We live in a world that is markedly better off in many ways than the world our parents and grandparents lived in, no matter why they might think. Even though the planet is faced with many unprecedented problems, we are also in the best possible place in history to fix them. With the many advances that technology has brought us, from technology that is helping us navigate Covid-19, to making education accessible to developing nations. It’s an exciting time to be alive. Here are a few ways that Smartphones are changing, humanity.
CONNECTION MEANS EMPATHY
In this great age of communication, no one has to be alone anymore. We can be heard, be seen, and also hear and see everyone else. This feature has been particularly important over the last year. It’s kept communication open with parents and grandparents and we’ve been able to have our families share in important milestones like births, weddings, and yes – funerals, without placing anyone at risk. Without video calling possibilities, this past year would have been a lot bleaker.
Traditionally, there have been “rites of passage” that have by design changed our social circles by either ceasing connections or simply losing them. Things like graduating from school or college, moving neighborhoods, or changing cities. But now we’re able to maintain friendships and connections even across international borders. With increasingly globally-minded families and business that doesn’t respect time zones or geography, we can transact, interact and contact anyone at any time.
EDUCATION FOR ALL
A long-held ideal and dream for anyone who has found themselves in different fields of activism or human rights is access to education. Technology means that you could be in the Savanah’s of Africa or the snowy lands of Siberia and still be able to access a world-class education. This is having a dramatic impact in the developing world and in industrialized nations where some communities have been traditionally marginalized or economically impoverished. Websites like edx.org are completely changing the way that we access education by offering mostly free courses from leading institutions.
SECURITY AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
One of the most important ways that technology has changed humanity is how emergency and security services can interact with each other and also victims in times of emergencies, civil unrest, or natural disasters. Location services make it incredibly easy to find people in need in record time. Data collection during these events is also making planning and forecasting a near science. You can also detect the phone number location on google maps of numbers that are calling you, really useful in blocking and identifying scam callers – but also very useful for child monitoring reasons too.
Across various platforms and mediums, anyone can now access financial markets and investing and you don’t need to be an expert to do it either. This level of access has meant that “small” investors from non-traditional markets can now have a chance at improving their financial futures without having to front thousands of dollars or expensive brokerage fees that would have otherwise placed them completely out of the running.
It’s too early to tell if all of these advances are ultimately going to be beneficial for humanity or not. There is concern that using GPS directions services may be causing us to lose certain types of our brain functions, but we’ll only know the answer to that in a few generations’ time.
But in the meantime, technology is presenting interesting and exciting opportunities for humanity.