I recently watched the video “Look Up” (with more than 30 million views on YouTube in a week) which claims that technology is corrupting our country, our relationships, our children and that we are missing out on life by always looking down at our devices. While we can all agree that people need to “look up”, engage and be present, there is a fine line between using technology and being completely consumed by it. In truth, technology is a way of life personally and professionally and there are plenty of benefits that go along with this progress. For instance, the freedom and mobility we have now would have been unfathomable twenty years ago when phones were still attached to the wall by long cords and you heard a dial tone before you connected to the internet. Responsible technology consumption doesn’t limit interaction, it enriches it.
Our lives are enriched by the content and information available at our fingertips. According to an article published by Science Daily (May 22, 2013), more than 90% of all the data in the world has been generated over the last two years. Every 60 seconds there are 571 new websites created, more than 204 million emails sent, etc., etc. (source: www.domo.com). That kind of immediate access and information sharing didn’t exist ten-twenty years ago. Today the internet allows you to find the answer to any question in a matter of minutes, often time seconds.
Traveling to a new city you have never been to and you need a car or a taxi? Don’t worry; there’s an app for that. Need directions when you’re lost? Yup, there’s an app for that too. Not to mention apps that fully integrates your experience at stadiums, arenas and ballparks. With the ability to check-in, upgrade your seats, pay for parking, order food or even distribute tickets to guests who haven’t arrived yet, technology makes attending live events easier than ever before.
Communication with friends and family, sharing photos or ideas and organizing events has never been simpler with Face Time, real time, Skype and a million other ways to stay connected. Corporations also benefit by embracing technology to better communicate with their employees, clients and prospects, promote products, advertise and share news in real time.
The benefits of technology far outweigh the negatives. It has forever changed the way we live and it is here to stay. There is value in “Look Up” as a reminder not to let technology control or overtake you but instead embrace it and let it make your life richer and easier. Disconnect every once in a while from it all, go outside, enjoy time with loved ones. Encourage your kids to play with other kids and not just with a tablet or a console. Teach them to use technology responsibly, to enrich their lives while showing them the importance of human interaction. Embrace life to its fullest but allow technology to be there when you want it.