Technology keeps making things easier for us which leads us to a lazy route through life. We no longer have to know how to do “traditional” things such as writing a letter because we have emails and SMS’s that will help us compile letters to whoever we want to send them to. We do not even have to learn how to spell because we have to autocorrect to correct our spelling.
Skills that were necessary back in the days are almost useless nowadays. Why learn about grammar or how to structure proper sentences when you have Grammarly to do everything for you? By the end of 2025, a total of about 70 billion devices are expected to be connected to the internet, although we might need to have adequate skills in order to deal with a digital future. We should also be prepared for when all things go south.
In this digital era, we all highly trust computer systems more than ever before, even though the very same computer systems disappoint us at times. This adds to the reason why I do not think we’re ready for a digital future because even the websites we trust the most like google, can disappoint us.
Nonetheless, this is not the only issue we’re facing;
Digital exclusion at work
The pandemic caused a drastic shift, many people lost their jobs worldwide. Moreover, it is said that close to 800 million jobs are likely to be lost due to automation by the year 2030. MIT economist David Autor, bluntly responds to this argument and says:
“Automation is only a manner of substituting jobs that no one really wants in the first place with technology.”
I accept that the development of technology will lead to machines doing tedious jobs so that we can pay attention to the more creative and fulfilling jobs. However, as the development of automation continues, we will need adequate skills that will be necessary for us to qualify for the new job opportunities which are likely to become more and more complex. We will need some time to train for these jobs. Yet still, how can we keep up? It is the responsibility of the society at large, to live up to the pace at which technology is developing, we are responsible for investing in education to make the younger generations fully equipped for a digital future.
The expense of going digital
The fourth industrial revolution surely comes at a cost. Soon, even our stoves, refrigerators, microwaves, and also cars will be connected to the internet, yet it is startling, how we are still struggling with data issues.
If someone offered you a free phone, chances are that you probably won’t accept it, without doing some research and you would be skeptical about the phone once you got it. Did you know that the exact same rule applies when you connect to free wifi? yet we never seem to be skeptical about the free wifi we connect to. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allow us to make use of their services free of charge, giving us 24/7 entertainment at no charge. Does this appear too good to be true?
Our online actions can be gathered and analyzed by these social media platforms. Instead of us paying for their services, it is quite clear to realize that in fact, our valuable data is the product to be sold. Then why are we not bothered about what happens to us online, the same way we would be concerned about what happens to us in ‘real life’?
The Helsinki Privacy Study
A team of researchers from the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology conducted an experiment regarding 10 volunteering households. The 10 households were equipped with video cameras and electronic devices for about six months. These researches concluded that constant surveillance caused anxiety, therefore some subjects would spend more time in rooms that were not covered by cameras, while others would completely leave the house for privacy.
The study makes one realize that if people are not willing to have their privacy invaded in their own homes, then why are we willingly giving away our precious data online? The dangers of sharing personal information online are real. People can get scammed and more and so we should definitely take more care regarding what we post online.