Technology tends to get a bad wrap.
From some angles, it can certainly seem like it's taking over our jobs, our relationships and our lives in general. While we have to agree, the increasing presence of technology in our lives can have it's dangers and downsides, it has also brought a lot of opportunities into the world that we all now get to take advantage of.
Like what? Well, we're glad you asked.
Connecting with Distant Friends & Relatives
Facebook has really been the game changer here, I would say.
Remember when you used to write letters to your Grandma? While that was a sweet and endearing, how much were you really able to capture when you finally found the time to sit down and write her back? And did you have time to write letters (or even emails) to your aunts and uncles as well? Cousins? What about foreign friends you met on your backpacking trips? All that letter writing could really tie up your evenings and weekends!
Now, with social networks like Facebook or Instagram (or LinkedIn, which is great for professional relationships), you can share moments from your life with your friends and family and stay up to date with them as well in just a few minutes each day. I have made some incredible connections that would've been unlikely without the aid of this social platform. I've had places to stay when traveling, I've connected with new clients and I know more personal details about my grandparents and how they spend their days than ever before. And the good news is, these online connections make the offline relationships richer as well. (We all know that daunting feeling when someone you haven't seen in 20 years asks you "What's new?") Am I right?
Keeping Tabs On Your Kids
Kids used to run wild in the streets with only a curfew and hopefully a trusty wrist watch that would ensure they got home in time. (While I'm not a parent, I honestly can't imagine how parents back then handled it?! The stress!) What if something went wrong? What if they missed the bus? They had to find a quarter to call home from a pay phone? What if they got lost? They had to look for a Block Parent? (The answers to these questions are YES--I lived this way and as you can see, I survived.) But these days, parents can find some more piece of mind by enabling technology.
There's this great new app some teachers are using called FreshGrade with which the teachers share updates and assessments with registered parents. This provides interested parents with so much more information than when they ask "What did you do at school today?" and are met with an unenthusiastic "Nothing".
And, if you do equip your kiddies with cell phones of their own (and carefully select a plan that caps their texting and data), you can use an app like Find My Friends to find out where they are at all times. Just think... no more sneaking off to their older boyfriends house when they say they're studying! Aha!
Finding Your Keys
How many times have you lost your keys somewhere in your house? And it's always when you're running late, of course. My newest favourite household technology has a solution for this. (Be sure you're taking notes--this makes a great Christmas gift for the most scatterbrained person on your list.) Chipolo and Tile are two new technologies you can set up tracking devices that will allow you to pinpoint the exact location of your missing keys (which are probably hiding in the couch, by the way) via an app OR, double whammy, if you have your keys in hand and can't find your phone, you can give them a shake and listen for a friendly jingle coming out of your lost phone! The convenience is mind-blowing... I know.