Technology has changed the world and our individual lives in a virtually countless list of ways. Despite this, it is still common for people to bemoan these achievements. Additionally, news outlets like to speculate about the danger of robotics. With all of this negativity, it is easy to forget about the perks associated with technology, including the fact that Lifehack and the entire Internet wouldn’t exist without it. Therefore, it’s a good idea to take a few moments to recognize a few pieces of technology that are dedicated solely to making life easier and more secure. Without these advancements, everything from deadly illnesses to identity theft would be much more prevalent.
1. Improved healthcare
Technology and healthcare go together better than peanut butter and jelly. In fact, the tech world has boosted healthcare so much that it would be impossible to list all of the positive changes that have been made in the last year alone. However, the invention of apps and wearables that help people monitor everything from their blood sugar levels to their pulse rate is definitely one of the best healthcare related technological breakthroughs of the past decade. Patients are now able to report data remotely to their doctor, and they can also keep a closer eye on medical conditions. There are still some issues processing all of this data, but look for this to be resolved in the near future.
2. Safer online payments
Everyone has heard about the rise of identity theft and cyber-crime, but there are many ways for Internet users to protect themselves. For example, the Apple Pay app allows users to store their credit card data and other personal information in one secured resource. From there, users can make payments from their phone or online by validating the process via their fingerprint. Other methods for protecting payment data include utilizing services such as PayPal. No matter which option you choose, this type of technology can help keep your information secure while also presenting an easier payment method at the same time.
3. Online grocery shopping
Are you too busy to spend an hour at the grocery store each week? Many stores are now offering online shopping and curbside pickup. Not only does this help busy parents, but it also provides a huge relief to people with autism and other sensory processing complications. To make a good thing even better, stores such as Kroger keep a log of each purchase in the user’s account so that they can easily repeat an order with a single click.
From a security standpoint, parking lots are one of the most common spots for abductions and sexual assaults. Not having to get out of your vehicle will make you much more secure, especially if you keep your doors locked while you wait for the store employee to bring the groceries to your car.
4. The rise of smart cities
If you are concerned about being eco-friendly, yet also want to embrace technology, a smart city may be the perfect choice for your next move. These cities are designed to take advantage of technological knowledge in order to reduce each building’s consumption of natural resources. Seeing key data about water usage and electric consumption on a single dashboard installed in your home or business is definitely a good way to ensure that you meet your eco goals.
5. Reduce wasted resources with used items
The Internet makes it possible to find almost anything you could possible think of. Even better, most of these items and services can be rented or purchased used. This is a great way to save money, but it also goes much further when you consider how much waste is kept out of landfills with this option. You can find everything from used textbooks to free manure by searching Craigslist and your local Freecycle board, which makes this another great use of modern technology.
6. Exercise incentive
Exercise may not be easy, but doing it on a regular basis can offer you a more secure future in the sense that you will be less likely to deal with crippling physical issues. Innovative companies have recognized the need to offer a strong exercise incentive to help people help themselves. As a result, technology keeps finding new ways to give people a much-needed boost. One of the best recent examples is the augmented reality game Pokemon Go. The popular app rewards players for walking, and this has led people to walk as much as six miles per day in search of new and rare Pokemon.
7. Telecommuting opportunities
Do you prefer the idea of working from home? There are many perks to doing this, including reducing your carbon footprint, saving money on gasoline and having a lower risk of being in an automobile accident. Thanks to high speed Internet, laptops, smartphones and project management software, 45 percent of U.S. employees are now able to telecommute at least part of the time. Instead of driving through rush hour traffic and arriving at the office frazzled, these workers can minimize their stress, increase their productivity and work comfortably in their pajamas or favorite pair of jeans.
8. Instant answers to everything
Everyone has thought of a random question or gotten into a debate about whether or not something actually happened. Before the Internet, these questions and debates could last a long time, and there was often no clear answer. Now, though, you can look anything up on Google and get instantaneous results. This has definitely made life easier, and it’s also a great educational tool for people of all ages. The time savings alone of finding something online versus having to make phone calls or go to the library is huge, but don’t forget that you can expand upon the quick answers the Internet provides by reading books dedicated to the topic in question.
9. Bringing families together
Email, Skype, texting, Facetime and social networking sites give people from around the world the easiest possible way to stay connected. Interestingly, studies have shown that people who use Facebook on a regular basis have a 10 percent increase in the closeness of their connection to family and friends. This helps highlight the potential of technology to bring people together. Family members who are spread across the globe can join family gatherings via Skype. Additionally, shared calendars help families avoid scheduling conflicts.
10. GPS makes it difficult to get lost
We’ve all heard horror stories of people making a bad driving decision due to the instructions from their GPS unit, but these incidents are definitely not the norm. Instead, GPS giving us step-by-step voice directions to get from point A to point B makes it easier for every driver to keep their eyes on the road instead of looking at a map. This makes driving safer, and it is also helpful by telling you when you’ll arrive, which roads to avoid and the fastest possible route.
This list doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the many ways that technology improves our lives and keeps us more secure, and that’s exactly why these innovations are such important game-changers. After all, technology has been created for almost any scenario you can imagine. Therefore, even though you may benefit from occasional tech breaks, it’s worth noting that you can also regain focus with technology.
Featured photo credit: VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com