can give you an overview of any food or drink nutritional value in seconds. That’s astonishing when you take a second to reflect on it! In addition, meal tracking apps can help you count calories, macros, and water intake, all to move you in a healthy, sustainable direction.
In Communication: Making the World Smaller
One of the biggest criticisms technology receives is that social media (and by extension, internet culture) has done more harm than good. Again, there is certain validity to this complaint. It’s important, however, to consider how far we’ve advanced in a short space of time.
Most Americans couldn’t access the internet until the mid-90s. In barely over 30 years, we’ve gone from dial-up modems to HD video conference calling. We’ve moved from push-dial phones and long-distance calls to 5G cell networks with unlimited streaming internet data plans.
This is certainly impressive, but it has also had great practical applications. News can travel throughout the world in a matter of seconds. GPS maps can now give us turn-by-turn instructions almost anywhere. Each of us has a flashlight, calculator, video player, camera, and stereo with us at all times in one compact, pocket-sized device.
Think of the raw materials saved by all that digital data. Think of all the time no longer wasted by people struggling to get directions. For anyone old enough to remember life in the ‘80s and ‘90s, this should feel truly miraculous.
In Finance: New Ways of Funding, Buying, and Spending
Finally, let’s touch briefly on technology’s impact on money. First, we can now send money through cash-sharing apps in minutes. Remember when we had to perform wire transfers or send money orders through the mail? We now also live in a world where cryptocurrency and innovative stock trading apps have changed the face of finance.
Technology gets a bad rap. For all the supposed evils it creates, it certainly has made the world smaller, communication and commerce easier, and is still spurring new innovations nearly every day.