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Saturday, August 07, 2004Martin Tobias raises key questions and answers these in the hope of finding what one should expect as the web technolgoies improve.
1. Over the last five to seven years has technology increased or decreased your personal productivity?
2. Increased or decreased your overall quality of life?
3. Strengthened or weakened your interpersonal and family relationships?
Tobias replies are 1. decreased, 2. increased, 3. weakened. In terms of time, technology has been a net negative on my life for quite awhile.
In my experience, new technologies have (to date) served to weaken interpersonal and family relationships. What used to be phone calls are now emails. What used to be personal hand written letters with lots of doodles is now plain text. Many occasions for interpersonal communication (going to the bank, filling up the car with gas, buying groceries and many forms of shopping) are now being intermediated by technology instead of interpersonal connections.The rise of shyness and introverted behavior has tracked surprisingly well with the rise of the PC, bank tellers, automatic gas pump payments, video game consoles and the other human disintermediation technologies. Remember when kids used to go outside and play with their friends? Technology is not very well suited to serving the higher order emotional needs of humans. Tobias concludes by writing, "Applications that result in a net increase in productivity. And most importantly, technology that enables me to strengthen interpersonal and family relationships. That technology needs to be very easy to use and easy to integrate into my life". |
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