As a real life geek, I have always enjoyed a new gadget and been excited about the opportunity technology has to improve daily life. There are so many potential positive impacts to our daily lives easing connection with family and friends, putting infinite opportunities to increase our knowledge literally at our fingertips, increased productivity, safer and faster travel, golf clubs that hit straighter and longer, increased security and accessibility in our homes, improved medical care and more advanced medicines, hail a ride with Uber, order dinner for the family on Doordash, access anywhere and anytime to favorite music, television, and movies, and the list goes on. Nothing on this earth is perfect and as in most cases there is a balance of good and bad. A very simple view of this is the adage 'too much of a good thing'. MedicalNewsToday wrote a great article about overuse of technology and potentially more significant psychological and physical impacts from overuse on developing children and teenagers, and how to create better habits and avoid overuse. There is also a very real privacy concern. Being so connected means so much of what we put online can be visible to people who would use it for the wrong reasons. So where is technology's place in our lives, and how can we benefit healthfully from it in our retirement?
Forbes has a recent article outlining some of the areas of our lives technology has already tapped into and holds strong influence over. Our lifestyle, health, privacy, attitudes (of our youth), business, and human behavior are all highlighted. Picking up the phone to call and talk with a family member or friend is invaluable when feeling lonely, and technology has given us the ability to video chat with the whole family. Seeing each others' faces and bringing us that much closer to being together. The reach is too overreaching to be ignored, and with the recent adoption of telehealth and personal medical devices tracking heart rage, blood oxygen level, sleep, and the ability to take an ECG (Apple Watch Series 7) anytime and anywhere, why would we want to ignore it?
Well cost for one, and one of the major hurdles can be how confusing technology can be for even the geekiest of geeks 🤓. There are so many options out there and determining which one is the best for me and you may be different answers. Thankfully technology has yet once again provided easy access to reviews and advice like the April 20, 2022 article in Cision PR Newswire analyzing and promoting in home technology by Fellowship Connected Living, and The Washington Post's article on ElliQ, a robot built around artificially intelligent empathy that 'lives with you' as the article says.
So what is technology's place in retirement? With its relative omniscience and ubiquity, that question may be less important than how we choose to use it and what parts of our lives we choose to benefit.