As an avid fan of all things technological I will have to admit upfront that I love it. On a daily basis I need to monitor my use and consequent lack of exercise in order to try and restore some balance in my life and look after my physical and mental health. But that is my choice. I know the risks and can weigh up the benefits because I like to think I have enough information and knowledge to make those decisions.
Unlike some people (celebs) who seem to take great risks with their careers by posting inappropriate and often confidential stuff on social media sites just to get themselves noticed, I try not to use technology for this reason. However increasingly my job and my family depend upon on-line or network communication.
At a recent Union Learning Reps Conference I was made aware of how much technology will become a necessity for the future. People will only be able to claim benefits ( renamed as universal credits) on-line or book appointments with doctors or other professionals for advice. Even policy and law is now made freely available on-line and a lot of research (or grey literature) is only published on-line.
We can also catch up on our favourite TV programmes and even publish ourselves on the World Wide Web ( through blogging and YouTube), if we feel the urge. But what about the people who cannot afford a computer or have no knowledge or desire to find out how to work one. How will they manage their health and social care needs and will anyone bother to find out? It is a concern of mine although I do not always admit it that technology might become the Big Brother of the future, watching everything we do in cyberspace and reminding us when we need to do things for ourselves. I am already getting text messages to remind me about hospital appointments which are not always accurate I might add. Will we as society go along with this big conspiracy? I guess a lot of people have already found this out and it will put off others from even getting started. Technology has not only taken us in it has also spat a few people out. Will this be the stigma of the future – the technologically unwashed of society no longer being in contact with the local community and cast out into the wilderness of the real world? Scary!