It’s hard to think of a world without tablets and smart phones just as much it is difficult to think how mankind survived before Facebook and orkut. The need for humans to interact with each other, the urge to know what is happening with the world and their friends at all times and the feeling that I am not alone in this world has been more or less satiated with these platforms.
Earlier, a simple telephone call would do the trick but it was not possible to remain in touch with many people who formed a part of our lives at school, college, work and the marketplace. Today, Tablets, Smartphones and eBook readers have fulfilled that need to a large extent.
The Evolution of tablets was a gradual one with many false starts before the Tech pundits figured out what to do. The main person behind this revolution was Steve Jobs with his now famous “i Series” viz The iPod, iPhone and the iPad. However, a lot of credit should go to Amazon for their Kindle eBook reader and the books ecosystem that they developed which really kick started the E-reading revolution.
The others followed suit but the honours go to the originators. However, with so many devices available, each doing a part of what the other could (you can read a book on the iPod or the Smartphone, but the display size is small or you could make a phone on a Tablet/Tablet PC with a 3G connection, browse the net and do your office and personal work with ease ) Knowing which device to buy and what to buy became a big issue. ( Tablet PC, VS eBook Readers helps you make that decision) and buying these devices became a drain on the pocket. The craze has become so widespread that it is now a distraction. People just buy the devices because they are so cool and do a lot, but no one asks the question, Do I Need It?. That takes us to the question – What are the good points of this Revolution-
(a) People are able to connect instantaneously with each other.
(b) Boredom levels have reduced because you always have something to do.
(c) It does improve productivity if you are not distracted by it.
(d) Good for technological evolution and progress towards more natural forms of interaction with devices.
(e) Decreased usage of paper.
(a) Economic Hardship – people buy because its new and not because they need it. That definitely puts a strain on their pocket.
(b) Increase in Crime – Many cases nowadays deal with theft of devices and personal data on them.
(c) Increased Distraction – How many times have accidents occurred with some driver talking on the phone or a teen banging into a pole because he/she was updating their Facebook status.
(d) Increased Stress and Ill Health – People have become compulsive users – they wake up to their mobile, check their laptop/Tablet for the latest news and email and other updates and the worst of them all, continue to work even when they are on holiday… what a life!
Have these devices improved our life – Yes, in a way. We are far more connected than ever. These devices have made the world a smaller place. Earlier, one needed a desktop to access email but now, all what a desktop can do, tablets and mobile can do. Information flows faster, response to critical events have improved and has definitely saved lives. however, there is a flipside.
Have these devices harmed our way and quality of life – I would say YES as the effects of Technology can be debilitating (Physically, emotionally and mentally). But they are here to stay and there is no escaping that fact. The only thing to be done is to use it effectively and judiciously and be its master rather than letting technology be our master.