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Can We Trust Tech to Improve Our Life?

By Special Guest
David Fournier, Correspondent
May 03, 2018

Technology, which is showing up in nearly every aspect of our lives, is often viewed with ambivalence. Although often viewed as an existential threat because its ushering in change at a breakneck pace, tech for health, fitness, relationships, learning, creativity, and entertainment is actually making things easier for us, improving our lives in ways that we could never have imagined before.

Improved Health
Almost everyone is aware of the health hazards that come from smoking. In fact, they're even spelled out in large print on a box of cigarettes. Yet people continue to smoke—because they’re addicted to using cigarettes to downshift to a tranquil state.

Enter e-cigarettes, a techy way to help people quit smoking. Vaping uses e-liquid to reduce a craving to smoke. Vapor products simulate the calming effects of cigarette smoke without the harmful byproducts in tobacco. An e-cigarette is usually a mix of flavorings, nicotine, water, glycerin, and propylene glycol.

Upgraded Fitness
How many steps do you take a day to keep your heart healthy? You probably have no idea. What’s more, you don’t know how many calories you ate or how much water you drank. If you had to guess, you’d probably overestimate your level of activity and nutritional intake.

You’ll snap out of this nescience when you strap on a wearable device. Working in collaboration with an app on your smartphone or on your laptop, it keeps track of how many steps you take, how many calories you burn and consume, how much water you drink, and many other statistics you need to know to maintain optimal health each day. Wearables inform you about the optimal range of activity, nutrition, and rest you need to stay fit every day.

Better Relationships
Right now, billions of people around the world own a handheld personal computer with internet data communication, SMS, a broadband cellular network connection for voice, Wi-Fi support, and a mobile operating system.

The reason for this love affair with the smartphone is simple: it allows people to stay connected. Families can stay in touch with their loved ones. Friends can share their peak experiences with each other through photo-sharing. Additionally, you can use your smartphone to organize your whole day for higher levels of productivity and efficiency at home and at work.

Enhanced Learning & Creativity
Traditional education, despite its noble intentions, has transformed the joy of learning into a hard grind. Most students rely on cramming for finals but then forget almost everything they’ve learned after the exam.

Educational psychologists have discovered that we don’t learn well when we’re passively reading and listening to information; we learn best by actively doing something.

Today, creativity software is helping students at all grade levels to build understanding, stimulate imagination, and share understanding. The use of interactive e-books, websites, and presentations makes learning faster and easier.

Faster Neuromotor Skills 
Few parents, teachers, bosses, and other responsible adults have a high opinion about video games, equating them to the equivalent trance state induced by staring at a TV screen for hours. Yet Mental Floss, begs to differ. Video games, they insist, aren’t time wasters at all. Rather, they condition invaluable hand-eye coordination skills.

Here are five benefits of playing video games they mention:

  • It “trains” surgeons to make better incisions.
  • It helps those with dyslexia read and comprehend better.
  • It improves vision by making it easier to discern various shades of gray.
  • It enhances “grace under pressure,” which is an invaluable skill in a high-paced office.
  • It stirs a childlike curiosity in history and culture because of characters, themes, and places used in video game plots.

So, in conclusion, keeping up with tech is a noble pursuit. Tech often gets a bad rap for making us more frenetic and distracted. It’s often blamed for replacing face-to-face relationships with virtual ones, for disrupting our circadian rhythms, and for downgrading us to possessing the attention span of goldfish. Yet, in the final analysis, it’s a tool, and if we use it wisely, it can enhance many aspects of our lives.

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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