Technology has transformed our world over the years, giving us some amazing tools and resources and make our lives easier. Smartwatch, Smartphones, Smart TV, and Driverless cars, the list goes on. Children born in this tech generation are not even aware that once life existed without these fancy gadgets. But not everyone agrees and some people argue that our generation is turning into tech slaves getting more dependent on technology for everything.
Let’s now have a quick look at how technology has changed our lives over the years:
Smartphones and Communication
Writing a letter to someone and waiting for days before it was delivered, sounds so unfamiliar. With easily accessible smartphones and the internet, communication is now done at the touch of a button. We have Skype, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. at our fingertips to instantly call or text people at the touch of a button. Also, VOIP calls make it possible to call people for free anywhere in the world even without having a phone plan. While it can be said that smartphones help us stay closer with our family and friends, at the same time some people argue that it has made our society impersonal. No Doubt smartphones increase productivity in certain areas, but it comes with security and privacy issues having a profound effect on the lives of users. Research is also coming up which shows that excessive use of smartphone impairs our social skills, makes our brain lazy and keep us up at night, I am sure we can all relate with the last one 😊
Entertainment: Television, Books and Music
Televisions are now “Smart TVs” with features like pause and rewind live TV, record live shows and stream shows on demand. Services like Netflix, Prime, etc. offer on-demand content at low monthly rates offering users another way of watching their favorite shows anytime and anywhere they like. Depending on your budget, Smart TVs also offer WIFI capability making it easy to access more programs and save money. Cable TVs are taking a backseat now with people opting out of cable altogether. Technology has also had a significant impact on how we read books. Paper books are still around but e-reader devices like Kindle and ebooks are making it easy to read on the go. These devices have extensive memory that can hold hundreds of books without taking up space in your home. Just like paper books, CDs and records will always have their place. It’s now easily possible to stream your favorite songs and albums using platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. We can access millions of artists using our phones or computer devices for a monthly fee without having to physically own an album or CD.
Smart homes and Internet of Things
Simply put, the internet of things is communicating with everyday objects using the internet. Technology has now made it possible for our homes to become “Smart Homes” where appliances communicate with one another controlled remotely by the homeowner at any location in the world using an internet connection. Turning on the air conditioning of your home before you step in and asking Alexa to play your favorite music while you cook dinner are a few examples.
Commonly used Internet of things devices in homes are Door locks, Smart Heating, Smart Gardening, Video Doorbells, and Personal Assistants, all of which are being used to enhance security and efficiency in homes. Mainstream companies like IKEA have announced setting up units dedicated to smart homes and automated products.
Dating and Relationships
Gone are the days where people would invest time in meeting and getting to know people in person. It is fair to say that technology has made it easy for us to meet new people using numerous dating websites and mobile applications with the swipe of a hand. To add to that, you can also look up information about the person on social media before you decide to meet them. Millennials are not the only ones using the applications and websites, there are even dating apps especially dedicated to the senior population where it would be normally considered difficult to meet people. These applications and platforms have millions of users worldwide and this trend doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Technology and dating applications have certainly changed the pace of dating and romance. If you have missed the boat, it’s time for you to catch on before your digital partner moves on to the next swipe which ticks all their boxes 😊
Shopping is no longer limited to malls and retail stores. With the evolution of technology, an increasing number of online payment options, and the rapidly growing eCommerce sector, customers now have access to a 24*7 marketplace where they can buy anything and everything at the touch of a button.
We now have the internet to research products before we buy them, read customer reviews and interact with chatbots to get any questions answered. When customers pay, they expect the process to be fast and simple. This shift has made it mandatory for retailers to adopt solutions to meet the increasing demand of customers.
How many of you have searched for a product online only to see that product all over your internet browser even when you are on other websites? Concepts such as Remarketing make it possible for marketers to target online shoppers once they have viewed a certain product to influence purchasing decisions.
Even shopping in offline stores has also evolved with advancements in technology. Self-checkouts at stores, less reliance on customer assistance, use of QR codes to scan items in-store, and using Bluetooth beacons to send personalized deals to customers are some of the trends we are observing. In this era of disruption and change, staying ahead of the competition requires stores to aggressively pursue innovative technologies and remain open to positive changes.
Banking and Payments
When was the last time you went into a bank to withdraw or transfer money? Online Banking, digital wallets, cryptocurrency have created platforms to send and receive money from anywhere without physically going to a bank. Mostly all banks have their own mobile applications that allow you to make scheduled bill payments taken directly from your account at a fixed date every month.
Not just bill payments, customers are also increasing their use of digital payment methods to make regular purchases. As per the data released by payment services company New Payment Innovation based on transaction data, the average transaction value of purchases across all card types in Ireland has dropped in 2019, which signals that Irish consumers are increasingly using contactless cards and digital payment options instead of cash, with cards replacing cash even for small value purchase items. We are moving towards contactless payments with customers now expecting to tap their phones and smartphones on card machines to pay. Hence it is vital for all shops/retailers to adopt new technologies in order to serve and retain today’s mobile customers. New Payment Innovation is the leading provider of payment solutions in Ireland offering multiple payment solutions for online as well as offline transactions for merchants including payment terminals, online payments, and over-the-phone payment solutions. Taking contactless payments, a step further, countries like Sweden are experimenting with RFID chips being installed in Human skins which even takes the phone out of the equation. China is working towards facial payments technology where users enter a store and pay when they smile. We can only imagine what payment methods in the future will look like.
To summarize, the majority of people believe that technology has made their lives easier and leisurely while many others strongly argue that it is turning our generation into tech slaves with no end in sight. In our opinion, both views are correct to an extent, but I also believe that what should be examined is not whether technology in itself is good or bad, but rather how we as humans use it.
Please feel free to comment below and let us know what you think about technology and its impact on our daily life. Subscribe to our blog post for more such articles and alerts delivered to your inbox.