Advancements in technology have shaped the way we live our lives, in significant and meaningful ways. I could spend days, and numerous essay posts, talking about these changes, but I am going to try to hash out a quick and dirty post that covers the basics of recent technology use that is shaping our world.
The way we communicate with one another has changed from less face-to-face interaction and more text-based interaction such as text messaging, instant messaging, email, blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and so on. Our daily lives, thoughts, and creations are being put out into the digital sphere for others to Like, comment on, and repurpose.
This concept is still fairly new, and along with the new-ness of it, comes some hardships. There are questions of privacy and ownership, as well as debates over who has the rights to create what kind of materials. Individuals are now inventors of new products, and are able to instantly publish their creative works without the needs of a publishing company. Traditional journalists are also having a territorial fight with bloggers and tweeters over the news.
Another avenue that is under revision due to advancements in technology is education. The internet is becoming our primary resource for anything and everything we need to know. We subscribe to our news via RSS, Facebook, and Twitter, and we use Google and Wikipedia as the starting point for all our research.
Wikis have allowed us to collaborate our knowledge into extensive digital encyclopedias and resources. The best example of this of course being Wikipedia, but there are numerous others out there on a variety of topics, and this number is sure to grow.
The way that businesses reach out to their customers has drastically changed. Traditional print advertisements are not nearly as effective as a post on Facebook or a viral video. The more accessible the information is, the better the company’s chances of getting a potential customer interested in making a purchase.
The innovation of social media as a new marketing technique as well as the appearance of QR Codes, has changed the entire approach for businesses, causing them to completely re-think the wheel.
Most of our hobbies are now able to be associated to the digital world in some form or another. Photographers share their images on Flickr. Other hobbies have websites, wikis, etc. Or, a person can just share the hobby with others on Facebook groups, or talk about them in Twitter feeds. They can even add friends on social bookmarking sites and share websites about their hobbies. All forms of recreation have become a social activity to be shared in the digital realm.
Technology has also produced new forms of recreation. We now have things like YouTube, World of Warcraft, and Facebook games to keep us entertained. Even video games have gone to the digital world, offering social interactions via the internet, such as Xbox Live. Also, things like Flash Mobs have been produced out of the woodwork of the internet.
It used to be that you had to be a part of a corporation of some kind to create a product or work on a project. This is no longer the case. With the idea of produsage, users become the producers. Material is presented to the masses with the intention of having it worked with and advanced. Also, the concept of crowdsourcing projects out to groups of people instead of having one individual work on it has allowed for efficient and effective production.
Technology has integrated itself into our daily lives. Many people now have smart phones and laptops that allow them to access the internet anywhere. This has led to mobile blogging and the enhancement of accessibility of information and news.
Not all change is met with good feedback. Many worry about the negative side effects of a technology-based society, such as privacy concerns and language change. Regardless of ill thoughts, the world is adapting to embrace technology as the driving force in our lives.