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Does technology simplify life or make it more complicated?

Does technology simplify life or make it more complicated? Share your thoughts!

 

I honestly think both. Technology is great and does make things easier - I can see and talk to my family even though we live 1,000+ miles apart. I can order groceries with the click of a button. I can tell Siri to remind me of things so I don't forget, etc, etc, etc. But there's also so much out there, it can be overwhelming and confusing. Things are constantly changing, and it can be really hard to keep up sometimes.

 

What do you think? Does technology make your life simpler, or more complicated?

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Regular Contributor

THIS is a humorous look at this topic. Eerily true too!

Regular Contributor

I have an acquaintance who, for the first 3 months of Covid quarantining, did NOTHING but whine about "I miss my frieeeeeeeends."

 

And then I asked her "You know what year this is right? Are your friends Luddites and don't have broadband internet in their homes and computers connected? Have you reached out to them and set up Zoom meetings? And DON'T tell me 'it's not the same thing' because that's bs. When it's all you have, it is what it is. You are CHOOSING to not take advantage of this WONDERFUL technology we have available."

 

And then she quit talking to me. Some people just choose to live in a world where it rains every day.

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Regular Contributor

How long is a piece of string?

 

There is no answer to this. I am almost 70. I embraced technology YEARS ago and worked in the field for 25 years. My house in an electronic marvel with security cams, many computers all networked together, all doing different things, smart TVs and such. I had a business for about 8 years where I went to houses and fixed problems, and it made me shake my head in frustration as to how many people who were more up in age were absolutely terrified of the computer. It's a pile of metal and silicone. At most senior households I heard "I wish I knew this stuff like you do".  

 

Let me share this with you because they are related. I play music. I started before age 5. As I got out into bands I would get people come up and say "I wish I could play keyboards like you." My standard answer was "Why can't you? Do you think I came from the womb knowing how? If you really want to, start taking lessons and stop wishing. All it takes is willingness to work at it, like any other field."

 

I say the same thing about computers. There is no secret club, secret handshake, special skill... none of that. Just a willingness to educate yourself. There's no age limit where you can't learn new things, is there? So you can either light a candle or curse the darkness. I believe that the day you stop trying to learn new things you may as well lay down and die because part of you is dead already. The only limitation we have is self imposed. I just began shopping for a vibraharp because I want to learn how to play it. I recently took some photography classes so come summer I can take better pictures. I bought a digital SLR camera and learned about composition and framing in those classes. When the Covid gas lifts and I get out and do some shooting I will take those first 400-500 pics back to the instructor and get her critique.

 

Keep reaching. Keep striving. Keep growing. Just stop growing old!!

 

You can do anything you want to do. Just stop telling yourself you cant.

Periodic Contributor

I am 69.  I have a smartphone and I'm on my 5th or 6th  computer/laptop.  My 20 year old care still amazes me although it drinks a lot of fuel.  I just got diagnosed with ALS so my golden years are tarnishing quickly.  Jean-Martin Charcot defined it in 1869, 152 years ago and although mine appears to be genetic, researchers and physicians still haven't figured out why it occurs and they haven't figured out how to treat and cure it. So much for technology.  How is this planet going to maintain a population that is anticipated to grow to 10.9 Billion by 2100, if people can't find a viable job?

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Regular Contributor

If you know how to use it and are comfortable with it, it definitely makes life easier.  If not, you will get very frustrated very fast.  Go to Seniors Guide to Computers to get started simplifying your life.

 

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Gold Conversationalist

Technology is inanimate it only does what people make it do.  People running a scam will probably make it complicated as a smoke screen.  People trying to be helpful will probably make it as simple as possible...of course these are just probabilities.

If it is making life more complicated, then maybe the way it's being used should be reevaluated.

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Contributor

More complicated.

Newbie

I find myself very frustrated at times, just trying to get different apps or functions to work.

Trusted Contributor

technology is too much nowadays. tech is fine for certain ways but the way things are, technology is going too far. no one needs this much. what we have is just right!

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Both.  Skype, Zoom, Ordering groceries, Ordering almost anything during this time of covid, Researching everything from to Medications to Recliner Chairs to Slide Scanners and much more.    Wonderful.

 

However there are so many difficulties.  Googling instructions for problem solving so often only tells me to do things that I do not understand.  Or a website does not answer questions, emails are not answered.  I have had mixed luck with chats.   Telephone instructions before the possibility of reaching a person are often interminably long , often followed by long waits and terrible music.  In order to conserve a bit of sanity I have started writing Tech Comedy to describe some of my tech problems. I am a little easier to live with that way.

Periodic Contributor

Technology has overwhelmed my life in many ways. 

1) Internet - Prior to the invent of the Internet, I would spend my days as an Import Manager obtaining information and solutions to issues received from our overseas suppliers.  Once all of the information was gathered I would fax it overseas and wait until the next morning to receive their responses.  This was great in that everyone's work was very accurate because we knew that once the responses were sent it would be 24hrs before a correction could be made.  Now, the Internet seems to have made everyone believe that they no longer need to fact check or be precise in their work.  This seems to occur because they can just send and email anytime of the day or night to make the correction.

2) Cell Phones - Prior to the use of cell phones, people would call and leave a message when you were not home or you didn't feel like picking up your phone.  Since the mainstream use of the cell phone and social media, people feel that you must be available at their beck and call anytime of the day.  In addition, people seem to spend so much time passing misinformation and showing pictures of every little thing that they do.  In addition, they want to obtain your immediate response.

3) Cable - Prior to cable, my family only spent a couple hours a day watching TV with the 3 or 4 channels that were available.  In addition, the TV actually went off at night.  With the invent of cable TV with its hundreds of channels and 24hr service, many of my friends binge watch several seasons of a show and wonder why that put on show much weight.

 

I am learning to handle technology much better. 

1) Internet - I am looking to change my career to a job less dependent on using technology.  Meaning, I spend more of my day actually producing things and interacting with people or animals and less with technology.

2) Cell Phone - I have a policy where I do not answer my cell phone after 10:00pm at night.  If its an emergency, I still have a house phone.  In addition, If I don't feel like picking up my phone I won't. And I let my friends and family know I am not obligated to pick up because you decide to call.  I will return the call at my convenience.

3) Cable - I recently got rid of my cable.  I've never been big on television; I'd rather read a book.

 

 

 

Super Contributor

 

To a point.  I scream at the alternatives I had to live with before some tech knowledge.  Balancing check books, or writing checks for everything?  Boring big time.  A couple clicks take care of it.

 

Rapid communication helps a lot.  "Snail mail" is alive and well.

 

Texting, skype, twitter, face, I have absolutely no interest in.  Scams are rampant, always searching out a vulnerable target,

 

It's a two-edged sword, the way I see it.  Keep thinking of Burt Reynold's line in "Deliverance."  "One day the system's gonna fail."

 

Contributor

I like my technology and the things I can do with it. But it's taking over our lives. Upgrades on tech devices are necessary but in my mind often make using the devices more complicated. I am concerned about the invasion of my privacy. My computer knows more about my financial and personal life than my own mother did 20 years ago. I suggest 2 or 3 levels of technology you can choose from. I'd choose the lowest level which would allow me to communicate with the people I choose, track my expenses with a SIMPLE program and do simple on line searches. If you want more, you could buy into more. 

Contributor

Not really, it complicates it! Go to any website and and there are pop-up ads, etc. I don't believe that you can trust much of what is on the web, there's no fact check so is it fact or fictiion? 

Contributor

Yes actually. I've sometimes have been known to help others at computers at the Public Libraries where I live in Queens.

Sometimes, I've prided myself as a "Senior Geek".

Periodic Contributor

My life depends on technology. I'm deaf, so hearing aids are helping with this problem. I can not walk, so a wheelchair and adapted minivan are to help me. Without technology, I would not be able to communicate or leave my home. Technology is a big help for everyone, just look at the internet.

Periodic Contributor

Technology has not made life simpler, it has become more complicated and much more expensive. 

 

Automation, Robotization, Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence are displacing human labor.  Self Checkouts are increasing in retail stores, reducing or eliminating cashiers.  Drivers of tractor-trailers, UPS, FedEx, USPS, Uber, Lyft, Taxis, will be replaced by A.I. and associated technology.

 

40 million people were laid off during the Covid19 crisis and economists estimate that 42% will not have jobs to go back to.  That is 16.8 million people who need to be retrained to do what?  Get replaced by technology.   The U.S. lost jobs because Capital is always trying to reduce costs, and China had cheaper labor.  Now China has raised its standard of living, as had Japan and South Korea, and has now lost the labor advantage to India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and other south Asian countries.  Africa is the only place left with cheap labor but by that time technology will prevent them from competing for cheap labor. 

 

Technology does not need wages, fringe benefits such as vacations, holidays, sick days, health insurance, retirement funds, bonuses, and any other remuneration.  Income Tax for middle and lower classes will lose it's financial base, as will our federal budgets, SS, Medicare, Unemployment, and Workers Compensation. 

 

Our appliances do not last as long as their predecessors.  How many of us remember how long our parents and grandparents appliances lasted?  Now we are dealing with Planned Obsolescence.  Cheaper materials which don't last as long, break sooner, Capitalism wants us to keep buying their products more frequently.  Sooner, faster, and "better."  More efficient. 

 

There used to be a social contract between companies and their employees.  Show up to work, be competent, loyal, and you'll have a job for the rest of your working life.  Not anymore, fewer employees, more machines and contractors.  And the world's human population keeps growing.  In In 1804 we hit 1 Billion,  a 123 years later in 1927 2 Billion, 1950 about 2. 5 Billion, 33 years after 1927 we hit 3 B in 1960, 15 years later in 1975 4B, 12 more years 1987 5B, 12 more years 1999 6B, 12 years to 2011 7B and we are anticipated to hit 8B in 2025, 9B in 2043, 2083 10B, and 10.9B by 2100 when we might hit a plateau.  We keep polluting our potable water, air, we are warming up the planet, storms are more frequent and intense causing expensive damage.  What do we tell future generations?

 

Newbie

Communicating via text message helps keep me in touch with my son and his family. It is also convenient to send pictures or short videos this way.  They love it!

Regular Contributor

Hugely easier.  I use it for researching and writing, communicating via email and text, calling for help in an emergency, managing all things financial, shopping for everything from groceries to clothing to appliances and tools to - well, just name it.  I play mind-maintaining games, read, watch the occasional movie - all from the safety of my home.  My robo-vac is a godsend, an my phone tracks it and tells me what is happening.  I access my thermostat and my doorbell via laptop or phone.  I don't have lights or kitchen appliances hooked up in a "smart" home because I haven't seen the need for it.  My doggie, however, has a microchip that will direct her back to me if she ever gets lost.  My car tells me when I have a tire needing more air and can connect with my phone so I can talk without taking my attention off the road. 

 

Yes, technology can be overwhelming and complex, especially for neophytes and those with memory issues.  Manuals are often poorly written and hardware is replete with features and/or software many don't need or want.  And there can be physical issues, too.  I just ordered a set of styluses for my brother-in-law who can't text because his fingers are too big.  And the technology is ever changing, often to deal with issues and make things better, as well as to reflect our ever-changing life-needs.  It's not perfect, for sure, but what is? 

 

When i get stumped, I do an online search:  how do I......?  The answers are often there, though one needs to sift through the available information to find the right one (like searching through the dollar store, yard sale or farmer's market for what you really need...). 

 

Patience, determination, a willingness to learn are required, as are taking breaks when you've had enough and leaving the problem until tomorrow so your brain can do its magic overnight and maybe come up with the answer, or at least a better question.

 

Using technology is a way of life for me, but I don't even attempt to use it all or know it all.  I find ways to learn to use what I need and want, and the rest sits on the sidelines until (if) I need it.  What I do use makes my life easier, richer, smarter.

 

 

Regular Contributor

I hate technology!  It's boring.  

 

If something goes wrong it takes so long to correct and be prepared to be frustrated. 

 

It's  nice for quick answers to questions and recipes but that's about it.

 

Social sites like Facebook and Twitter etc are boring and sometimes dangerous.  I wish we could get rid of those.  No one cares about your every thought. 

Newbie

Technology has complicated my life more than it has simplified it.  Technology has made great strides in enabling techies to do remarkable things that were unheard of and unthought of even five years ago.  But the technology manuals, the technology protocols, the technology requirements have far outstripped the needs or wants of most consumers.  The prolix, bloviated manuals for my cars, cameras, refrigerator, oven, microwave, digital wristwatches, laptop computer, desktop computer, telephone, printer, clock radio, HDTV. . . even for my expresso machine, have far outstripped my understanding (and my patience) to read, understand, absorb, and remember all of the gobbledygook contained therein.  I've had it up to here with 200+ page manuals, and non-intuitive interfaces.  Basta!

 

Newbie

I was at an outdoor in-person meeting (we practiced social distancing) yesterday with six people.  I live in a small town in southern Oregon where the virus has yet to go on a rampage, though of course it may, any day now.  One of the people at that meeting said "My computer always wins" and for me that aptly summed up so much about what I feel and experience.  I'm so often frustrated by games my computer plays with me, or which my smart-ass phone does.  I so often have to rely on younger or more knowledgeable friends to bail me out, when they have time to do that.  Often I wish it was 1980 again and I didn't have to deal with all of this and continue dealing with it, with no end in sight.  I feel frustrated and pissed off.  On the other hand, I do spend a lot of time on my computer and on the phone, taking advantage of the wonders they have to offer.  A while after the pandemic began I discovered online scrabble and that has gotten me through a lot of fairly empty at-home time.  I like being able to have text dialogues with friends.  And then too, I have thousands of photographs floating around in the cloud of Google photos and since I've organized them into albums I can locate, fairly easily whichever one or ones I want to find.  So that's quite a thrill.  Maybe I have to sort of make my peace with capricious technology.  Maybe.

Regular Contributor

Technology is an advancement in the way we communicate and work together in a virtual environment. It can be a very great improvement in the way we do our work and communicate with each other and it can also be a problem. Children are not intone to the rights and wrongs of the internet and need to be monitored for predators and parents now have a new responsibility to be aware of. All this creates a new awareness for our loved ones and can become a burden as well. All this is a step in the right direction and it will take time to monitor and eventually police, But given time we have the will to overcome all these events. But it is causing a lot of agitation and there are people out there promoting it too. In a short version, give it time, eventually it will all come together that benefits us all. Believe!       

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It simplifies my life. You can pay for everything online. I can video chat with my grandchildren and see what they are doing.  

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Periodic Contributor

Cynthia,

I was going to go on a rant about how complicated technology has made our lives. Then you mentioned video chats with grandchildren and our daughters.
Regular Contributor

At times it does make it easier because of transferring money, sending text messages, etc. but there are times when technology is a real pain in the butt. For example, having to help my 7 year-old grandson with online schooling and not knowing how to find the right sites and/or having trouble getting logged on to the sites. Technology can be both rewarding and frustrating. It's definitely a love/hate relationship for me.

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Contributor

I totally agree with you.

 

Technology is a double edge sword.

Newbie

I started working with computers in 1958.  I still do reasonably well with current technollogy as long it is  working  reasonably well. If I can't fix a problem by turning it off and on  then  I usually call my son who is a software engineer. He almost always tells his Dad what to do. We had PCs in our home in 1979 (Radio Shack TRS-80) and he was working with it st sge 9.

 

But if I didn't have my son to call on I  would be in trouble more times than I could count.

Regular Contributor

Here it is...it probably could simplify my life if had a better understanding of how it all works.  Why do they make the instructions so complicated?  Just give me the A, B, C and D steps Black and White of it...I can follow instructions on just about anything that makes sense.  

 

Anybody out there willing to do some classes/training?  For example, I would like to know the ins and outs of software and driver updating. 

 

Oh yea, and how to stop robo calls and scams...technology is robbing people blind, especially in my age group.  Don't fall for it and don't let the smooth taste fool ya. 

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