Every coin has two sides. And, for new technologies that wouldn’t change.
Before 2020, new technologies took place in a certain way in our lives. And, after the COVID-19 outbreak, it has been revisited in ways we could not imagine.
Let’s walk through some of the main points of our relationship with technology and how it has taken place in our lives. Our idea is to provoke you to rethink certain attitudes and also our current situation.
A Small Introduction to the World of New Technologies
Well, I know the term “new” can be somewhat subjective. But let’s face it. For someone who was born in the late 1990s and clearly remembers dial-up internet, even smartphones, as we know today, are considered new technologies.
According to Lexico, “new technologies” were born in the 1950s. As a noun, it means “Technology that radically alters the way something is produced or performed, especially by labor-saving automation or computerization; an instance of such technology”.
New technologies include the current form of production (with much more machines and in a more automated way. It also concerns the way we communicate and stay informed – podcasts, television, informational sites, etc. And, on the other hand, it says also to respect the chemicals involved in the processes, the growth of pollution and the number of cars on the street.
As much as the term is quite general, here we want to focus on the participation of these technologies in the most direct way in our lives. Yes, we are talking about cell phones, computers, Wi-Fi and therefore social networks, direct contact with people, and so on.
Let’s talk about how at the same time these technologies shorten distances and make our lives much easier. They separate us and create a feeling – often unreal – of closeness.
So, we repeat, every coin has two sides and we also need to talk about the pain points.
New Technologies in Quarantine Times
It’s impossible to talk about new technologies without mentioning key changes. The Coronavirus pandemic forced us to collect it in our house for what was at first 15 days, but after 1 year and a half, it is still necessary.
Our relationship with the outside world and with people has completely changed. We don’t know how much or how the future will be. But we know that the pandemic changed the course of how things were going.
Thus, forced to stay locked at home and out of contact with those we love, we find in the palm of our hands the safe haven of the outside world – or better yet, a virtual version of it. According to a survey by McKinsey, stay-at-home times speeded digital technologies by several years.
Our living room became the office and meetings were mediated by computer screens. Here, we can already start a discussion. Personally, our co-workers couldn’t be able to choose between keeping the microphone and camera on or off. As much as this is a convenience for when we want to work lying in bed, at the same time, this is already a sign that not even your co-worker, who you would see in person every day, will see your face except for the profile picture.
But, well, let’s not rush into that.
The Pandemic Wave of Changes: Companies & Us & Technology
If most eyes were glazed over on screens, companies, and brands needed to find a way to catch up with our current field of vision. They have started to actively engage with their customers online, and those who were left out of that wave are having to chase it now.
Get-togethers with family and beers at bars with friends have been replaced by hang-outs on Google Meets or Zoom. Everything we need to relate to the outside world was – and now, permanently, is – just a click away.
If before, when we were in person together, some people were already hooked on their cell phones, now, this has strengthened. The return to “normal life” – or whatever you want to call it – will be marked by an even stronger difficulty in cutting our umbilical cords with cell phones.
In other words, our devices bring us closer to people who are geographically far away — but separates us from those who are geographically nearby. Therefore, we end up staying away from those who are physically close. New technologies bring us closer, but push us away, at the same time and with the same intensity.
How to Use It For Good
Unfortunately, there is no exact formula to define how each one should be used regarding the use of technology.
According to Reid Health, an adult must use a cell phone for a maximum of two hours a day. But let’s face it, nowadays it’s impossible to use our devices for just that time. Especially those who work using computer and internet all the time. However, on the other hand, it’s good to get a sense of how harmful these new technologies are. In other words, we have to make the most of it to use our free time and stay away from the screens.
So, here we are going to give you some tips on how to help you. Remembering that they are not as a rule nor mandatory to follow. But, suggestions to use sparingly.
Synchronize your screen time.
On most smartphones today, you can determine how long you want to use a particular app. So when you reach your daily limit, it gives a warning and blocks that program until the end of the day. In this way, you are forced to disconnect and pay attention to what and those around you physically.
Determine a work schedule and respect it
With the number of people working from home, complaints about time management have increased. It’s hard to separate work and relaxation time when it all comes down to the same room. But, it’s important! So choose your work schedule – the one that’s most convenient for you and your routine – and stick to it. This will help your mental and physical health and even your professional performance because everything is linked.
Disconnect and seize the moment
One of the mantras that I keep repeating in my head is: “I’m living the now, let me seize it.” Sometimes, we are in a meeting with friends or family – when times allowed – and the second the cell phone vibrates, we are already looking to see what you want. So, to really fully enjoy that moment our suggestion is: disconnect!
We know technologies are here to stay. And so we need to be careful with them. After all, they help us a lot, but they also hinder us.
So, now, take a break. Go stretch your body or, at least, close your eyes for three minutes. That will help you! When you get back, check out our previous article about haute couture.