Nowadays, gadgets and gizmos surround us; they are ubiquitous in communication, transportation, occupations, personal interactions, and collaboration. Technology has been a hot topic for the last decade, popping up in almost all my conversations.
In my opinion, nostalgia is a way of resisting a world of constant change. As the world transforms, so do we. The more we resist, the more trouble we face dealing with our lives. I do not mean we have to completely embrace technology, but rather find a balanced way to use technology efficiently, which could enhance our daily lives.
Luckily, my dad introduced me to technology by buying my brothers and me a Commodore 128, one of the first personal computers. It was an expensive investment for my father back in the mid-eighties. Usually, we used it for gaming. However, this home computer allowed us to get used to a medium impacting the future. Once I started to code, e.g. change colors or movements, I became more curious.
Currently, my wife and I have a long distance relationship. She already relocated to L.A., while I have been waiting for my U.S. visa in Switzerland. We try to call each other daily, via either Skype or Apple FaceTime. These new technologies allow us to see and communicate with each other in real time, and both applications are free. They bridge a gap while we live apart for a few months; years ago, the same situation would have cost us a fortune in telephone bills.
In my teens, I followed a common educational path. I attended public schools and apprenticed as a clerk. In my late twenties and early thirties, I was interested in a university degree, like a Bachelor, with international exposure. However, I had neither the money nor time.
In the last five years, I discovered online education, which offers me more flexibility at less expense than an onsite school. I was surprised by the quality and reliability of the online programs. In that time, I have enjoyed collaborating with international students from all over the world. I finished my Bachelor in Marketing at the London School of Marketing, and my certificate in Digital Marketing Media at NYU, both partly online and partly onsite.
Simultaneously, I studied basic Chinese and improved my English over Skype. The distance learning allowed me to have one-to-one lessons with my teachers from home. This new way of learning was impossible when I grew up.
Social media platforms have seen similar change. Usually, the discussion starts here and becomes heated. Some people argue the social aspect is continuously decreasing because the interaction is increasingly artificial. Recently, social media platforms have come under attack for racist posts, especially here in Europe. These new platforms offer minorities an online stage to spread their hate speech, increasing the pressure to regulate the Internet. Hopefully, that scenario will not happen, since it would mean death to free Internet.
Nevertheless, I enjoy staying in touch with my friends from around the world, and reading their posts, which make me feel part of their life and vice versa.
These are only a few examples of how technology enhances my life: I could go on for quite some time. In short, I believe people have to find their own ways of using technologies to improve their lives. Allowing technology to take over completely could lead to addiction. Once you find balance, you can appreciate the merits of technology.
- http://www.myngle.com (Online languages learning platform)
- http://www.echineselearning.com (Online Chinese language platform)
- http://www.nyu.edu (NYU offers various online programs)
- http://www.londonschoolofmarketing.com/london-school-of-marketing-home (Specialized in both, traditional and digital marketing programs)