Technology develops rapidly in a constant effort to meet our demands, but there has always been a gap between humans and technology.
“Computing is going to be more and more interwoven with people's lives as the years go by, so computer technology is going to have to evolve to be easier for people to use,” says Victor A. Vyssotsky in an archived video about the UNIX operating system. Back then, priorities were affecting technological development on a broader scale than they do today. Instead of designing personal devices for the individual consumer to use every day, the focus was more on practical usability for programmers.
We’ve come a long way since then, and technology has certainly become easier to use—less complicated, more accessible to the general public, built with better interfaces and user experiences. In a surprisingly short time, we moved from developing operating systems over the course of a decade, to throwing out a new phone every six months. We went from computers that took up entire rooms to a smartphone in every pocket and purse. The challenge these days is not designing tech to be easier to use, but designing tech that fits cleanly into our routines.
Some argue that we are relying too heavily on technology and are even negatively impacting our mental health and ability to make human connections, but the reality is much more complex. Right now, tech is affecting us negatively because of the way we interact with it; but technology, if created and applied responsibly, is not the problem; technology is a tool that empowers us to achieve our goals.
We use tech in a variety of ways to meet the needs of our daily lives, including communication, education, entertainment, travel, and business. Technology empowers us by giving us even more control over our lives; you are truly independent with today’s technology at your fingertips.
The problem arises once we find ourselves surrounded by an array of gadgets designed to work separately to meet our needs. You go from checking email on your phone to writing a memo on your laptop, to scheduling an appointment back on your phone. We are missing a uniting interface that would allow us to maintain a connection to both our tech and our surroundings, something that would let you use multiple devices without physical access. Right now, the way we interact with technology is limited to juggling multiple devices, and that ultimately limits our independence and empowerment.
[Read more about how you can reduce your screen time without compromising the benefits of your digital experience here]
Technology develops rapidly in a constant effort to meet our demands, but there has always been a gap between humans and technology. No matter how much technology empowers us, we are still missing the tool to bring humans and tech together seamlessly. A seamless interaction between humans and technology would be both empowering and, ultimately, natural.
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Author: Liz Windsor