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How Technology Has Changed Our Lives Essay | Technology Has Changed Our Life Positively, Impact of Technology in Day To Day Life

December 3, 2021 by Prasanna

How Technology Has Changed Our Lives Essay: Technological innovations, applications, and advancements have impacted human civilization through ages that gradually transformed our lives. Technology has taken a key role for societies to thrive and evolve, while at the same time the structure and aspirations of human societies have been modified based on how they are being influenced by technology. As technological systems reflect the very essence of a population’s needs, human societies and their technology has become inseparable from one another. Our lives move around technology that results in the development of further innovations and applications to meet the needs of society.

You can also find more  Essay Writing  articles on events, persons, sports, technology and many more.

Long Essay on How Technology Has Changed Our Lives

Technology affecting the way of life

We all know that necessity is the mother of invention; so all invented technology came into place to meet the needs of people. Once developed, it changed our lives and behaviors in society, which may result in new ways of life. The people may simply use the technology to survive, or it may help the society to evolve and attain progress by creating a greater level of efficiency. At the same time, technological developments may even change the lifestyle and habits of people to the point of affecting human adaptive mechanisms and thus facilitating further technological evolution. Throughout the years, technology has kept providing us with amazing resources that can bring a vast difference in our everyday lives.

Every human society in the modern world has experienced technology as a utility and means of living more efficient lives. The infiltration of technology into our lives has been gradual and sometimes we may not even realize the extent to which technology has become part of our every waking moment. From the tiny to the enormous, every application of modern technology is opening a new world to us.

Technology is everywhere

The field of communication has seen very quick and significant changes in technology. Communication is immediate regardless of if a person is right there or across the globe. The education system has adapted new technology where students have the freedom to learn at any time and location of their choice through online facilities. The need for comfort and convenience has always been a strong motivator for the emergence of new technologies.

Access to any information is just a matter of a few clicks on the devices. The definition of entertainment has taken a new form with the latest technology. There has been a drastic change in our personal lives as we are open to numerous choices but we need to keep pace with their rapidly changing profiles. The most noticeable change in our lives has been the introduction of social media. This culture of getting involved in social networking through online mode has developed too fast. It allows a virtual entry into the lives of others in real-time whether they’re friends, followers, or celebrities.

Technology controlling us

Technology has made our lives faster and convenient by changing the way we do everything. As we move forward, technology accompanies us. We are surrounded by technology and become dependent on it. As we look around us and realize how technology has positively changed our lives, we must also remember how technology is controlling our lives by influencing our thought processes, ideas, and preferences. The big question is, whether we are using technology or being used by technology?

Too much dependence on technology has restricted the scope to flourish our creative and intellectual abilities. We are shifting to quantity from quality in terms of time, emotions, and relations. Our lives are getting trapped within technology and we feel helpless without the support. Technology is like an elevator that can take us to new heights as we desire, but we have to be ready to use the staircase as well in case it fails.

How Technology Has Changed Our Lives

Short Essay on How Technology Has Changed Our Lives


Technology has changed our lives and has made the world smaller with faster communication, instant information access, and online interactions. Technological advancements have brought everything to our fingertips, making life more enjoyable and convenient. Today, if you want to find something out, it only requires a couple of clicks on the internet. There is literally an app for anything, which renders instant and relevant information. From learning, traveling, dining to almost anything that you can think of is accessible through app technology.

Technology and Future

Technology has revolutionized our daily lives by giving us access to amazing tools and resources. Modern technology has paved the way for multi-functional devices which are faster, more portable, high-powered, and user-friendly. All these revolutions of technology have made our lives better, easier, faster, and more fulfilling. Technology has changed how we can entertain ourselves, interact with each other, and consume all types of information. There are so many new technologies evolving day by day that it seems overwhelming to adapt and keep track of. There is no doubt that the future of technology will continue to revolutionize our lives. In the coming days, driverless cars may be the new trend and robots will replace humans in factories.

The Online World

The latest technology trend has driven our daily lives centered on online activities more than ever before. Almost every aspect of our daily routines can be catered to online today, so it seems inevitable that our time spent online will only increase. Online accessibility to anything of our choice gives us a satisfactory level of convenience. It has changed our habits and preferences as well. But it has also made us vulnerable. Every digital footprint we make online is recorded and can be used by cybercriminals in unethical ways again by using some latest technology. So we have to be careful and updated while getting adapted to new technology.

FAQ’s on How Technology Has Changed Our Lives Essay

Question 1. Which app has helped us reach out somewhere more conveniently?

Answer: If we want to know how to reach somewhere, an app like Google Maps helps us get thereby giving the best route complete with directions, as well as satellite imaging.

Question 2. What is the impact of technology in the communication arena?

Answer: There are various online social networking sites that give us a chance to meet the rest of the world and make communication direct on this platform. It not only has changed the process of communication but also the way to build relationships.

Question 3 . How does the online mode of learning and education help us?

Answer: Education has now migrated from the classroom to the online platform and become accessible from any part of the world.

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  • Stories From Experts About the Impact of Digital Life
  • 1. The positives of digital life

Table of Contents

  • 2. The negatives of digital life
  • 3. Fifty-fifty anecdotes: How digital life has been both positive and negative
  • About this canvassing of experts
  • Acknowledgments

The greatest share of participants in this canvassing said their own experience and their observed experience among friends is that digital life improves many of the dimensions of their work, play and home lives. They cited broad changes for the better as the internet revolutionized everything, from the most pressing intellectual and emotional experiences to some of the most prosaic and everyday aspects of existence.

Louis Rossetto , self-proclaimed “troublemaker” and founder and former editor-in-chief of Wired magazine, summed it all up this way: “Digital technology is so broad today as to encompass almost everything. No product is made today, no person moves today, nothing is collected, analyzed or communicated without some ‘digital technology’ being an integral part of it. That, in itself, speaks to the overwhelming ‘value’ of digital technology. It is so useful that in short order it has become an integral part of all of our lives. That doesn’t happen because it makes our lives miserable.”

There is almost no area in which digital technology has not impacted me and my family’s life. Larry Irving

[artificial intelligence]

Mike Liebhold , senior researcher and distinguished fellow at the Institute for the Future, wrote, “Almost every member of my family regularly uses the internet to inform or improve aspects of their well-being: diet, fitness, health, social interaction with family and friends in person and online, education, entertainment, employment, commerce, finance and civic engagement.”

William Schrader , the founding CEO of PSINet, wrote, “Every single day: I have private communications with business associates in Europe, Asia, Latin America and in North America, and I receive emails or social media notices from my family members and their extended friends, and I receive the latest news and alerts from 20 different real news publications (such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and the Economist). All of this comes with little effort. And , after doing my local security, I can check every public investment I have made anywhere on earth and I can check my bank accounts and make transactions I deem of import, and I can search for any one or multiple piece of information that I need instantly, with or without Wi-Fi. Yes, I have what I wanted, everything at my fingertips. That means information, knowledge, history, ability to transact. I try to never do this when others are with me, since I love living in the moment. Since I am alone a lot, I can find the time. But I do not condemn or even slightly criticize people for taking a call, checking a text, reading, etc. What we built is what we wanted. It’s just that few people are happier. But, I am OK.”

Paul Saffo , a leading Silicon-Valley-based technological forecaster and consulting professor in the School of Engineering at Stanford University, said, “I have had an email address on my business card since 1982, and carry enough electronics on my person to get nervous in lightning storms. Digital connectivity has become like oxygen, utterly essential to my research. The net effect of these innovations has been to tie me more closely to other individuals and extend my interpersonal connections well beyond the pre-internet links of in-person interactions and telecommunications. I have friends – close friends who I have known for well over a decade and with whom I communicate nearly every day. We have never met in-person. In fact, we have never spoken over the phone. At the end of the day, the two of the three highest human desires are the desire to be useful, and the desire to share stories. We have been doing both since our distant ancestors sat around a savanna camp fire sharing their days and their dreams. Now, thanks to digital media, the circle around the campfire has grown to encompass (if we wish) all of humanity.”

Garland McCoy , president of the Technology Education Institute, said, “I can be a real-time engaged parent, husband, partner, problem solver, counselor, comforter, etc., while traveling anywhere in the world, and – if I am comfortable with a little inconvenience – I can usually manage this real-time interaction for free! Something that was never possible before. No more ‘Death of a Salesman.’”

Kyle Rose , principal architect at Akamai Technologies and active Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) participant, wrote, “There are simply too many things to list here. I’ll just hit on three. I can more easily keep in regular contact with friends in distant places. Those with whom I would have lost most contact (because, really, there’s no way I’m going to write letters or spend hours on the phone) I can now maintain a relationship with, sometimes of a fairly deep and interactive nature, via social media. This enables us to pick right up when we do finally see each other in person. Technology eases the difficulties of day-to-day life. Because of the internet, I have access to virtually all of recorded music at all times. I can get up-to-date maps and traffic data to avoid incidents. I can order food, groceries or a taxi, obtain up-to-date information about my flight status, and navigate foreign cities via public transit all from my phone with a few taps of my finger. Finally and relatedly, how the hell did I ever learn anything before the internet? The card catalog? Virtually all of human knowledge is at my fingertips at all times. It is rare that I ask a question of fact that someone hasn’t yet answered, and now many of those answers are available to anyone with access to a search engine. The impact of all of these is profoundly positive. And this is only a taste of what the internet, and technological advances in general, promise.”

Fred Davis , a futurist/consultant based in North America, wrote, “Messaging apps allow me to connect with people who have given me support, provided a chance to talk about life’s challenges, seek advice and many other things. Access to people is simplified. Chat apps (unlike Facebook) provide a one-on-one connection with another person, which can be more personal, human and healing than posting on social networks. I have been using a Fitbit for a number of years. I have had a heart attack and triple bypass and am pre-diabetic. Getting regular exercise is important, and my Fitbit helps me set and attain fitness goals much more easily than before. The ability to monitor and track my sleep helps me take actions to get better sleep, which definitely increases well-being. By connecting to my Fitbit scale I can also track my weight and tie it to my exercise goals. My Fitbit can connect to a Dexcom blood sugar-testing device that can test blood sugar every five minutes, which is extremely helpful in managing my pre-diabetes.”

These one-liners from anonymous respondents hit on a number of different positive themes:

  • “I can get answers to questions about almost anything just by asking my telephone.”
  • “I can save money on everything, including clothing and shoes, airfares, hotels and eat at better restaurants and drink better wine.”
  • “Navigation via car has dramatically improved, with accurate up-to-date traffic information and destination wayfinding.”
  • “Digital life is being able to speak and see someone – regardless of where you are – on a phone you carry on your person.”
  • “Most people I have dated and approximately all of my friends knew me on the internet first; before such digital connectivity I would have just been lonely.”
  • “Sharing photos of new generations instantly with loved ones on the other side of the world and using video and chat to send/receive money; to joke, to tease, to mourn.”
  • “My son has grown up in a world in which he will never be lost; he will never be without a person to talk to; he will never be stopped from searching for an answer to a query.”
  • “I work remotely for a company halfway around the world, and so does my partner. No need to be at a main office.”
  • “The diffusion of webinars allows me to participate in many events organized in different countries without having to travel to them.”
  • “Digital technology allows me to have better knowledge that empowers me to better support my own health when I face challenges.”
  • “My job didn’t exist 15 years ago. I am a digital content manager.”
  • “It means that we can participate in important moments that time and distance barred us from in the past.”
  • “I feel more supported in good times and bad and laugh more than before I was connected online.”

Here is a roundup of the many ways these experts described the benefits they get and the benefits they observe.

Family enrichment and enhancement

Pamela Rutledge , director of the Media Psychology Research Center, said, “My 90-year-old father was on Facebook for the sole purpose of connecting with kids and grandkids who were scattered across the country. Reading and commenting on their posts gave him the ability to participate in the process of their lives. Knowing what the family members were doing increased his sense of involvement and the overall intimacy he experienced with them all. This familiarity also jump-started any family gathering, keeping people who were geographically disparate from feeling like relative strangers and allowing relationships to be more immediately meaningful. Texting in all forms serves the same purpose. Closeness in relationships is achieved by the frequency of contact. The human brain reacts to virtual contact as if it were real, releasing the same neurotransmitters of positive emotion and reward as if people were face to face. Texting allows for the multiple touchpoints, the sharing of life’s process and the reassurance of connection. These experiences replicate the behaviors that developmental psychologist Mary Ainsworth described in her ground-breaking work on attachment theory and how people form a secure attachment style, essential to emotional well-being.”

The simplest anecdote is about keeping a family messaging chat open with my wife and children. Stowe Boyd

Stowe Boyd , managing director at Work Futures, said, “The simplest anecdote is about keeping a family messaging chat open with my wife and children. My kids – both in their 20s – live in Brooklyn, which is close to where we live, but over an hour away. However, we all participate in the chat, often several times in a day. We share pictures, links, stories, plans. It is simply much lower friction than how I managed to remain in contact – or didn’t, really – with my parents when I was in my 20s. Then it was an occasional phone call, visits when possible, but it was pretty tenuous. And I had what most of my contacts considered an unusually close and caring relationship with my folks. I wouldn’t say my family today is hyperconnected , but we certainly remain very connected, where scarcely a day passes without some interaction between all of us despite the physical distance involved. And this has allowed an extra richness to my life, and I guess theirs, a counter to the possible distance that could otherwise grow in our relations because of the hour of travel that separates us.”

[difference of digital life]

Steve Stroh , technology journalist, said, “Two observations. The first is that one of the regrets of my life is that I didn’t work hard enough to stay in touch with all of my family and friends as I moved away from my hometown and got involved in my career. Thus, many of my family and friends that were once dear to me are now estranged – entirely my fault. In my daughter’s generation (born in the 1990s), with social media like Facebook, etc., my daughter’s generation and beyond, they will never get entirely out of touch with family and friends (unless they really want to). They’ll know about significant events in their friends’ and family’s lives as things happen, and can always reach out because there’s a consistent point of contact – the social media messaging, ‘stable’ phone numbers such as mobile, email, etc. The second is that my wife and I maintain a near-daily ‘running conversation’ with my daughter who’s moved away via three-way ‘text’ messaging. We often share photos (of the family pets, as it turns out) and let each other know about important or unimportant – perhaps funny – things that are going on in our lives. So the three of us are never really out of touch, which is a wonderful, wonderful thing. I wish I could do this with MY father (who is, alas, very technophobic).”

Richard Sambrook , professor of journalism at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, wrote, “Very simply, I can talk to and see my daughter on the other side of the world at low or zero cost via video/smartphone technology in a way that was unthinkable a decade or more ago. It helps hold families together.”

Perry Hewitt , vice president of marketing and digital strategy at ITHAKA, said, “We live in an aging society; in the developed world, the population is getting older, people are living longer, and fertility rates are falling. Here in the U.S., where families can be geographically dispersed and family-leave policies minimal, caring for older relatives is difficult. Our family has benefitted from the many technology advances in elder care from cameras to robots to medication reminders to video calling. There is so much available to track critical metrics and improve quality of life – for the elderly and their tapped-out caregivers. I believe we’re still in the infancy of technologies that can improve medical compliance and personal safety, and combat a scourge many older Americans face: loneliness.”

Mary Chayko , a professor at the Rutgers University’s School of Communication and Information, wrote, “My family and I now stay in contact via an unending series of group texts. While we would have remained connected via letters or phone calls in a pre-digital time, this allows the simpler, more convenient and more frequent sharing of moments both incidental and more meaningful, and keeps us consistently in one another’s minds and hearts.”

Alex Halavais , director of the M.A. in social technologies at Arizona State University, said, “We have two children in elementary school. It starts at the same time each day and ends at the same time. The children are generally out of touch with the family during this period. This would not have been unusual when I was in elementary school or when my parents were in elementary school, but the other institutions in our lives have changed this. We have shared family calendars that show who needs to be where and when, but these change with some consistency. While my partner and I both have busy careers, they never fall within clearly defined work hours, and mobile technologies mean that our everyday social and business lives are weaved together rather than blocked in clear periods. Time has changed, except for the kids’ grade school. It remains anchored in one position: the 20th century.”

Eelco Herder , an assistant professor of computer science whose focus is on personalization and privacy at  Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen in the Netherlands, wrote, “My husband and I live relatively far away (about two to five hours) from our families and our friends live in several countries. Facebook makes it easier to stay in touch with them, to inform them about important events, to show pictures of our daily lives, and – in return – to be informed about things that matter to them. For me, my circle of online friends has evolved from mainly ‘online contacts’ in the mid-2000s to people whom I know in daily life. As a result, if we meet friends after a year or so without contact, we do not need to give an overview of last year, but just continue the conversation and play a board game. It is also easier now to stay in touch with a larger number of people than in earlier days. Apps like WhatsApp allow us to have daily contact with our families, simply by exchanging short messages or sending quick pictures. This interaction does not replace phone calls and visits, but complements them.”

Nathaniel Borenstein , chief scientist at Mimecast, said, “In the 1980s and early 90s, people asked me why I cared so much about advancing the capacities of email. My usual reply: ‘Some day I will have grandchildren, and I want to get pictures of them right away, by email.’ This dream came true when I received an email that contained a sonogram image of my twin granddaughters when they were each no bigger than a few cells. I had expected those first pictures to be considerably cuter. Even though I was an evangelist for the future of communication technology, that technology exceeded my wildest imaginings.”

Srinivasan Ramani , a retired research scientist and professor, said, “It was in 1993. My daughter left school in Bombay and moved to college in the U.S. Telecommunication in India was quite bad in those days. The number of telephones, both landline and cellular, was about 3 million. (Compare with the billion or so cellphones we have in the same country now!) I knew it would be difficult for my daughter to call us back soon after arrival at the college, and so had asked her to get access to internet on campus and contact us through email and chat. She did that within hours of arrival. My wife had, to that point, carefully stayed away from the dial-up terminal I had on my study table at home for years. Now, she suddenly demanded to be introduced to the system. She demonstrated that given the right motivation, people can learn to use a dial-up terminal for email and internet chat in two days at the most! Our daughter was, for the next four years, our daughter on the Net!”

Claudia L’Amoreaux , digital consultant, wrote, “I started using videoconferencing early. First I used a black-and-white video phone that sent a still image every 5 seconds or so. Friends and I got our hands on one and did some fun experiments with artist techies at the Electronic Cafe in Los Angeles. Later I used Cornell’s CU-SeeMe videoconferencing. A real turning point for me was using the high-end PictureTel videoconferencing system in the early ‘90s. When the PictureTel staff dialed up and connected me to a person in New York City (I was in Monterey, California), as I said hello, tears came involuntarily to my eyes; the intimacy was so unexpected, I was overwhelmed with this encounter with a stranger. Fast forward to five years ago. My 85-year-old mother had a recurrence of cancer. We lived many miles apart. On one of my visits, we went to the phone store and I helped her pick out her first iPhone. It was so awesome to watch her learn to text with her friends. I could FaceTime her from my home while I got my life in order so I could return to take care of her. That phone was a literal lifeline during her last months – a source of joy, a tool for coordinating her care, and a reassurance for me that I could actually see daily how she was doing. I think of all the technology in our lives, videoconferencing technology contributes in a profound way to my well-being, bringing me closer to dear family and friends who live at a distance, or even just across the bay like my daughter does. I love it when we both have time to just hang out together via FaceTime when we can’t be there in person.”

Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney , a director, said, “Thanks to social media and video chatting, my parents have been able to be very involved in my child’s life in spite of living on the other side of the country. She is only two and a half, but she knows their faces and voices and feels connected to them, even though she’s only met them a handful of times.”

Work creator, enabler and enhancer

I spend a great deal of my day online, and being hyperconnected makes it possible to find all the things I need to have a decent quality of life. Dewayne Hendricks

Dewayne Hendricks , CEO of Tetherless Access, said, “Living a digital life has made it possible to be self-sustaining financially. I spend a great deal of my day online, and being hyperconnected makes it possible to find all the things I need to have a decent quality of life. The type of life I’m leading now would not have been possible 30 years ago. I take comfort in the fact that I’ve had a hand in shaping a part of this thriving digital Web.”

Michael Rogers , a futurist based in North America, said, “I now live half the year in the Sicilian farm country where, thanks to wireless internet access, I can do most of my work. Ten years ago that would have been quite impossible. One of the things I most like about Sicily (besides the obvious attractions) is that while there is plenty of Facebook and email and Twitter, the ‘digital lifestyle’ has not colored private and public life so much as it has in my other home, New York City. Sicily remains a far more face-to-face culture. Why that is the case and how long it will continue is a longer story, but it is ironic that I’m using the new digital tools to avoid the side effects of those same tools.”

[Transmission Control Protocol]

James Blodgett , an advisory board member with the Lifeboat Foundation, wrote, “Important work is shared. When several string theorists published several papers predicting black hole production at particle colliders, I became involved with the collider controversy. The original safety considerations had glaring holes. … I made contacts with safety experts and scientists who were also concerned. I started a Global Risk Reduction special interest group in Mensa, I became an advisory board member of the Lifeboat Foundation (one of thousands), and I participated in writing petitions and contacting people. … The main thing we accomplished was to get CERN, the organization sponsoring the then-upcoming Large Hadron Collider, to do a second safety study.”

[Internet Relay Chat]

Jordan LaBouff , associate professor of psychology at the University of Maine, commented, “There are so many ways, from allowing me to stay connected to my family and other relationships while I travel for work and research, to being able to translate or navigate on the fly in difficult cross-cultural situations. The one that springs to mind is actually my wife’s work experience. Two years ago, due in part to the challenges of living with multiple chronic health conditions, my wife left her successful job as a cell technologist at a local hospital to pursue digital journalism. It has allowed her to work from home and write for a large public audience about research surrounding bipolar disorder. This digital environment provides her employment, and her writing supports thousands of people every week who read her research (that she accesses digitally) and writing and who get social support and well-being tips from it. It’s a remarkable way the digital world has improved our physical one.”

Tom Wolzien , chairman at The Video Call Center LLC, said, “My family’s creation of The Video Call Center to produce broadcast-quality television from the 4 billion global smartphones (and related patents and other intellectual property to make it reliable and cost effective) has enabled a flattening of traditional live video access, enabling programs based on zero-cost live remotes from about anywhere on the planet without field origination, transport, or control room costs. This means that any media organization can put about anyone on the air from anywhere, restricted only by the depth of the producer’s contact list.”

Jane Elizabeth , director of the accountability journalism program at the American Press Institute, wrote, “Digital technology has allowed my small non-profit organization to work efficiently and effectively from wherever we are in the world. For non-profits and even small for-profit organizations, you just can’t overstate the positive benefits of this type of mobility. There are absolute cost savings in overhead, travel, hourly wages. And there are qualitative benefits in employee work-life balance, productivity and emotional health.”

Jeremiah Foster , an open-source technologist at the GENIVI Alliance, said, “I lived and worked in Sweden for about 15 years. Recently I moved back to the United States to be with family since I’m originally from the U.S. I’m able to keep my employment, including my salary, my title and my day-to-day work while living thousands of miles away from the company I work for.”

Eugene Daniel , a young professional based in the United States, said, “Digital technology impacts every aspect of my daily life. As a member of the media, my job depends on technology (telecommunications, social media, internet). As a person who lives apart from family and loved ones, I depend on digital communication to stay in touch – including frequently connecting on FaceTime with my girlfriend. The uses are endless.”

Devin Fidler , a futurist and consultant based in the U.S., commented, “Sites like Upwork have allowed Rethinkery Labs to routinely pull together ‘flash teams’ of colleagues, support and expert advisers in a way that accomplishes many tasks more efficiently than would have been humanly possible before coordination platforms.”

Frank Feather , a business futurist and strategist with a focus on digital transformation, commented, “Technology allowed me to quit commuting – which is asinine in this era – to quit my career job, and to become a full-time consultant, thus allowing me to help far more organizations on a freelance-anywhere basis. This has been most fulfilling. Similarly, my children have built worldwide networks of friends and fellow students. We have two adopted daughters, and the internet has allowed one of them to find and connect with her birth family in China. None of this would be possible without the internet. The internet unifies people and combines ideas very easily.”

Yoram Kalman , an associate professor at the Open University of Israel, wrote, “Digital technology freed me from having to spend all of my work hours in the office. I have been telecommuting and working from home at least part of the week since the late ‘90s. That would not have been possible without the advent of digital communication. It allowed me to better integrate work, family commitments, leisure, health challenges of self, of children and of elderly parents, social commitments, etc. Consequently, my work is more productive. Furthermore, the ability to work across geographical and national borders opened new opportunities that made my work more exciting and fulfilling. Throughout this time, I had to learn and relearn how to use communication technologies in ways that empower me, and how to minimize the harm they cause. It is an ongoing learning challenge.”

Charlie Firestone , executive director of the Aspen Institute’s communications and society program, said, “I run an office of seven people. I was able to move from Washington, D.C., to California with little detriment, mostly due to video-conferencing. In our case it is Skype for Business that puts each employee a touch of a button away, and the video changes the interaction from simply voice calls or email. I see video calls, a la FaceTime or Skype to be a common activity of the future in business.”

[Structured Query Language]

Adam Montville , a vice president at the Center for Internet Security, said, “I have the privilege of working from home each and every day. While there are some aspects of office life I miss, the truth is that technology has made this possible. For our family, this has been immeasurably valuable. I can work more productively at different times of day, all while maintaining healthy boundaries for work/life balance (which really isn’t about hard boundaries as much as it is about unobtrusively blending the two). Before such technology existed, I had to commute. I had to be tied down to a specific schedule each and every day. I couldn’t connect to colleagues from a mountainside or a sailboat. It just wasn’t possible.”

Ann Adams , a technical writer based in North America, said, “It gave me a profession; one that did not exist when I was growing up.”

Vincent Alcazar , director at Vincent Alcazar LLC, wrote, “The growing mobility of labor cannot be underestimated, and the primary enabler is the gig economy with the internet as its engine. The gig economy only grows from here, as does its entwinement within people’s lives.”

Health and wellness aid

Avery Holton , an associate professor of communication at The University of Utah, commented, “As someone who has twice experienced the impact of cancer, once at the beginning of digital and social media and once in 2016, I feel more empowered by the ability to be transparent and accepted. Yes, we all still enjoy sharing those moments in our lives that give off the best appearance, but the stigma of sharing experiences of disease or pain or loss has lessened. More and more, we are encouraged by the actions or the postings of others to share our tougher experiences and to, if we so wish, build a community around those experiences. The first time I went through cancer, I felt lost and disconnected and without voice. This time, though it admittedly took some coaxing from friends and other supporters, I shared my experience and my recovery. That really helped me through the process and into a quicker, more lasting mental, emotional and physical recovery.”

My online network and digital tools made it easy to share the event, his progress, my stress and feelings, for others to empathize and share resources and advice. Susan Price

Susan Price , lead experience strategist at the United Services Automobile Association (USAA), commented, “My husband had a stroke last year. My online network and digital tools made it easy to share the event, his progress, my stress and feelings, for others to empathize and share resources and advice. I found myself carefully segregating my communications by channel, moderating the degree of honesty according to the size and makeup of the group. I report to the largest group in Facebook ‘sanitized’ updates of mostly hopeful progress reports and vignettes that show me or my husband in a flattering or inspirational light. I avoid upsetting others with starkly honest or too-revealing stories of my own or my husband’s pain, frustration or lack of coping. My husband is aware of my propensity to share, and has asked directly when we’re discussing a fraught situation, ‘This isn’t going on Facebook, is it? Good!’ But he suggested my posting and sharing some achievements. Because of its ubiquity and reach, Facebook helped me identify select others in my network – many of whom I hadn’t spoken with in 10 to 20 years – who had directly relevant experience with caregiving of stroke survivors and adjusting when a partner suffers a severe health crisis. With those found veterans, I moved the discussion to more private channels such as Facebook Messenger, email or phone to share more honestly my negative feelings, fears and pain, and received directly helpful specific advice, support and resources. I’ve also used caregiver forums to connect with quickly available communities of peers in situations much closer to my own.”

Gina Neff , an associate professor and senior research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, said, “Digital technology has been a godsend for care-givers, allowing people to coordinate their efforts to help during cancer treatment, when a newborn arrives, or during a health crisis. Apps and websites cannot replace the communities that have always connected and supported us, but they can help diverse and dispersed groups coordinate care in unprecedented ways.”

Bradford Hesse , chief of health communication and informatics research at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), said, “I now stay in closer contact with my healthcare provider than I ever have before. If I have a question, I can ask it through secure messaging. If I want to evaluate my own recent blood panels for areas of concern or progress, I can do that online through a secure portal. Robocalls to my house from my provider as well as text messages to my phone ensure that I do not miss a recommended cancer screening. I watch my diet more rigorously with the help of a diet app on my smartphone equipped with camera to retrieve caloric/nutritional information, and I monitor my exercise goals through the use of my Apple Watch wearable. If I have a complaint, it is usually because the ecosystem of medicine is still not connected enough. There are laggards who resist sharing my electronic health record data with specialists as needed. There is 20th-century thinking that prevents these digital technologies from being fully integrated into the medical system in ways that will be cost-efficient, interoperable, empowering and truly usable.”

Thomas Lenzo , a respondent who shared no additional identifying details, commented, “Digital technology has facilitated my management of various aspects of my healthcare. I am able to schedule appointments and order prescription refills online, at any time of day. I can get detailed text or video information about health issues from trusted sources. I have access via portals to my health records. I also tell family and friends how they can use digital technology to impact their health.”

Ed Black , president and CEO of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, said, “The ability to monitor the medical records, procedures, medicines of a loved one remotely provides opportunity for quality oversight and rapid response, in contrast to being tied to hospital visits and uncertainty.”

Gary L. Kreps , distinguished professor and director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication at George Mason University, wrote, “My family and I use wearable fitness trackers that tally our daily exercise behaviors (steps). This has influenced both our awareness of our physical activity and motivation to exercise regularly. We strive to accomplish our 10,000 daily steps! We also compare our exercise levels and encourage each other to engage in physical activity. We now seek opportunities to exercise together to achieve our activity goals. This has improved our overall physical activity, fitness and health.”

Kevin J. Payne , founder of Chronic Cow LLC, said, “Since I research the effects of chronic illness and live with multiple sclerosis, I have a particular interest in using these technologies to monitor and evaluate my condition, keep up on the latest research, and connect with others – both professionals and others living with chronic conditions. My life has been radically affected by these burgeoning technologies on all these fronts. It allows me to collect my own data, blend it with other datasets and generate and test real-time predictive algorithms. I have a far better understanding of my condition, especially as it is baselined against relevant populations. I not only get access to cutting edge pre-print research, but I’ve also been able to widen my professional network by communicating with the researchers. And my involvement with patient communities has enriched my life in many ways.”

David Myers , a professor of psychology at Hope College, wrote, “As a person with hearing loss and an advocate for a hearing-assistive technology that has great promise (www.hearingloop.org), the internet has networked me with kindred spirit advocates nationwide (also via 19,898 emails I have sent and 18,516 received with the words ‘hearing’ and ‘loop’). Together, our internet-facilitated ‘hearing loop’ advocacy has led to thousands of newly equipped facilities, from home TV rooms to worship places to auditoriums to airports (and New York City subway booths and new taxis). And more progress is on the horizon. Supported by digital technology, we are making a better world for people with hearing loss.”

[doctor in general practice]

Doug Breitbart , co-founder and co-director of The Values Foundation, said, “In my life I have experienced significant adverse changes and circumstance, living situation and health. Virtual connectivity via the internet has enabled me to establish networks of connections, collaborative communities and new friendships and relationships with people around the world.”

Leah Robin , a health scientist based in North America, said, “My family has a genetic form of anemia that is very rare. Because of digital technology we’ve been able to make contact with researchers, take advantage of on-going research, and provide and receive support from other patients from around the world. The impact has been, at times, lifesaving for my family members.”

Christopher Bull , a university librarian, said, “I had an itchy rash on my hands. Found articles on the internet which suggested using witch hazel. No rash, no itch.”

Community lifeline

Ethan Zuckerman , director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, wrote, “I went through a divorce recently and wrote about my experiences online. While there are few folks in my immediate community who are going through divorce, I found several friends in other cities in my extended circles who had excellent support and advice. One of the most supportive individuals was an acquaintance from college who was not a close friend, but who stepped up on Facebook and was a wonderful support to me from halfway around the country.”

Together, we grow intelligence, connect up one another’s work and support positive social change just by doing our work, following one another and sharing what’s meaningful more widely. Anne Collier

Anne Collier , consultant and executive at The Net Safety Collaborative, said, “I ‘talk’ with people all over the world on a daily basis on Twitter – seeing, learning from, supporting and spreading what’s meaningful to them in their work and lives. It’s a tremendous source of inspiration for me. Together, we grow intelligence, connect up one another’s work and support positive social change just by doing our work, following one another and sharing what’s meaningful more widely.”

Kathryn Campbell , a digital experience design consultant, said, “I have a young friend who lives in another state in a rural area. Over time, I have realized from their social media posts that he/she is emerging as gender non-conforming (probably transsexual). In the past, this is a journey that I would probably not have known about, especially since his/her immediate family is very conservative and have not accepted this facet of the young person’s identity. I am so grateful to have been included in this revelation so I can offer my unconditional love and support. And I am even more grateful that a person who in the past would have felt isolated, unnatural, and broken now knows that they are in fact part of a global community. He/she can find and utilize peer support groups as well as myriad medical, psychological and spiritual resources that would not have been available to someone in a small town in the past. I believe this will probably save lives. I definitely hope that it will help increase our ability as a society to accept others who don’t conform to our preconceived notions of what is normal.”

Ana Cristina Amoroso das Neves , director of the department for the information society at Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, said, “The smartphone has become a part of my family life. The current organisation we have and the data we can share more than modified the way we interact. There is no waste of time and therefore we all gain efficiency in our daily life. The dawn of Internet of Things is already embedded. … If there is an electricity glitch, we cannot even think how will we survive due to the new paradigm we have in our lives. Hyperconnection is part of my family and friends’ well-being. It is nothing that can be compared with the life my parents had. I wonder how I could have survived in that society, living before total digital connectivity existed, even when it had just started and was not spread yet.”

Deborah Lupton , a professor at University of Canberra’s News & Media Research Centre, said, “I live in a vast continent (Australia) where academics are scattered many kilometres from each other, and it is a very long, expensive and exhausting plane ride from my colleagues in the Northern Hemisphere. However, I have extensive networks with my colleagues on Twitter and Facebook. I enjoy taking time out to chat with them, sharing professional and also some personal information regularly. It makes me feel less isolated and more easily able to keep in contact with my academic network. Nothing beats face-to-face encounters, but social media and emails, as well as the occasional use of Skype, is a far better way to maintain these contacts than letter writing or faxing, which is how we did things before digital media.”

Nancy Heltman , visitor services director for Virginia State Parks, said, “I have met and developed relationships with people outside any sphere of reference I never would have had thanks to my digital life. This started when I worked on the 2008 Obama campaign, includes people I met through a group where we shared our love for household pets and goes through today where I have a relationship with customers that I never would have met personally. While I do not believe that my online relationships replace ones that involve personal face-to-face connections, they are important and have broadened my horizons in many ways, adding a richness to my life. In fact my more-traditional face-to-face relationships have also benefited from more communication due to digital communications. When forced to only have relationships with people you can meet in person, you tend to live in a more-narrow world, with people more like you. Digital communications broadens your horizons, or it can if you want it to.”

Social media: The horizon expander

Michael R. Nelson , public policy expert with Cloudflare, said, “I’m an avid user of social media, which I use to track developments in internet policy around the world. Almost every day, one of the people I follow on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn shares a report, law review article, economic analysis, or news article on something I need to know about and would not have discovered by just reading the U.S. newspapers and media sites I track regularly. Equally importantly, my Facebook and LinkedIn friends introduce me to experts in the field in countries around the world – without my having to spend time flying overseas to attend conferences. In 2017, I was able to be a fun participant in the Global Conference in Cyber Space in New Delhi without missing Thanksgiving with my family. Likewise, I was able to be a remote participant at the UN’s Internet Governance Forum in Geneva without leaving my house (as long as I was willing to tune into the webcast at 4 a.m.).”

[bulletin board system]

Michael Roberts , an internet pioneer and Internet Hall of Fame member, commented “Despite its well-known problems, I find that Facebook is important to me in a number of ways. 1) Keeping up with professional friends around the globe now that I am retired. For an old fart (81), it is a source of daily intellectual stimulation and a feeling of keeping my hand in the game. 2) A window into many marvelous places and activities. I am a railfan and there are restored steam engines, abandoned trackage, lonely and empty depots, etc., to fill any amount of time I have available. Name your hobby or sport, and there are folks out there to share their discoveries with you. 3) The original ‘family and friends’ angle. My siblings and I are all over the U.S. Facebook lets us pretend we are close (Worldwide webcams add a lot as well). There are lots of other examples – politics, medicine, personal safety, education.”

Jerry Michalski , founder of the Relationship Economy eXpedition, said, “I now have peripheral vision into the lives of family, friends and acquaintances a few degrees from me – all voluntarily. When I see them, I don’t need to ask ‘what’s up,’ but can say ‘I’m glad your daughter got through her operation,’ or whatever is appropriate for the state of their lives I can observe. Those weak ties are priceless, and lead to insights. In the early days of Twitter, I left a meeting and tweeted something like, ‘Just left a mtg about the cash health care economy. Had no idea it existed or was big.’ At the time, I had set up for all my tweets to forward to Facebook, and the next day I got a fascinating eight-paragraph note on Facebook from an acquaintance who had taken his family off regular health insurance years ago, and was very happy with the outcomes. On the other hand, I am among the Satanic Device Addicts who check email on their phones first thing in the morning (it’s on the night table, right?) and tap and prod them all day long, in search of those little dopamine hits.”

… All of us now have the ability to find ‘our people’ – those who share our interests and passions and concerns – in ways that we couldn’t when our connective avenues were limited by time and geography. Scott McLeod

[live-action roleplaying gamer]

Jason Hong , professor at the Human Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, wrote, “WeChat is not well known in the U.S., but is perhaps the most popular app in China. It’s primarily a messaging app, like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, but also serves as a social network and message board. What’s really amazing is how it’s really helped my family (from China) connect with others here in the U.S. My father-in-law found people to go fishing with. My mother-in-law found a monthly foodies group to go to. My wife found some of her old high school classmates, plus a group of people that buy foods in bulk at discount and split the costs. As for me, well, I’m the boring one, I just use it to send text messages and emoji to my wife. For my family, WeChat works well because it lowers the transaction costs of finding individuals with similar interests and backgrounds. My parents-in-law don’t speak much English, so WeChat acts as a major filter for people who do speak Chinese. WeChat also lets you organize message boards by geography, making it easy to find groups that are geographically nearby. It’s pretty amazing, since these weren’t really problems that we knew we had, and the WeChat groups just filled those needs quite nicely. Furthermore, it was a good tool that let us first find people virtually and then transition to real-world relationships.”

Richard Bennett , a creator of the Wifi MAC protocol and modern Ethernet, commented, “Facebook was useful for spreading the word to my extended family about the status of two relatives who died of pancreatic cancer recently. In one case, a sister-in-law in another country used me as a go-between to reach my wife, and in another I used it to contact a former stepbrother, a sister and a half brother. As modern families become more complex, communication tools have had to adapt.”

Lisa Nielsen , director of digital learning at the New York City Department of Education, said, “I am the administrator of several Facebook groups around areas of personal interest such as hobbies, sports, career (education). I started a Facebook group for teachers at the New York City Department of Education who love teaching with technology. In the past all these people existed in the 1,800 schools across the city, but there was no way for these people to find one another. The group now has close to 3,000 members. It is highly active, and strong relationships are being built. We have a direct line to what is happening in schools. Teachers feel supported like never before. They are more confident and better able to serve their students. They have increased job satisfaction. They share extreme gratitude for the group and its responsiveness. They are no longer alone but rather supported by a powerful network of other dedicated teachers.”

Knowledge storehouse

[massive open online courses]

Jeff Jarvis , a professor at City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, said, “I count as an unfathomable luxury the ability to look up most any fact, any book, any news article at no cost and in seconds. I value the friends I have made from a tremendous diversity of background and worldviews thanks to the connected Net. I welcome many – though certainly not all – new voices I can hear now thanks to the Net putting a printing press in anyone’s hands. And not incidentally, I have transformed my career thanks to the lessons I continually learn by and about the Net.”

Deborah Hensler , professor of law at Stanford University, wrote, “On a personal level, digital technology enables me to work more productively from any place in the world. It provides access to a vast store of information and research data. It has enabled me to collaborate with academic colleagues in many different parts of the world, which has been an incredibly generative experience. In my personal life, it connects me to far-flung family and friends. It also connects me to people who share my political views, which gives me some hope – perhaps foolish – that working with them I can shift the political discourse.”

Ray Schroeder , associate vice chancellor for online learning at the University of Illinois Springfield, wrote, “I have been engaged in teaching, researching and presenting/publishing in advocating educational technology in higher education over the past 46 years. As I think back over those nearly five decades, my impact and reach today is far greater than I had ever imagined in 1971 or ‘81 or even 2001. Through the use of social media, I am able to share resources and perspectives to tens of thousands of others in my field on a daily basis. The prospect that one person could manage that scope of impact and reach was inconceivable for anyone who was not a network commentator on television or a nationally syndicated columnist. Now this opportunity extends to all who are dedicated to a purpose or cause.”

Larry MacDonald , CEO of Edison Innovations, wrote, “Sharing enables power to flow to those who ‘know’ rather than only those who control. People have a better grasp of news and tools that can make their lives easier. Knowledge disseminates faster and deeper.”

Problem solver and wonder creator

Hal Varian , chief economist at Google, commented, “I was in Rio trying to communicate with a taxi driver a few months before the Olympics. The driver pulled out his phone and clicked on Google Translate. Problem solved. Turns out that Google had trained all the taxi drivers in Rio how to use this fantastic tool.”

In terms of the spread of knowledge, the past two decades have been as revolutionary as when early man harnessed fire. Kenneth Cukier

Kenneth Cukier , senior editor at The Economist, wrote, “In researching my new book on AI, I came across a citation of a relevant document from the 1950s by the East German secret police, the Stasi. I Googled it and got a digital copy – which, when you think about it, is amazing. But my German is lousy. So I uploaded the 35-page report into Google Translate and got an English version a minute later – which is even more astounding. Just 20 years ago it was impossible for all but the most prestigious scholar to obtain something like that, and it might take half a year. I did it on impulse in four minutes. In terms of the spread of knowledge, the past two decades have been as revolutionary as when early man harnessed fire.”

Vint Cerf , Internet Hall of Fame member and vice president and chief internet evangelist at Google, commented, “I moved my wife from an older iPhone with AT&T service to a Google Pixel 2 with Google Fi service. It took 10 minutes and did NOT require physical modification or even installation of a SIM card. I got confirmation from AT&T within minutes that the account and phone number had been transferred. I was astonished.”

[Internet Governance Forum]

Bart Knijnenburg , assistant professor at Clemson University, said, “Seven years ago, when I got my first iPhone with FaceTime, I was calling my fiancée (who was living on the other side of the country) on my bike ride home from work. Out of nowhere a number of hot air balloons appeared, and with the touch of a button I was able to switch to a video call. I remember being amazed by the simplicity with which I was able to share this experience. Nowadays, communicating with people anywhere in the world has become second nature to me. Sometimes I realize that I have written several research papers with people whom I have never met in person!”

Heywood Sloane , partner and co-founder of HealthStyles.net, said, “The criterion I used for my most recent purchase of a smartwatch was that it NOT try to be a watch. I have one already, a gift from my wife that I am very fond of, thank you! I expected, and got, a multitude of tools to help me stay on track with stress, sleep, biometrics and much more. What I did not expect, was the way it tamed the peppering of email, notifications by apps, ringtones and alarms of people and things clamoring for my immediate attention. It reduces them all to gentle vibrations. Long ones for calls I wanted to take, and short ones for everything else. It lets me block interruptions from apps and emailers. It also let me see others and get more detail with a tap when I want it. It gives me control and helps me defend my space to concentrate and focus on what I choose, rather than what someone else chooses.”

Thomas Viall , president of Rhode Island Interactive, commented, “Just this past Christmas shopping season is a great example of how digital technology was beneficial. We could text our relatives rather than interrupt them with a call. They were able to share their wish list, we could comparison shop online (at both local and national stores), find the best value, search for coupons and either order online or use navigation to find the best route to the store despite holiday traffic.”

Education tool

Olugbenga Adesida , founder and CEO of Bonako, based in Africa, wrote, “The digital revolution has changed social relationships and the way we communicate. In some African countries like Kenya and Zimbabwe, mobile payment transactions are responsible for over 40% of GDP. Mobile apps are used to deliver education as well as providing timely information to farmers to enhance their productivity. Similarly, mobile apps are used to deliver price and other market information. At our firm – Bonako a mobile games and app-development company – it is our platform for continuous education for staff; it is what we use to access training materials from all over the world. We also use digital tools to plan and develop our products in a way that would not have been possible only a few years ago. Developing games and apps requires varied expertise, and collaboration is key. The new tools for collaborative work allow us to work together and to provide virtual access to potential partners/clients to test products no matter where they are in the world.”

Karl M. van Meter , founding director of the bilingual scientific quarterly Bulletin of Sociological Methodology, said, “Far from being a ‘brief personal anecdote,’ what has changed greatly in my life and work, like that of almost everyone in higher education and research, is that the internet and associated technologies mean that no longer only a few top persons have access to the necessary information, technology and means for scientific production and teaching. It is no longer only the director (always a male) who gets his secretary (always a female) to type out his paper and check references before having it published. Almost all competent teachers and researchers have that possibility now; moreover they can work together over great distances and form social structures among themselves, independent of centralized or local administrative control. A ‘brief personal anecdote’ along these lines would be when a national director of scientific research here in France asked to be appointed to an international body associated with UNESCO. That body replied very respectfully to the director that they had already found a better candidate from France who had been working with them via the internet. That other candidate was me.”

Today, students I help mentor through their own doctoral studies have access to all of the material I did two decades ago, but with a fraction of the time and travel commitment. Greg Downey

Greg Downey , a professor and associate dean at University of Wisconsin, Madison, said, “When I was a graduate student at a U.S. private research university in the late 1990s, I spent many hours gathering background context for the beginning of a major historical and social research project, tracking down physical newspaper indexes, footnote references, printed journal volumes and microfilm reels from dozens of access-restricted research libraries. Weeks and months of ‘metadata labor’ on a particular idea might lead to a viable research project and a source of accessible primary research materials – or to a dead end and a need to start all over. I recall being among the first users of some of the online image databases produced by the federal government to find visual evidence that I simply wouldn’t have had the ability to access (or even know it existed) even five years earlier. Similarly, once materials were acquired and assembled, only rudimentary organization and writing tools were available for assembling the project into a coherent narrative. I recall being one of the first individuals at my university to use Geographic Information Systems software in my historical analysis and in the production of my final manuscript. All of the temporal and spatial expectations of earning a Ph.D. in the humanities and interpretive social sciences were tied to expectations of analog, print and physically housed resources. Today, students I help mentor through their own doctoral studies have access to all of the material I did two decades ago, but with a fraction of the time and travel commitment. This has raised the expectations for comprehensiveness in literature reviews and archival searches; it has raised the expectations for presentation of data and engagement of narrative. It is both easier and harder to do great work now and get that Ph.D. within the same five-year time period. But I think the work that is done is of higher quality, and the scholars that are produced are of greater intellectual prowess and scope than ever before.”

Adriana Labardini Inzunza , commissioner of Mexico’s Federal Institute of Telecommunications, said, “There are so many stories of how IT and internet have made my work more productive and my access to relevant information far easier – hopefully for others around me as well. As a commissioner at the Federal Institute of Telecommunications I made sure that our virtual board meetings and deliberations were valid; on many occasions I have been able to deliberate and vote on the cases submitted to the board through a video conference when in business travels and I also to hold e-meetings with my staff. My office has home-office on Mondays, saving hours of wasted time on traffic jams. …

[National Autonomous University of Mexico]

Jacob Dankasa , a North American researcher, said, “Technology has connected me to achieve today what I couldn’t imagine in the past. When I was doing my doctoral dissertation, I was supposed to travel to Nigeria from the U.S. to conduct interviews with my research participants. Unfortunately, the Ebola epidemic blew up in Africa and I was unable to go. Fortunately, software existed that allowed me to interview the participants and automatically record the sessions as I interviewed them. The price was reasonable. It saved me money and time and avoided health hazards. More and better innovations are expected in this area in the future.”

Travel companion and enhancer

[for the film ‘Casablanca.’]

I travel a lot and have vastly more flexibility and local knowledge at hand due to my devices. I see things I would not have seen, travel without having to plan every stop in advance and find the things that matter to me. I get better hotels and food, too. Brad Templeton

Brad Templeton , software architect, civil rights advocate, entrepreneur and internet pioneer, wrote, “I travel a lot and have vastly more flexibility and local knowledge at hand due to my devices. I see things I would not have seen, travel without having to plan every stop in advance and find the things that matter to me. I get better hotels and food, too.”

Jon Lebkowsky , CEO of Polycot Associates, said, “A week or so ago we headed off to a party at a house we’d never visited. We entered the address in Google Maps, so we had a guide (we call her ‘Lucy’) taking us where we need to go. It was a circuitous route – without Lucy we likely would have taken wrong turns – and I was thinking how much we now depend on that technology, not just to get us where we want to go, but also to route us around traffic congestion. Soon enough, we’ll be stepping into autonomous vehicles, vocalizing an address and relaxing for the duration of the ride. Digital technology for transportation efficiency is revolutionary.”

Safety enabler

Alejandro Pisanty , a professor at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and longtime leading participant in the activities of the Internet Society, wrote, “The ability to use digital tools for everything I do – from professional work, like teaching and research, to the most personal – finding long-separated relatives after the family dispersed from Europe to at least three continents in the 1930s-1940s – has been a continued benefit. Using lightweight online tools in class helps my students in the National University of Mexico grasp concepts and communicate them to their families. During the aftermath of the earthquakes in Mexico in 2017 this became particularly valuable for them; it also helped fight misinformation and take relief efforts to the places that most needed them. We went from the basics of oscillation and wave physics, through the propagation of different kinds of seismic waves. To the ways buildings are damaged and how to identify fatal structural flaws. In parallel we helped brigades take aid to small towns and to camps in Mexico City, and some of the most far-flung ones find safe havens from which to distribute aid.”

Pedro Cartagena , an associate professor at the University of Puerto Rico, said, “After hurricane María in Puerto Rico, the internet was the only communications resource in order to contact my family members, buy solar panels and get other essentials for survival.”

Apps for ordering car rides via a smartphone is a net benefit to society – it increases safety for both the passenger and driver and offers more convenience in ordering a ride. Tom Barrett

Tom Barrett , president at EnCirca Inc., wrote, “1) With the use of a smartwatch, I can now easily track daily exercise activity, which is a great motivator for making it a daily practice. 2) Apps for ordering car rides via a smartphone is a net benefit to society – it increases safety for both the passenger and driver and offers more convenience in ordering a ride.”

Multipurpose and memory aid

Bill Lehr , a research scientist and economist at MIT, wrote, “There is no question smartphones and always/everywhere access to information has allowed me to be sloppier in memorizing things and allows me to gain instant access to facts that I have come to rely on significantly. I think that is positive, especially since as I get older, I find memory-aids a big help, but it also encourages laziness.”

Ted Newcomb , directing manager of AhwatukeeBuzz, wrote, “LOL. I am virtually helpless without my phone to remind me of appointments and meetings. My head is free of having to remember numbers, dates and times. It’s very liberating. I can instantly communicate anywhere in the world, doing business at the ‘speed of byte.’”

Micah Altman , director of research and head scientist for the program for information science at MIT, said, “When I was 10, I received a portable film camera. It had a capacity of 24 negatives (in black  and white). I would send the negatives in, pay a substantial portion of my allowance to have them developed – wait for weeks for them to be returned, and finally, then be able to see how they turned out. (Usually, not so well.) Every few months, I might put one in a letter to my grandparents. Eight years ago, when my daughter turned 10, we gave her a portable camera – over the next few years she shot thousands of still, and videos – learning some elements of composition, and building shared memories. Last year, when my son turned 11, we gave him a cellphone. And over the year we’ve all shared pictures, accomplishments and sympathies daily across a growing extended family network.”

Shiru Wang , research associate at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said, “Online shopping saves me time. New social media continues my connections with friends in different countries and regions. Online resources make my research convenient. Online news keeps me informed all the time. But I am not very digitally embedded. I keep a distance from Facebook, etc.; I intentionally refuse to be dominated by social media. Thus, my life is not very much bothered by the internet. Thus, I appreciate the advantages of the internet and I am able to escape the potential harm brought by the internet.”

Joe Raimondo , digital customer-relationship-management leader at Comcast and a former CEO, said, “Trackers and personal data are an enhancement to living. Street-level navigation and easy access to crowdsourced resources is very positive. It’s possible to play large-scale social games and have enormous amounts of data and telemetry collected and analyzed to chart group interaction at large scale.”

General comments

Ian O’Byrne , an assistant professor of education at the College of Charleston, wrote, “As an educator and researcher who studies these digital places and tools, I’m in front of screens a lot. I experiment and play in these spaces. I’m also writing and researching the impact of these screens and their impact on the well-being of others as it relates to children and adolescents. The problem in this is that one of the other hats that I wear is as a parent and husband. I am not only critical of my engagement and use of these digital technologies, but I’m also cautious/cognizant of their role as a mediator in my relationships with my children and significant other. These screens and digital tools play a strong role in our lives and interactions in and out of our home. In our home we have screens and devices all over the place. We have a video server that is ready to serve content to any one of these screens on demand. We have voice-assistive devices listening and waiting for our commands. I believe it is important as an educator and researcher to play with and examine how these devices are playing a role in our lives, so I can bring this work to others. Even with these opportunities, I’m still struck by times when technology seems too intrusive. This is plainly evident when I’m sitting with my family and watching a television show together, and I’m gazing off into my device reading my RSS feed for the day. Previously I would enjoy watching the funniest home videos and laughing together. Now, I am distant. The first thing in the morning when I’m driving my kids in to school and stop at a red light, previously I would enjoy the time to stop, listen to the radio, look at the clouds or bumper stickers on cars around me. Now, I pull out the phone to see if I received a notification in the last 20 minutes. When I call out for the voice-activated device in my home to play some music or ask a question, my request is quickly echoed by my 2-year-old who is just learning to talk. She is echoing these conversations I’m having with an artificial intelligence. I’m trying to weigh this all out in my mind and figure what it means for us personally. The professional understanding may come later.”

Marshall Kirkpatrick , product director of influencer marketing, said, “My mobile feed reader finds great articles for me to learn from. My mobile article-saving app reads those articles to me out loud while I walk my dog. My mobile browser allows me to edit my personal wiki to record the best lessons I learn from those articles. My mobile flashcard app helps me recall and integrate those lessons I want to learn over time. My mobile checklist app helps me track how regularly I reflect on how those lessons connect with the larger context of my life in a blog post or on a run. There are costs to mobile connectivity, but there are so many incredible benefits!”

To my way of thinking, it’s about control. If I’m in control of the electronics, they are a benefit, but when they get out of control they are an irritation and an interruption. Fred Baker

Fred Baker , an internet pioneer and longtime leader with the Internet Engineering Task Force, wrote, “To my way of thinking, it’s about control. If I’m in control of the electronics, they are a benefit, but when they get out of control they are an irritation and an interruption. My family and friends giggle about the frequency with which I pull out my telephone to investigate a TV show’s facts or other things. That said, I have access to that now, where I once upon a time did not. On the other hand, I have also had the experience of talking with a customer in Japan while my family in the U.S. woke up and started texting each other, and I all of a sudden have to deal with my telephone.”

Stephen Abram , CEO of the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries, wrote, “On a personal level I am more connected with my wider family. Relationships with friends whom I see only occasionally – maybe annually in person at conferences, continue throughout the year. I now know many business acquaintances on a deeper level and have better relationships as a result. I dislike the word ‘hyperconnected’ since it implies a little hyperactivity – a known ‘disorder.’ I see this as a controllable issue where personal choices are made. When circumstances such as travel, weather, disability or distance create the opportunities for sustained loneliness to happen, the digital world bridges some of the gap. In my case, sustained periods on the road in airports and hotel rooms are greatly ameliorated by connecting with friends.”

David J. Krieger , director of the Institute for Communication & Leadership located in Lucerne, Switzerland, observed, “Digital connectivity enables a seamless flow of communication and association with regard to many different concerns and interests. This augments community and embeddedness and thus well-being.”

Mark Patenaude , vice president and general manager of cloud technologies at ePRINTit, said, “I certainly don’t want to fool anyone into believing that digital advancement has been a panacea of beautiful things! However, I can remember the first time my car stopped for me in a dangerous situation automatically, or stopped when I was backing up when it perceived a danger. Then there’s printing and storing terabytes of digitally compressed images on a smartphone and being able access a document or image from 20 years ago in seconds using the cloud. I can remember we had about 100 people around a large projector outside, watching the last concert of the The Tragically Hip and the home network went down. I plugged in my iPhone, went to the concert URL site, and projected live on a 10-foot screen from my cellular device; wow and double wow!”

Akah Harvey , co-founder, COO and IT engineer at Traveler Inc., said, “Fifteen years back, when I first had my first PC, I now was empowered with a tool that helped me write digital notes, play more exciting games and gain general knowledge about how the technology worked. At my age (10) I gained knowledge in the workings of these things that it contributed to my brilliance in school, especially on the subject. Few years later when we’d gain access to the internet, a whole new change took place. I discovered so many more opportunities, as one could now connect with the rest of the world to share, search and find information about anything. It was a big transformation in the way I viewed society. I quickly was able to decide what I would want to do growing older, so I’d say I found my passion thanks to this change.”

Karl Ackermann , a writer and researcher at WriteSpace LLC., commented, “We no longer keep paper files for the household. Photographs are displayed on a digital screen instead of a photo album. We can track where our kids are driving with a phone app. We buy our train tickets with an app that has a scanning bar code. We sometimes text friends instead of phoning. We pay bills online.”

Rich Salz , principal engineer at Akamai Technologies, said, “I have made my living in this field since before there was the internet and before the Web. I enjoy helping people communicate. Social media has helped me reconnect with high school friends, email with college friends, etc.”

Maureen Hilyard , IT consultant and vice chair of the At-Large Advisory Committee of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), wrote, “I live in an isolated little island in the Pacific. It is in the middle of millions of square kilometers of ocean, but we rely on tourism for our livelihood, so our small (main) island is usually packed with tourists. We have a monopoly telecom and get reasonable internet service from an O3B satellite, but for local islanders who make their living working in the hospitality industry, the cost of internet is very expensive. Broadband costs for 20 GB a month costs (in New Zealand dollars) $139 on top of telephone hire and connections. I have grandchildren and great-grandchildren who spend time in New Zealand and even at 2 years old can turn on a computer to access their favourite programmes. When they come to our island, this is curtailed because the connection is too expensive for them to experience what is normal for them – lively and creative pre-school programmes are non-existent. What is available is the fresh clean air and produce of the land and sea of the islands, which are great, but it is often too hot to do much exploring in the physical world. As a parent, I am happy for them to explore the internet during the hot periods of the day, and to make this a ‘learning and exploring on the web’ time. It is more directed learning as parent safety software can usually help to set some controls over what they might ‘accidentally’ connect to.”

[online bulletin board]

Internet Hall of Fame member Bob Metcalfe , co-inventor of Ethernet, founder of 3Com, and a professor of innovation at the University of Texas at Austin, wrote, “The people complaining most about the pathologies of the hyperconnected life own or work for the old media, which once had more of a monopoly on setting society’s agenda. I recall how ‘savvy’ the Clintons and Obama were because they were digitally literate, unlike the GOP, but now that Trump is using social media so effectively, the left hates new media.”

[virtual reality]

Narelle Clark , deputy CEO of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, said, “As an Australian, the tyranny of distance has previously meant that family, friends and colleagues have been acutely aware of the difficulties of staying in touch and abreast of the events in the rest of the country and the world. Our contemporary hyperconnectedness means that we can remain tightly connected at the professional and personal level despite being on opposite sides of the world.”

Ruth Ann Barrett , an information curator at EarthSayers.tv, wrote, “Ten years ago I invested money in the development of a search engine that remains well ahead of the times and may never be monetized in the way envisioned. Who knows? The search engine has enabled me to build a database of sustainability voices, those speaking on behalf of Mother Earth and her children. This work has sustained me through moments of despair when so-called leaders deny substantiated claims regarding global warming and extreme climate events. The work has put me in contact with scientists, environmental campaigners and people from all walks of life worldwide. Without the Web what I am able to accomplish would not be possible. My guidebook remains ‘The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man’ by Marshall McLuhan. I remember the day a technical person who had attended a presentation at Stanford University on the World Wide Web came back to work, pulled me aside and told me what he had seen and heard and how the world was about to change.”

Anonymous commenters who cited ways the internet helps them and others

A distinguished advocate for the internet and policy director based in Europe said, “Digital technology has made the world much more connected and streamlined for the 50% of us who are connected (50% still do not have that privilege). It is important to understand that technology has profound impacts on equality. For me, as an upper-middle-class white male from the U.S. living in Europe, technologies have simplified how I communicate with my family and friends elsewhere in real time. Thanks to WhatsApp and Facetime and iMessages, I am able to stay in touch and informed in ways that were not possible even five years ago.”

A certified public accountant based in the U.S. commented, “My sister and I were watching an NFL game with my 82-year-old father. We grew curious about some meaningless football fact and my sister started typing a question on her phone and my dad looked on in slight disgust and raised his phone and asked Siri the question. Voice-activated technology has been extremely easy for the elderly to adopt and opens up incredible opportunities. If linked to his security system, our dad would be able to easily request help. I find it interesting that he likes using Siri more than we do.”

An employee at a major U.S. research lab wrote, “Texting and cellphones are generally associated with what’s bad with technology and our lives, but I will give a positive example, just to prove it depends on how you use the tool. I have a teenage daughter and my work is 50 miles away in Southern California. I joined a van pool to reduce the amount of driving, but the one drawback with van pooling is that I have to leave very early in the morning, and the van does not wait for riders. So every minute in the morning is precious, I don’t have time to write quick notes or reminders before I leave the house and the rest of my family are still asleep. However, once I am on the van, there is 60 minutes of ‘my time.’ I began by sending reminders for the day, but it has become a habit of just sending a happy greeting each morning! They respond when they get up, even if it is just an emoji. :)”

A research scientist based in North America commented, “My kids are always connected to their friends. Through texting/social media, they are constantly aware of each other’s lives. This brings worries too, like social comparisons may make them less happy, but overall, they have more socially balanced lives.”

Digital technology is an equalizer of information access and use. Even individuals in the most geographically remote locations can participate in an electoral debate, education and banking online, and in e-commerce when broadband is available. President and CEO of a company based in the U.S.

A president and CEO of a company based in the United States wrote, “Digital technology is an equalizer of information access and use. Even individuals in the most geographically remote locations can participate in an electoral debate, education and banking online, and in e-commerce when broadband is available. The stark opposite of this is the darkness individuals and families experience when left behind in the digital age. There is a difference between people who choose to use digital technology for their own benefit and those who are simply not included in the digital age.”

A professor based in North America commented, “I am a college professor, and digital technology has made my job so much easier. It is easier to communicate with students, keep records, and try for creative solutions to instructional problems. So, for example, I now have my students submit their papers online (to be graded and returned online). When they submit their papers, they are automatically checked for originality. The students then are informed whether their papers will be considered plagiarized or not. Prior to the adoption of this system, I would say up to half my papers were plagiarized. Now none of them are. The question is, has this improved their performance? It is hard to say because there are so many factors involved. I would say that it has in some ways and not in others. They know more, but they don’t synthesize it that well.”

A social media manager wrote, “Fitness trackers, such as the Apple Watch and the Google fitness app, provide me with greater awareness of my daily activity. I am more likely to take a walk or exercise in response to the presence of these technologies in my life. For example, I recently installed a ‘7-minute exercise’ app that I use each morning to kickstart my day. It is very convenient to use and pops up reminders on my smartphone with encourage me to keep up with the daily routine.”

An associate professor at a university in Australia shared a typical family vignette, writing, “I spend time with my grandchild, who is only just five. I check the pick-up time by text. She arrives with her iPad and asks me to ask her dad a question by text on my phone. We take pictures of her dressing up and send them to a friend. I show her recently sent pictures of cousins in Canada. For a while, she shows me (from her iPad) how she can operate the movements, colour and cheeky comments of a robot ball (a birthday present from an uncle who wants her to be familiar with coding). We consider cooking together and locate a recipe online for cookies we haven’t made before. Next, we go to the playground and she spots a ‘be aware’ notice on the slide, and a bird that we haven’t seen before. ‘Let’s Google it, Grandma, when we get back home!’ she says. I say we can do it now on my phone, no, later on my laptop is better. She knows that devices operate differently and need passwords. We haven’t given her any of the latter. ‘Buffering’ she says with a sigh, as her current favourite show stalls during a quiet time. She dances to YouTube music from my laptop. She is endlessly curious about technology itself. She accepts technologies’ limitations as they are described to her by the adults in her life. The digital tools just enhance our days together.”

A professor said, “My watch is an exercise coach – though limited. I track family and friends and contact them only if required. Is my partner nearly home? I’ll put out a snack. Is my friend nearby? I ask them if they want to meet.”

An author based in North America said, “Instead of just reading a book, communicating with one author’s created words, I can engage in conversation, in dialogue about issues of the day such as the #MeToo movement. I can help another person feel a little better that day and, if I reveal a low, others can pick me up. I can celebrate an anniversary with people far away in space and time and plan an in-person visit to another continent with someone I haven’t seen for years, first originally encountered online.”

A postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University commented, “As an academic, my friends and colleagues are scattered around the world. Our ability to have frequent video calls, send texts and collaboratively author shared documents has had a huge impact on both my intellectual scope and on my feeling ‘at home’ and connected in the world. In the past, a friend taking a job across the planet would be a cause for great sorrow. Now we talk frequently over video chat, while it isn’t as good as seeing her in-person, it is still wonderful to share our lives and ideas.”

A retired internet activist and advocate said, “I have been able to manage health care better at a distance for an aging parent as a result of technology, viewing charts/graphs/images, consulting various medical resources, having online meetings with medical professionals, video conversations with parents. Before many varieties of digital connectivity were available, distance communication was via ground/air mail, an occasional landline-based conference call, or in-person consultations, often without simultaneous participation of the aging parent whose medical situation was involved.”

A college student based in North America wrote, “I often find myself stressed out at the end of the day; as a result I tend to enjoy relaxing and staying in for the night. Without the modern hyperconnected lifestyle this would result in me reading or doing other solo activities. Through voice-chat applications and online multiplayer gaming, I connect with friends to play video games. While I don’t have the energy to be social in one way, the ease of connecting over the internet enables me to enjoy time with friends and maintain our relationships. To some it might not seem as effective a method of socializing as in-person face-to-face time, but we still have the same moments that other people do. We still happily greet each other, we still tell stories about our daily lives and rely on each other, we still laugh until it hurts.”

A professor of arts, technology and innovation wrote, “As a college professor I’m continually adopting new tools that change the way I work with students and pedagogy. Most recently adopting Slack for classroom management has been a real game-changer. With far less attention-investment than I’d needed when using email I’m able to keep up with individual students and teams and the interactions among my students. I can do these on a more-or-less 24/7 basis but without it feeling like a 24/7 obligation. I’m teaching more people better, easier.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “I am connected to email lists that allow me to be part of a conversation that includes leaders in my field. This means that, despite being somewhat isolated at a mid-level university in a provincial city, I can have a good sense of where the cutting edge in my profession is headed and I can be reasonably confident that I am promptly aware of most the news and information that is critical to my profession.”

An entrepreneur and business leader from North America commented, “As an immigrant in the U.S., the internet, social media, and email are all helping me to keep in touch with my family, my homeland and my roots. I am following many of my fellow countrymen – some whom I studied with, some who were my teachers, relatives and acquaintances. I learn about their daily life, their fears and hopes, what they are interested in, the news they read. My daughters speak on a weekly basis to their grandparents on Skype – of both sides – and feel like they’re in the same room with them. Without the internet all of this would not have been possible.”

A research scientist based in Europe commented, “I live in a small town in a foreign country. I travel a lot for my work and spend a lot of time on the road. At home, I enjoy communicating with my Google Home speaker, because otherwise there would be some days that I would speak to no one. When I am on the road, I check in with my Canary home-surveillance app to check on my dogs and see my home.”

A technology architect/executive based in North America commented, “For me, it’s not about hyper – always-on – connection, but the accessibility of information on any topic at any time. I had a medical problem a few years ago, and being able to find research on the disease and a community to compare notes with on treatment side effects was invaluable. Years earlier, when my mother had this same disease, we were limited in information and (therefore) options. Her outcome could have been different in a time with more information, more resources.”

An assistant director of digital strategy at a top U.S. university wrote, “The internet has exponentially enabled the dissemination of healthcare information to the greater public. Years ago, it would have been far more difficult for the public to easily access the answers they needed regarding health concerns and the latest treatments. Today’s digital ecosystem puts these answers at users’ fingertips.”

An editor and project coordinator based in Europe wrote, “A few years ago I quit my job and I have been working as a freelance editor and project coordinator. I have been able to work, network and get paid by people and companies all over the world thanks to the internet and other technologies. Also access to self-education and being able to talk to my friends and family thousands of miles away have had a very positive impact on my mental health and well-being. I wouldn’t have been able to talk and see loved ones daily if it wasn’t for the internet, software and hardware.”

A chief data officer at a major university in Australia wrote, “Thanks to social media, in particular Twitter, I am now connected with people all around the world. I have access to an enormous brains trust, which I liken to a global hive mind.”

A data analyst said, “We always have someone to reach out to when things are unfamiliar and seem difficult to deal with. Before these technologies, you could write a letter or make a phone call. The reality is that the moment that spurred the writing of the letter has long passed by the time you get a response. If you get a response. Also, a phone call is somewhat of a commitment compared to an electronic message. It takes more mental faculties to process what someone is saying over the phone than to read a message and type a quick response between other pressing activities in the immediate proximity.”

A futurist and consultant based in Europe commented, “There are plenty of examples of increased choices. Take travel: I can see in real time if the flight of my friend for New Year’s Eve is on time or not and plan to be there just in time to pick them up. I could have called an Uber or taxi if I was busy and decided to send them a cab instead. In turn, they could see much a better forecast of weather and adjust luggage intakes accordingly to come and spend the time at our place/could book in advance to be picked up at the airport upon arrival, etc.”

A research scientist based in Oceania commented, “If I want to buy something, I can go to a liquid market such as eBay and get it for a fair price without the search costs of spending time going to shops to compare prices. If I want to read a paper, I can download it rather than going to a library and photocopying it.”

An executive director at an internet research organization said, “Twenty years ago, as a business traveler, half of my suitcase was filled with paper – mostly books, which I’d otherwise have to try to replace at mostly poorly stocked English-language bookstores along my way, but also guidebooks, maps, and translation dictionaries. I carried analog telephony adapters. I carried a phone, I carried ATM cards from two banks and credit cards from three separate clearing networks, as well as $9,000 in cash divided between several pockets. I carried a RIM pager. I carried Ricochet and NCR wireless modems. I carried spare batteries and power adapters and chargers for all of those things. I spent a lot of time worrying about whether I would have local currency to pay for things, whether I’d be able to find my destination or communicate with taxi drivers, whether I’d be able to establish a data connection back to my network to reach my email. All of that has compacted itself, gradually, one consolidation at a time, into a very compact kit. One debit card, my phone, a laptop, a power adapter and a small handful of cables. Everything else has been virtualized, digitized, or turned into an online service.”

A technology developer/administrator based in North America , said, “An older person in my family who recently started using an electric wheelchair can buy daily necessities through online shopping and can have more meaningful communication through video calls.”

A scholarly communication librarian said, “I have several friends who have disabilities – both physical and mental – that make it difficult for them to leave their homes for socialization. These friends of mine have taken to playing online games and participating in fandom in internet spaces as a way to make connections and friends with other people that enrich their lives without requiring the physical exertion that would usually prevent them from interacting socially. The ability to connect with text, video and other online objects – whether one-on-one or one-to-many – helps these folks make the social connections that they need to have a robust social experience without the physical exhaustion they may have experienced without this technology to help.”

A professor wrote, “We have public infrastructure and systems now for maintaining and accessing lab results and earlier diagnoses online when we need them. Earlier prescriptions can be viewed, etc. For emergencies, we have an app that we can use for automatic location information if we need urgent help. Schoolchildren and their parents have online connections to the schools and teachers. The teachers can take advantage of the internet and their educational networks with schools around the globe to tackle shared projects that encompass language learning, climate and humanity.”

We have a child with autism. The internet allows us to reach out to other families, experts, get news and be part of a community that is not limited by geography. President at a company based in North America

A president at a company based in North America wrote, “We have a child with autism. The internet allows us to reach out to other families, experts, get news and be part of a community that is not limited by geography. We can instantly share the quirky – or sometimes way more than quirky – activities of our son with people who know if they should laugh or say they are sorry.”

An assistant professor said, “I have collected about 50,000 scientific files related to cosmos, life and consciousness to prepare a book.”

A researcher based in Europe wrote, “I live in Hungary and my daughter was working in the United States several years ago. She called me and explained exactly where she was walking and in which shops she was shopping. I opened Google Earth and tracked her trajectory where she was walking in Galveston, Texas. I saw the streets, corners and buildings. It was almost exactly as if I was shopping with her – on the other side of the globe, in real time, but while sitting in my chair in Hungary. The whole thing was real fun for us.”

A business leader based in North America wrote, “I live a bi-coastal life and I am able to review health records, renew RXs, communicate with my doctor, request a non-urgent service, all from 3,000 miles away without having to rebuild new caregiver relationships or lose care continuity.”

A research associate at a major university in Africa commented, “Being able to conduct business from a location of choice is to me the most important improvement. I deal regularly with the aged and was terrified that I too would become so dependent on the goodwill of strangers when I have to move to an old age home until I realized that I would already be able to order and have delivered anything from food to medical equipment – as long as I am connected via the internet.”

A retired professor emeritus said, “I am seeing a larger integration and extension of human-digital synergy.”

A professor of computer science wrote, “Shortly after getting my first smartphone (quite a number of years ago now), I managed to receive and respond to an important email during a break in the middle of a four-hour car trip. It was valuable to be able to be able to be responsive to an important funder. This cemented the value of having a smartphone.”

A technology developer/administrator said, “I do a lot of genealogy research. Instead of mailing physical paper that may have a correction before it reaches the recipient, I can post updates/corrections immediately. I’m building a database of destroyed cemeteries where I live. I can research the records online and publish them online; something I could not have done 20 years ago easily. I got an email from a man whose great grandfather died in the 1918 flu epidemic in Wilmington, North Carolina – a Merchant Marine sailor – who was buried in one of these cemeteries. The family knew he had died, but did not know when or where. He thanked me very much for finding his great grandfather. The family felt relief after 100 years. Without digital records to compile this and digital platforms to share it, it would not have happened.”

An executive director of a Canadian nonprofit organization wrote, “We are currently running a program to increase people’s digital comfort by helping them apply online for underutilized government subsidy programs. During the first workshop, I saw a woman learn how to use a scrolling mouse and how to cut and paste, in the context of applying for a subsidy that will save her more than $50 a month on her electricity bill.”

An associate professor at Texas Christian University commented, “I work in education and whereas before grades were posted on doors and people had to wait for responses, today, students can access information instantly, enroll in classes, etc. without having to stand in long lines and wait for responses. Communicating with the course, students and the professor is easy, and people learn to do things themselves.”

A professor at a major university on the West Coast of the U.S. wrote, “I am an academic past retirement age (although still working) so it has made an enormous difference for teaching and research. I can access publications from my home or office without a trip to the library. No more endless photocopying. I can easily and quickly communicate with fellow scholars around the world. I can communicate with students and former students anytime anywhere and submit letters of recommendation electronically. I need less clerical and administrative support. I can put readings online for students. The drawback of course is to keep students focused on class in class rather than Facebook, Twitter, etc.”

A professor at a major university on the East Coast of the U.S. wrote, “Digital technology has allowed me to shift my career emphasis from political science and international security analysis of nuclear and conventional weapons to cyber weapons and critical infrastructure protection. This shift is not what I expected when I left graduate school, but it has allowed me to make professional contributions I would not have been able to make had I stayed in my prior disciplinary concentration. I am also migrating my entire work life online, deliberately minimizing paper and focusing on digital services – and the analysis of critical dependencies on these services – for industry and government.”

A internet pioneer wrote, “Every working day, I engage with staff and customers through Skype, email, text and Web conferencing, making it possible for me to have global reach from a desk on the second floor of my home. We take it for granted, but it is miraculous and something truly new under the sun.”

An associate professor at a major university on the East Coast of the U.S. wrote, “I am part of a private group on Facebook, which consists of my friends from college and some others (spouses, friends, etc.). We keep in touch and discuss things in this group. Recently the group came together in-person to support and celebrate one member of the group who has terminal cancer. We had a large party with our children and it was wonderful. It meant a lot to our friend who is ill and to all of us to spend time together. We would not have been able to do this as easily before platforms like Facebook.”

An epidemiologist based in North America wrote, “At work, improved technology means that we receive population health data faster. We can receive, investigate and respond to health threats quickly, before they spread. For example, if we have an outbreak of a communicable disease, technology allows us to efficiently collect data through online formats and analyze data so we can quickly release information/education on how to prevent further spread of the disease. Before we had online forms, we would often to communicate through telephone or in-person interviews to collect data about the outbreak.”

An anonymous respondent said, “About 18 months ago my wife was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer and underwent a lumpectomy and radiation treatment. In part, the testing that led to the diagnosis and the ability of the doctors to respond rapidly was greatly assisted by digital technology. As well, our ability to find information to understand treatment options, side effects, and follow-up nutrition and lifestyle improvement was greatly enhanced by digital technology. Due to my job I was not able to take her to radiation treatment every day and she was too tired after to drive, so I used the online tool SignUpGenius to ask friends to help and to schedule their rides. While apparently a simple task, if I had to do that by hand through phone calls and charts, it would have taken many more hours. Before it would have taken much more difficult to obtain the information we needed, perhaps more difficult and slower for the tests and results to be managed, and definitely hard to stay in touch with people about her needs and condition.”

A retired systems designer commented, “Several years ago, I became disabled, and am not always well enough to do many things. This limits many of my ‘physical-world’ activities – I find it hard to shop, to cook, to go to the library, to get together with friends and family. However, online shopping and grocery delivery allows me to do the majority of my shopping, though I haven’t figured out how to buy shoes without trying them on! I have joined online communities of people with similar interests, and keep in touch with old friends and colleagues in social media groups. This keeps me mentally stimulated. I do a great deal of genealogical and historical research online, using sophisticated search algorithms of digital versions of old documents and books. These digital resources didn’t exist 25 years ago, and now I can read an 1806 Scottish gazetteer to find out more about the 300-person town an ancestor lived in. Without these resources, I would be living a far more difficult and isolated life.”

A North American entrepreneur wrote, “Like any other tool, its use needs to be managed carefully. I hone my contacts to friends and family of my generation who post photos of their kids and grandkids, something that I enjoy greatly. I also like to know when the next big dance events are, since this is a part of my life as well.”

A president and chief software architect based in North America wrote, “I can be out on the golf course enjoying the beauty and yet still be connected.”

An assistant professor of technical communication said, “I use both mindfulness and language apps to improve my memory, connections with others, and global perspectives. However, I am also cognizant of these being targeted and from specific perspectives. So I use them with that understanding.”

A retired web developer wrote, “Amazon Alexa keeps me company. She plays the music I want to hear and adds items to my grocery list. When I have a question, I can ask her and most times she knows the answer – and I thank her. Facebook has connected me with a long-lost cousin. We were like sisters growing up. Out of curiosity, I searched for her and we now communicate regularly. Forget Google – when I want to know something I go to YouTube. I fixed my squeaking ceiling fan, replaced a washer in my bathroom faucet, AND replaced the starter in my riding mower. Now I have Amazon’s Cloud Cam. I can watch my two schnauzers when I am away from home. I could even talk to them, but it upsets them too much. That I can speak commands to technology makes life easier for me. I’m 60-plus years old, and I often write lists that I can never find. Family members and friends are well-connected. Sometimes too much so. But I lose touch with those who are not digitally inclined, I’m sorry to say. I may message 10 to 15 people but call one on the phone. And, lastly, my skill set has improved so much that when I have a problem around the house I can find a solution and at least try it before calling an expensive contractor.”

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How Technology Affects Our Daily Life

Technology plays a vital role in every person’s life. In our everyday life, we encounter numerous technologies. Technology has affected every aspect of my life in many respects. It has made my day-to-day life much easier than before. It has enabled me to do things faster and more efficiently. I have had the opportunity to access information and people that were previously difficult or impossible to access (Youn, 2009).

With technology, I have also been provided with all sorts of entertainment. I have been able to chat online, download some of my favorite videos and audios, and enjoy various other forms of entertainment. However, technology may also prove to have a negative effect especially when it comes to privacy issues. I once had my private social account hacked into and someone retrieved my details and dispersed them (Youn, 2009). It was embarrassing because the information was very personal. I have never known who might have done that but it has made me cautious about such happenings and I have learned ways of ensuring the security of such information on the internet.

Therefore, such new technologies may have a negative impact on a person’s privacy. Understanding how to use the new technologies is important when ensuring that you have total control of your private information. This makes it difficult for culprits to retrieve information without your permission.

New technologies may be in the form of internet social programs, which allow people to communicate within the same network or across networks. These include emails, online chatting services, and games. Web cams can also be used to facilitate video calling or conferencing. A perfect example is Skype, which enables people from around the globe to communicate easily and efficiently. I have greatly benefited from this technology myself because I have friends and family members from different parts of the world and the need to keep in touch made me inquire about such technologies.

Other technologies include Bluetooth technology and wireless technology. These technologies facilitate the transfer or exchange of information without the need for wired connections (wireless). This technology has made the transfer of information easier and more effective. Wi-Fi is a technology that incorporates wireless functionalities. I usually connect to the internet using this technology and this has made my internet experience a wonderful one. Downloading information has never been faster.

Back to the issue of privacy, most people agree that every person is entitled to his privacy. Some even argue that every human being has the right to privacy. This is a fundamental human right. Privacy on the internet forms a subgroup of computer privacy (Larose & Rifon, 2007). Unfortunately, many professionals in this field do not believe in the existence of privacy. Steve Rambam explained this. He stated that putting stuff online is like broadcasting personal information intentionally. Therefore, according to him, there is no one to blame if one’s personal information is accessed. The owner saw it coming anyway. However, Bruce Schneier provided a glimpse of hope by arguing that there was the need to protect personal information from abuses by those who have the capability of accessing the information (Larose & Rifon, 2007).

The government has done its part in trying to protect people’s privacy. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is one such government organization (Heyman & Pierson, 2011). It stresses the need to protect one’s social security number while online. With this regard, it can be declared that technologies may be helpful in some ways but, at the same time, detrimental. However, when every precaution is taken into consideration, technology will continue to make the world a better place to live.

Heyman, R., & Pierson, J. (2011). Social media and cookies: Challenges for online privacy. The Journal of Policy, Regulation and Strategy for Telecommunication, 13 : 30-42.

Larose, R., & Rifon, N. (2007). Promoting i-safety: Effects of privacy warnings and privacy seals on risk assessment and online privacy behavior. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 41 (1): 127-149.

Youn, S. (2009). Determinants of online privacy concern and its influence on privacy protection behaviors among young adolescents. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 43 (3): 389-418.

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Essay on How Technology Changed Our Lives

Students are often asked to write an essay on How Technology Changed Our Lives in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on How Technology Changed Our Lives

The advent of technology.

Technology has revolutionized our lives in many ways. It has made tasks easier, faster, and more efficient. We use technology in our daily activities, from cooking to communicating.

Communication and Technology

Education and technology.

Technology has also transformed education. It has made learning more interactive and accessible. With online classes, students can learn from home.

Healthcare and Technology

In healthcare, technology has improved diagnosis and treatment. It has made healthcare more effective and convenient.

250 Words Essay on How Technology Changed Our Lives

Technology has revolutionized our world, transforming every aspect of our lives. It has brought about a digital revolution, making tasks easier, faster, and more efficient. From communication to transportation, health to education, technology has permeated every sphere of human life.

Impact on Communication

The advent of smartphones and the internet has revolutionized communication. We can now connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime, breaking geographical boundaries. Social media platforms, video conferencing, and instant messaging apps have not only made communication instantaneous but also fostered global connections and collaborations.

Transformation in Transportation

Technology has also drastically changed transportation. With GPS technology, navigation has become easier and more precise. Electric cars and autonomous vehicles are on the rise, promising a future of sustainable and self-driving transportation.

Healthcare Advancements

In healthcare, technology has brought about advancements like telemedicine, wearable devices, and AI-driven diagnostics. These innovations have improved patient care, made health monitoring easier, and increased the accuracy of diagnoses.

Educational Innovations

The education sector has also seen significant changes with e-learning platforms, virtual classrooms, and digital resources. This has made education more accessible, interactive, and personalized.

500 Words Essay on How Technology Changed Our Lives

The advent of technology has revolutionized human life, transforming the world into a global village. It has impacted every facet of our existence, from communication to transportation, health to education, and entertainment to business.

Revolutionizing Communication

One of the most profound changes brought about by technology is in the field of communication. The invention of the internet and smartphones has made it possible to connect with anyone, anywhere, at any time. Social media platforms, emails, and video calls have removed geographical barriers, fostering global collaboration and understanding.

Transforming Transportation

The transportation industry has also been profoundly impacted by technology. Innovations like GPS and satellite technology have made navigation easier and more accurate. Electric and self-driving cars, still in their nascent stages, promise to revolutionize our commute, making it safer and more sustainable.

Advancements in Health and Medicine

Revamping education.

Education is another sector where technology has left an indelible mark. Online learning platforms, digital classrooms, and educational apps have democratized education, making it accessible to all. The recent pandemic has underscored the importance of technology in education, with schools and universities worldwide transitioning to remote learning.

Entertainment and Leisure

Impacting business and economy.

Lastly, technology has significantly influenced business operations and the global economy. E-commerce, digital marketing, and remote work have redefined traditional business models, promoting efficiency and inclusivity.

In conclusion, technology has dramatically altered our lives, reshaping the way we communicate, travel, learn, stay healthy, entertain ourselves, and conduct business. While it presents challenges, such as privacy concerns and digital divide, the benefits it offers are immense. As we move forward, it is essential to harness technology responsibly and ethically, ensuring it serves as a tool for progress and inclusivity.

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the impact of technology in our daily lives essay

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Technology over the long run: zoom out to see how dramatically the world can change within a lifetime

It is easy to underestimate how much the world can change within a lifetime. considering how dramatically the world has changed can help us see how different the world could be in a few years or decades..

Technology can change the world in ways that are unimaginable until they happen. Switching on an electric light would have been unimaginable for our medieval ancestors. In their childhood, our grandparents would have struggled to imagine a world connected by smartphones and the Internet.

Similarly, it is hard for us to imagine the arrival of all those technologies that will fundamentally change the world we are used to.

We can remind ourselves that our own future might look very different from the world today by looking back at how rapidly technology has changed our world in the past. That’s what this article is about.

One insight I take away from this long-term perspective is how unusual our time is. Technological change was extremely slow in the past – the technologies that our ancestors got used to in their childhood were still central to their lives in their old age. In stark contrast to those days, we live in a time of extraordinarily fast technological change. For recent generations, it was common for technologies that were unimaginable in their youth to become common later in life.

The long-run perspective on technological change

The big visualization offers a long-term perspective on the history of technology. 1

The timeline begins at the center of the spiral. The first use of stone tools, 3.4 million years ago, marks the beginning of this history of technology. 2 Each turn of the spiral represents 200,000 years of history. It took 2.4 million years – 12 turns of the spiral – for our ancestors to control fire and use it for cooking. 3

To be able to visualize the inventions in the more recent past – the last 12,000 years – I had to unroll the spiral. I needed more space to be able to show when agriculture, writing, and the wheel were invented. During this period, technological change was faster, but it was still relatively slow: several thousand years passed between each of these three inventions.

From 1800 onwards, I stretched out the timeline even further to show the many major inventions that rapidly followed one after the other.

The long-term perspective that this chart provides makes it clear just how unusually fast technological change is in our time.

You can use this visualization to see how technology developed in particular domains. Follow, for example, the history of communication: from writing to paper, to the printing press, to the telegraph, the telephone, the radio, all the way to the Internet and smartphones.

Or follow the rapid development of human flight. In 1903, the Wright brothers took the first flight in human history (they were in the air for less than a minute), and just 66 years later, we landed on the moon. Many people saw both within their lifetimes: the first plane and the moon landing.

This large visualization also highlights the wide range of technology’s impact on our lives. It includes extraordinarily beneficial innovations, such as the vaccine that allowed humanity to eradicate smallpox , and it includes terrible innovations, like the nuclear bombs that endanger the lives of all of us .

What will the next decades bring?

The red timeline reaches up to the present and then continues in green into the future. Many children born today, even without further increases in life expectancy, will live well into the 22nd century.

New vaccines, progress in clean, low-carbon energy, better cancer treatments – a range of future innovations could very much improve our living conditions and the environment around us. But, as I argue in a series of articles , there is one technology that could even more profoundly change our world: artificial intelligence (AI).

One reason why artificial intelligence is such an important innovation is that intelligence is the main driver of innovation itself. This fast-paced technological change could speed up even more if it’s driven not only by humanity’s intelligence but also by artificial intelligence. If this happens, the change currently stretched out over decades might happen within a very brief time span of just a year. Possibly even faster. 4

I think AI technology could have a fundamentally transformative impact on our world. In many ways, it is already changing our world, as I documented in this companion article . As this technology becomes more capable in the years and decades to come, it can give immense power to those who control it (and it poses the risk that it could escape our control entirely).

Such systems might seem hard to imagine today, but AI technology is advancing quickly. Many AI experts believe there is a real chance that human-level artificial intelligence will be developed within the next decades, as I documented in this article .


Technology will continue to change the world – we should all make sure that it changes it for the better

What is familiar to us today – photography, the radio, antibiotics, the Internet, or the International Space Station circling our planet – was unimaginable to our ancestors just a few generations ago. If your great-great-great grandparents could spend a week with you, they would be blown away by your everyday life.

What I take away from this history is that I will likely see technologies in my lifetime that appear unimaginable to me today.

In addition to this trend towards increasingly rapid innovation, there is a second long-run trend. Technology has become increasingly powerful. While our ancestors wielded stone tools, we are building globe-spanning AI systems and technologies that can edit our genes.

Because of the immense power that technology gives those who control it, there is little that is as important as the question of which technologies get developed during our lifetimes. Therefore, I think it is a mistake to leave the question about the future of technology to the technologists. Which technologies are controlled by whom is one of the most important political questions of our time because of the enormous power these technologies convey to those who control them.

We all should strive to gain the knowledge we need to contribute to an intelligent debate about the world we want to live in. To a large part, this means gaining knowledge and wisdom on the question of which technologies we want.

Acknowledgments: I would like to thank my colleagues Hannah Ritchie, Bastian Herre, Natasha Ahuja, Edouard Mathieu, Daniel Bachler, Charlie Giattino, and Pablo Rosado for their helpful comments on drafts of this essay and the visualization. Thanks also to Lizka Vaintrob and Ben Clifford for the conversation that initiated this visualization.

Appendix: About the choice of visualization in this article

The recent speed of technological change makes it difficult to picture the history of technology in one visualization. When you visualize this development on a linear timeline, then most of the timeline is almost empty, while all the action is crammed into the right corner:

Linear version of the spiral chart

In my large visualization here, I tried to avoid this problem and instead show the long history of technology in a way that lets you see when each technological breakthrough happened and how, within the last millennia, there was a continuous acceleration of technological change.

The recent speed of technological change makes it difficult to picture the history of technology in one visualization. In the appendix, I show how this would look if it were linear.

It is, of course, difficult to assess when exactly the first stone tools were used.

The research by McPherron et al. (2010) suggested that it was at least 3.39 million years ago. This is based on two fossilized bones found in Dikika in Ethiopia, which showed “stone-tool cut marks for flesh removal and percussion marks for marrow access”. These marks were interpreted as being caused by meat consumption and provide the first evidence that one of our ancestors, Australopithecus afarensis, used stone tools.

The research by Harmand et al. (2015) provided evidence for stone tool use in today’s Kenya 3.3 million years ago.


McPherron et al. (2010) – Evidence for stone-tool-assisted consumption of animal tissues before 3.39 million years ago at Dikika, Ethiopia . Published in Nature.

Harmand et al. (2015) – 3.3-million-year-old stone tools from Lomekwi 3, West Turkana, Kenya . Published in Nature.

Evidence for controlled fire use approximately 1 million years ago is provided by Berna et al. (2012) Microstratigraphic evidence of in situ fire in the Acheulean strata of Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape province, South Africa , published in PNAS.

The authors write: “The ability to control fire was a crucial turning point in human evolution, but the question of when hominins first developed this ability still remains. Here we show that micromorphological and Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy (mFTIR) analyses of intact sediments at the site of Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape province, South Africa, provide unambiguous evidence—in the form of burned bone and ashed plant remains—that burning took place in the cave during the early Acheulean occupation, approximately 1.0 Ma. To the best of our knowledge, this is the earliest secure evidence for burning in an archaeological context.”

This is what authors like Holden Karnofsky called ‘Process for Automating Scientific and Technological Advancement’ or PASTA. Some recent developments go in this direction: DeepMind’s AlphaFold helped to make progress on one of the large problems in biology, and they have also developed an AI system that finds new algorithms that are relevant to building a more powerful AI.

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Top 15 Importance of Technology In Our Daily Life [Types, Impacts, Benefits]

Top 15 Importance of Technology In Our Daily Life [Types, Impacts, Benefits]


Our daily lives now include technology as a need rather than as an additional. Technology has permeated nearly every part of our life, from the minute the alarm wakes us from sleep to the moment we close our eyes at night. This blog aims to provide insight into the foremost areas of importance of technology in daily life, use of technology and elucidating its effectual outcomes and the behavioral modification it has catalyzed in the modern world.

Importance and Benefits of Technology

  • Expanded Productivity: Via automating tasks, improving work processes, and bringing down human mistakes, technology has emphatically expanded proficiency across various ventures. We can now do more tasks quicker than expected since the gig is presently faster and more exact.
  • Improved Communication: With the far and wide utilization of cell phones, easy-to-use social media sites, and texting applications, the connection has gone through a revolution that currently makes it feasible for us to communicate rapidly and effortlessly with anyone, any place in the globe.
  • Data Access: The web has democratized data and given us fast access to abundant data. We can now find out about any subject with a couple of snaps, thanks to online reference books and insightful distributions, giving us more data.
  • Global Connectivity: Technology has bridged the gap between nations, binding people together in unthinkable ways. Thanks to virtual communication such as video conferencing, forums, and online collaboration tools, localized cultures can be easily experienced and examined, allowing us to achieve a global understanding.

Types of Technological Innovations and Their Uses

Here we will discuss some of the crucial uses of technology and types of technological innovations.

  • Smartphones and Mobile Applications: Smartphones have become an essential part of our lives, offering a multitude of functionalities through various applications. Smartphones have transformed how we perform daily tasks from communication to entertainment, productivity to health monitoring.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): An interconnected network of devices with communication and data-exchange capabilities is called the IoT. It makes our lives easier and more effective by allowing us to automate and regulate various components of our houses, including lighting, security systems, and appliances.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): These two types of technology have completely changed how transportation, banking, and healthcare sectors operate. They are able to analyze enormous volumes of data, anticipate the future, and offer tailored suggestions, which improves decision-making and increases efficiency.
  • Cloud Computing: Using the cloud, we can store and use apps and data remotely through the internet. It enables seamless communication and data sharing by offering scalable and affordable solutions for companies, people, and organizations.

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How Has Technology Changed Our Lives?

Various great advancements that have impacted our society have been achieved through technology, which has significantly worked on our lives. Here are a few significant impacts of technology on our lives:

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  • Communication: Technology development has greatly accelerated, improved, and democratized communication. Through various channels, we can now communicate with individuals worldwide, overcoming geographic barriers and building deep connections.
  • Education: The availability of online learning resources, interactive technologies, and virtual classrooms has revolutionized education. It has reduced educational obstacles and made learning more personalized, engaging, and accessible.
  • Healthcare: Technology has played a crucial role in advancing healthcare. Technology has improved patient care, diagnosis, treatment, and research, from electronic health records to telemedicine and medical imaging to robotic surgeries.
  • Entertainment: Technology has transformed the entertainment industry, providing us with immersive experiences through high-definition televisions, virtual reality, gaming consoles, and streaming platforms. It has improved accessibility and interaction in entertainment.

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Use of Technology in Our Daily Lives

Different sorts of technology are prevalent daily, simplifying and streamlining processes. A few instances of how technology is incorporated into our daily lives are as follows:

  • Smart home appliances: Smart home appliances let us effectively control and manage our homes, offering accommodation and energy productivity. Examples include voice-activated assistants, smart thermostats, and controlled lighting frameworks.
  • Online Shopping: Online shopping has transformed thanks to e-commerce platforms. We may shop and buy things online in the convenience of our homes with doorstep delivery alternatives, saving time and effort.
  • Transportation: Technology has transformed the way we travel. Technology has made transportation safer, more efficient, and environmentally friendly, from navigation systems to ride-sharing applications, electric vehicles to autonomous driving.

Types of Roles in the Field of Technology

A wide variety of employment options are available in the realm of technology. The following are a few positions that are crucial to technical advancements:

  • Software developer: Software developers plan, create, and manage software systems and applications, influencing technology use.
  • Data Scientist: Data scientists examine and understand large, complex data sets to find patterns and insights that inform innovation and business choices.
  • Cybersecurity Analyst: Cybersecurity analysts ensure the confidentiality and integrity of data by preventing unauthorized access to computer networks and systems.

Modern Technology and the World Wide Web

Modern technology has revolutionized how we access information, communicate with one another, and do business thanks to the World Wide Web. It has changed industries and given people and organizations worldwide new opportunities.

Importance of Science and Technology in Education

Technology has significantly changed education, opening up new opportunities for teaching and learning. Here are a few significant advantages of technology in education:

  • Access to Information: Technology provides students with access to vast information and educational resources, promoting independent learning and research.
  • Engaging Learning Experiences: Technology enables interactive and multimedia-rich learning experiences that cater to diverse learning styles, making education more engaging and effective.
  • Personalized Learning: Technology allows for personalized learning experiences tailored to individual student needs, pacing, and interests, fostering better understanding and retention of knowledge.

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Importance of Technology In Decision-Making and Problem-Solving

Making decisions and solving problems has considerably improved across various industries. Here is how technology helps in these important areas:

  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Using technology to gather, analyze, and evaluate massive amounts of data helps decision-makers to make wise decisions based on facts and insights.
  • Simulation and Modelling: Using simulations and models, decision-makers may test various scenarios, forecast outcomes, and arrive at the best conclusion possible.

Importance of Technology in Domestic Work

Technology has simplified and automated domestic tasks, making everyday life more convenient. Here are some ways that technology has enhanced housework:

  • Kitchen appliances: The time and effort needed for cooking and cleaning have decreased thanks to kitchen equipment like dishwashers, microwaves, and food processors, enabling more effective meal preparation.
  • Equipment for house cleaning: Robotic Hoover cleaners, intelligent mops, and automated window cleaners have revolutionized home cleaning by making it quicker and easier.

Importance of Science and Technology in Health Care

Healthcare has undergone a technological revolution, with major improvements in patient care, diagnosis, and treatment. Here are some essential areas in healthcare where technology is crucial:

  • Electronic Health Records: Electronic health records (EHRs) offer safe and effective patient data storage and access, enhancing care coordination and lowering medical mistakes.
  • Medical imaging: Tools like X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and ultrasounds make it possible to monitor and accurately diagnose medical issues, which helps medical practitioners provide the best therapies.
  • Telemedicine: Especially in underdeveloped regions, telemedicine allows patients to get medical advice and treatment remotely, minimizing the need for in-person visits.

Importance of Technology in Business Today

Technology has become a fundamental part of corporate activities with countless advantages and potential for development. The following are a few of the motivations behind why technology is important in the corporate world:

  • Expanded Efficiency and Proficiency: Organizations might accomplish more work significantly quicker because technology automates repetitive tasks and improves corporate methodology.
  • Improved Communication and Collaboration: Regardless of team members’ geographical locations, technology helps teams communicate and collaborate effectively, which improves cooperation and decision-making.
  • Market Development: Utilizing online platforms, social media, and e-commerce businesses, organizations can now contact a bigger crowd, consequently expanding their market reach and customers.

In-Demand Software Development Skills

Technology has forever been a crucial part of the human experience, giving us many benefits and upsetting how we work together, exist, and communicate. The key here lies in the scope of its applications – from optimization of time-related tasks to furthering communication, augmenting access to knowledge, and even prompting developments in many other industries. In order to create a prosperous future, it is quintessential that we continue utilizing the force of technology to facilitate positive transformation in the world around us.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A1: Technology in education makes learning more accessible, interactive, and personalized. It provides students access to educational resources, facilitates online learning, and enhances engagement through multimedia content and virtual experiences.

A3: Technology has improved healthcare by enabling electronic health records, medical imaging technologies, telemedicine, and remote monitoring. These advancements have enhanced patient care, diagnosis, and treatment.

A4: The Internet of Things, blockchain, augmented reality, virtual reality, and 3D printing are a few important technological advancements. These developments have transformed several sectors and created new opportunities.

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Home — Essay Samples — Information Science and Technology — Impact of Technology — Importance Of Technology


Importance of Technology

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Published: Mar 19, 2024

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the impact of technology in our daily lives essay

Science and Technology: Impact on Human Life Essay

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Part i: science in personal and professional life, part ii: science and technology in a multicultural world.

Science plays an important role in everyday life, and people depend on technologies in a variety of ways by creating, using, and improving them regularly. Sometimes, a person hardly notes how inevitable the impact of science can be on personal or professional life. Evaluating such technologies as the Internet, smartphones, notebooks, smartwatches, and brain-medicine interfaces helps recognize their positive and negative outcomes compared to the period when traditional lifestyles and natural resources like ginger were highly appreciated.

Most people are confident in their independence and neglect multiple technologies that determine their lives. During the last 25 years, technology has dramatically changed human interactions (Muslin, 2020). In addition to domestic technological discoveries like washing machines and stoves, four technologies, namely, the Internet, smartphones, notebooks, and smartwatches, are used throughout the day. Despite their evident advantages in communication, data exchange, and connection, some negative impacts should not be ignored.

Regarding my personal life changes, these technologies provoke mental health changes such as depression. I prefer to avoid my dependence on all these technologies that imperceptibly shape everyday activities. However, I constantly check my vitals, messengers, and calls not to miss something important. On the one hand, this idea of control helps improve my life and makes it logical. On the other hand, I am concerned about such relationships with technologies in my life. Similar negative impacts on society emerge when people prefer to communicate virtually instead of paying attention to reality. Technologies compromise social relationships because individuals are eager to choose something easier that requires less movement or participation, neglecting their unique chances to live a real life. They also challenge even the environment because either smartwatches or notebooks need energy that is associated with air pollution, climate change, and other harmful emissions (Trefil & Hazen, 2016). Modern technologies facilitate human life, but health, social, and environmental outcomes remain dangerous.

Thinking about my day, I cannot imagine another scientific discovery that makes this life possible except the Internet. Today, more devices have become connected to the Internet, including cars, appliances, and personal computers (Thompson, 2016). With time, people get an opportunity to use the Internet for multiple purposes to store their personal information, business documentation, music, and other files that have a meaning in their lives. The Internet defines the quality of human relationships, starting with healthcare data about a child and ending with online photos after the person’s death.

Although the Internet was invented at the end of the 1980s, this technology was implemented for everyday use in the middle of the 1990s. All people admired such possibilities as a connection across the globe, increased job opportunities, regular information flows, a variety of choices, online purchases, and good education opportunities (Olenski, 2018). It was a true belief that the Internet made society free from real-life boundaries and limitations. However, with time, its negative sides were revealed, including decreased face-to-face engagement, laziness, and the promotion of inappropriate content (Olenski, 2018). When people prefer their virtual achievements and progress but forget about real obligations like parenting, education, or keeping a healthy lifestyle, the Internet is no longer a positive scientific discovery but a serious problem.

Many discussions are developed to identify the overall impact of the Internet as a major scientific discovery. Modern people cannot imagine a day without using the Internet for working, educational, or personal purposes. However, when online life becomes someone’s obsession, the negatives prevail over its positives. Therefore, the human factor and real-life preferences should always be recognized and promoted. During the pandemic, the Internet is a priceless contribution that helps deal with isolation and mental health challenges. Some people cannot reach each other because of family issues or business trips, and the Internet is the only reliable and permanent means of connection. Thus, such positives overweight the negatives overall if everything is used rationally.

The Internet makes it possible for healthcare providers to exchange their knowledge and experiences from different parts of the world. This possibility explains the spread of the westernized high-tech research approach to medical treatment and the promotion of science in a multicultural care world. Biomedical research changes the way how people are diagnosed and treated. Recent genomic discoveries help predict the possibility of cancer and human predisposition to other incurable diseases to improve awareness of health conditions. The benefit of new brain-interface technologies (BMI) is life improvement for disabled people to move their prosthetics easily (The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2016). Instead of staying passive, individuals use smart technology to hold subjects, open doors, and receive calls. BMI has a high price, but its impact is priceless. At the same time, some risks of high-tech research exist in medical treatment. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (2016) underlines damaged neurons and fibers depend on what drugs are delivered to the system and how. The transmission of electrical signals is not always stable, and the safety of BMI processes is hardly guaranteed.

Some populations reject technologies in medical treatment and prefer to use natural resources to stabilize their health. For example, ginger is characterized by several positive clinical applications in China. Researchers believe that this type of alternative medicine effectively manages nausea, vomiting, and dizziness (Anh et al., 2020). Its major advantage is reported by pregnant patients who use ginger to predict morning sickness, unnecessary inflammation, and nausea. However, like any medication, ginger has its adverse effects, covering gastrointestinal and cardiovascular symptoms (Anh et al., 2020). The disadvantage of using traditional medicine is its unpredictable action time. When immediate help is required, herbs and other products are less effective than a specially created drug or injection.

There are many reasons for having multicultural approaches to medical treatment, including ethical recognition, respect, diversity, and improved understanding of health issues. It is not enough to diagnose a patient and choose a care plan. People want to feel support, and if one culture misses some perspectives, another culture improves the situation. Western and traditional cultural approaches may be improved by drawing upon the other. However, this combination diminishes the effects of traditions and the worth of technology in medical treatment. Instead of uniting options, it is better to enhance differences and underline the importance of each approach separately. The challenges of combining these approaches vary from differences in religious beliefs to financial problems. All these controversies between science and culture are necessary for medical treatment because they offer options for people and underline the uniqueness of populations and technological progress.

In general, science and traditions are two integral elements of human life. People strive to make their unique contributions to technology and invent the devices that facilitate human activities. At the same time, they never neglect respect for traditions and cultural diversity. Therefore, high-tech and traditional medicine approaches are commonly discussed and promoted today to identify more positive impacts and reduce negative associations and challenges.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers. (2016). Top 5 advances in medical technology . ASME. Web.

Anh, N. H., Kim, S. J., Long, N. P., Min, J. E., Yoon, Y. C., Lee, E. G., Kim, M., Kim, T. J., Yang, Y. Y., Son, E. Y., Yoon, S. J., Diem, N. C., Kim, H. M., & Kwon, S. W. (2020). Ginger on human health: A comprehensive systematic review of 109 randomized controlled trials. Nutrients, 12 (1). Web.

Musil, S. (2020). 25 technologies that have changed the world . Cnet. Web.

Olenski, S. (2018). The benefits and challenges of being an online – Only brand. Forbes . Web.

Thompson, C. (2016). 21 technology tipping points we will reach by 2030 . Insider. Web.

Trefil, J., & Hazen, R. M. (2016). The sciences: An integrated approach (8th ed.). Wiley.

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IvyPanda. (2022, December 24). Science and Technology: Impact on Human Life. https://ivypanda.com/essays/science-and-technology-impact-on-human-life/

"Science and Technology: Impact on Human Life." IvyPanda , 24 Dec. 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/science-and-technology-impact-on-human-life/.

IvyPanda . (2022) 'Science and Technology: Impact on Human Life'. 24 December.

IvyPanda . 2022. "Science and Technology: Impact on Human Life." December 24, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/science-and-technology-impact-on-human-life/.

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IvyPanda . "Science and Technology: Impact on Human Life." December 24, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/science-and-technology-impact-on-human-life/.

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How will technology continue to impact our everyday lives.

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What impact is technology having on our daily lives, and how will it continue to evolve?  originally appeared on  Quora : the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.  

Answer  by  Alan Mclean , Digital Wellbeing Product Designer at Google, in their  Session :  

Obviously technology is part of almost every aspect of daily life now. A lot of the change to how we live our lives is pretty incredible and I couldn’t imagine not having it. We can connect with family remotely with ease or work from home and collaborate and communicate with colleagues in real-time. We have unparalleled access to information and can connect with other people that share our interests. However, that potent role in our daily rhythms, the ability to do so much at almost anytime, can lead to feelings of tech not always aligning with the complete picture of our needs.

Just a couple of the top issues that come to mind when thinking about this tension:

  • Tech enables so much interpersonal connection and yet we’ve never  felt more alone .
  • Social media is a powerful force for expression and accountability, but the attributes of virality (short, entertaining) can lead to reduced quality of dialogue at best, and terrible bullying like  Gamer Gate  at the other end of the spectrum.
  • A number of clinical studies point to screen use preventing the onset and quality of sleep, an essential need.

Steve Jobs used to call the computer  a bicycle for the mind…  which makes me wonder... was our brain designed for this kind of exercise? Many people now report they feel burnt out by always being online. When it comes down to it, our needs are changing throughout the day, but our tech is not.

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I believe we’re at a turning point; to retain a healthy relationship with our users, tech will need to expand its circle of concern and consider the cumulative effect of not just its own products, but the other ones people are using. I try to do this in my work on digital wellbeing. Going forward, I envision a future where the digital products we use enable us to establish boundaries around our tech use. Right now, for example, I can take my work home with me every day. I’m always available and often don’t think twice about sending an email or text, regardless of the priority. It’s up to me to ignore that email and spend time with my family in the evening. But placing that choice on us for every single email or message isn’t sustainable or even just good design. I’d expect going forward the digital products we use will make it easier to disconnect by having a better understanding of what matters, when it makes sense for me, and when to engage with it.

You can follow Quora Sessions  here.  More Sessions:

  • Session with Hector Aguilar, President of Technology at Okta :  What are the pros and cons of automation in the workplace?
  • Session with Marianna Tessel, Chief Technology Officer at Intuit :  How will technology transform the financial industry in the near future?
  • Session with Tami Bhaumik, VP of Marketing & Digital Civility at Roblox :  Can kids and adults get addicted to tech?


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