How technology is changing the way we live, the way we work, the way we are

Good, old days?
I am old enough to remember having to get up to switch channels on the TV. To having to check an actual answering machine for phone messages, because people used to call me on a LANDLINE! I used to help my grandmother mince meat using a contraption that did not use electricity, but good old-fashioned manpower. Yes, I am that old.  

Modern helpers
I am grateful that I can now use a remote control to switch channels, especially as there are so many channels, and I am completely indebted to my smartphone – I think I might be a little too attached to it, the clue is in my kids’ constant complaints that I am not listening because I am tapping away at my phone’s screen. Any piece of technology that makes my life easier and which doesn’t require a manual to understand it, is fine with me.  

As for the workplace, should you work outside of the home, can you imagine the horror of not having a laptop or PC? To go back to how old I am, I remember the days when people used typewriters, and I was one of those people.  

Home Futures
However, a visit to the exhibition Home Futures at London’s Design Museum (on until 24 March 2019), made me question how much technology is always a good thing in the home. Okay, the remote control might help me sit still on the sofa a little longer, but I am also always on high alert because of constant little electronic noises, from my phone, from my dishwasher, from the washing machine…  

The exhibition highlights how we live today, with different rooms displaying shifts in the way the modern home now functions. As the exhibition literature states: ‘The 1950s’ dream of the fully automated home is now with us as ‘smart’ devices control more and more domestic functions… Today the traditional notion of ‘home’ endures, but we lead increasingly mobile lifestyles powered by Wi-Fi, smartphones and apps.’  

Modern dystopia
As I wandered from room to room I found myself increasingly unnerved by the way we live today. But that doesn’t mean I am going to go around switching anything off, and my phone is on 24 hours a day should you need to reach me – knowing what is good for me, and doing what is good for me are often, sadly, two very different things. But if you, as a wise person, have mastered the art of literally switching off, then congratulations! It must be lovely living in a home that isn’t always bleeping at you.