Co-Author: Sarah Zafar- Lifestylist, Humanitarian & Social Activist
Internet of Things (IoT) has been predicted to become more popular for many years, especially in various business aspects, as one of them was discussed in the previous blog. However, the emergence of IoT has been held back by many issues - Is it the cost? No it's the lifestyle, as illustrated by the co-author.
Technology can be a double edged sword. Your use or misuse determines it. However, in today's era we see more of its misapplication than its use. Like it or not, technology has bound us, and members of Generations Y and Z don't contemplate life without it. But, the rest left aside, what's more alarming is the decline in the most sacred units of the society; the family, loved ones and everyone in our surroundings.
Are we responsible for this? If yes, then why? Because we are letting it happen. When was the last time you put those devices aside and had quality time with your family or closed ones? Can't remember? The last time you sat with your children and asked them what's happening around in school or who's been bullying them. A study shows that bullying in school can cause changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy.
Remember the time your wife was telling you about her first magazine that finally got published, but you missed out the spark in her eyes. May be you weren't really paying attention while surfing things online
You see, the moment you get connected to your gadgets and IoT devices, that same moment you disconnect with the people around you who are actually closer.
Reality is that we spend more time on our phones and other digital gadgets than we spend with our loved ones. It's like they have become the air that we breathe in; we walk and sleep with them, eat and play with them to the extent that we have forgotten to spend time face-to-face with people.
According to Sherry Turkle, a renowned media scholar, we live in a technological universe in which we are always communicating. And yet we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection and eventually we expect more from technology than we do from each other.
To quote her:
"Over the past 15 years, I've studied technologies of mobile communication and I've interviewed hundreds and hundreds of people, young and old, about their plugged in lives. And what I've found is that our little devices, those little devices in our pockets, are so psychologically powerful that they don't only change what we do, they change who we are.
Some of the things we do now with our devices are things that, only a few years ago, we would have found odd or disturbing, but they've quickly come to seem familiar, just how we do things."
Let's disconnect to reconnect before it's too late. Create no technology times and zones in your homes, and teach your children the values of family bonding. Add value to your relationships by giving them your love and emotions and not just through the emoji's in your texts. Because people may forget what you said or what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
Thus, to avoid such a trade-off, it's better to value relationships while equipping ourselves with the advancement of the Internet of Things.