July 15, 2020

Technology Convenience or Threat


There comes a time when you truly must stop and wonder if we are better off today compared to the initial creation of the World Wide Web.

Be honest and admit to yourselves that at one time it was exciting to hear the dial up service coming through the speakers of your desktop computer and that you waited patiently to hear those words, “You’ve Got Mail”.

The thought of being able to research anything by accessing the world of information simply by typing in www.whatever.com was incredible and empowering. As technology has evolved through these many years we are also learning just how dangerous it can be as well.

At the beginning there was no fright of identity theft, location indicator, internet pirates, hackers as such. We were all taught that computers can simplify daily tasks and various programs can help us manage our daily lives.

Whether you chose Apple products or Microsoft products was irrelevant. Well, maybe except to them. People were able to choose whatever was in their comfort zone. Usually people were drawn to software products they utilized in their employment positions. Still, setting up those wonderful tools of organization were great to have at home.

Email was simple. Communicating with family and friends was off and running and we were able to connect and rekindle long distant relationships. Life seemed smooth flowing.

Fast forward to “wireless” technology, laptop computers and cell phones. Do you remember your first cell phone? Most were bulky and reception was not the best as it was good only within certain distances. Battery life was limited as well, which meant the need for a “homebased” charger. Those of us that worked with Mobile Phones were also required to carry Beepers. For anyone not knowing, a Beeper was a battery-operated device used to “page” you in the need of an emergency or workrelated activity. The caller was required to call the device and put in their return telephone number. There after it was up to you when you returned the call.

Today, however, Beepers a/k/a Pagers are gone. Cell phones can do most anything you want them to do except prepare dinner. You can order dinner or anything else accessible “online”. It seems someone should have come up with a different name than cell phone because with the proper software, excuse me, applications made available in most phone plans you can find anything or anyone. Suddenly the option of having a “mobile” phone was outdated.

Essentially people are carrying their desktops in their purses and pockets.
Access to the internet had never been easier. Life was easier too with all the new applications being offered. Shopping from virtually anywhere across the globe became the norm. Just scroll through a company web site and add to your “cart” whatever you choose. Upon checkout it will figure out your total including tax and shipping, enter your payment option and just like magic your order is processed. However, it was not only processed but now you can “track” its delivery. Expediting our wants and needs has become so simple or has it?

Enter the dark side. While access was growing no one thought seriously about the consequences or exposure to a new level of thieves, Hackers. Security on the internet fell victim to individuals smart enough to break through the invisible lines of the wireless community and you have unknowingly invited them into your world. Unintentionally as it maybe it happens every day. The worst is stolen identity. This allows Hackers to apply for loans, credit cards, and almost anything else they can program with your name on it. Accessing your banking information is the most frightening. The potential of losing your life’s savings and your means of living day to day as most of us do just jumped to the highest step of panic. But wait, the recovery part can be even uglier. While someone else is enjoying your financial status for a comfortable life you are left to clean up the mess with creditors, the credit bureau and anyone else who may be empowered to soil your good name.

Now enter the social world of Facebook and Instagram and possibly of few others. Communication with long distance friends and family just became even easier. Sending (posting) pictures and sharing experiences is a wonderful idea. Staying connected. Yes, who wouldn’t enjoy this? Ready, set, sign up and go. It’s perfectly safe.

Again, security and the protection of personal information has gone sideways. Now “hackers” can copy your profile and establish an account with your picture and fake posts to insult your friends and the world all in your good name. Basically, what was created to have fun has turned into another nightmare. I suppose we do ourselves in by posting way too much information on our “personal” pages but if we can control who sees it, reads it and/or responds to it we should have a reasonable confidence of security. Once more, criminals are one step ahead.

Wireless has become the new norm. Most everyone you see daily has their heads buried in their telephones. Conversations have turned into text messages. Hint, hint, a message doesn’t ramble on paragraphs at a time. People are disengaging with each other in lieu of wireless devices.
Is it any wonder why some of us feel like humanity is slipping away? Customer service is reduced to menus and “please select” options. Drive through restaurants, though convenient, have us talking to a wall. Retail stores are having us “check ourselves out”. Removing people and replacing them with more machines.

Society is not going in the right direction. We are giving up our lives and interaction with people for the convenience of a faceless screen, beeping sounds and wireless connections. Is it any wonder that people don’t know how to behave anymore? Is it any wonder that people don’t know how to speak to each other? Is it any wonder the criminal element of the world is getting stronger with each “wireless” transaction or photo posted or news (media) article?
With all the nonsense posted on the internet and the multiple media outlets sharing “their” thoughts and opinions, is there any wonder why people get confused, embattled with friends, family and neighbors? No one truly knows what to believe anymore. All thanks to the World Wide Web. www.unsafe-everything.com.


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