cdnfarmer, Aug 4, 2018 : @Ruby G. tagged. As instructed, a new thread was created for the long response. [Let's Talk] Does technology improve the quality of life? Quality of life (QoL) is defined by many ways depending on the source. Ultimately, a summarized definition of QoL is a “state of complete physical, mental, social well-being (WHO) including the notion of belonging and satisfaction with family, education, employment, safety, and environment (2). Keeping these definitions in mind, technology has improved and hindered the quality of life. Depending on the person, these effects will vary. Technology has made many improvements including: Education Many useful resources are available online or on TV. There are good educational programs that parents can watch with their kids to help them learn life skills (e.g. how to deal with emotions). My kid was shy and needed additional examples on how to interact with other kids. We watched Napkin Man (a kid show dealing with emotions). The show provided the information in a way he understood. We discussed how he could use the information. He then used that information when he was in the play gym. It helped him connect with others and boosted his confidence. Therefore, his QoL improved. Having said that, using the TV as a babysitter and without personal interactions, may limit their creativity or hinder their social skills. Therefore, there is a place for technology in children lives but it has greatest effects when it is monitored and used in role playing. Once school starts, technology helps schools communicate with parents. In the later years of education, an increased number of classes are offered online. Many people therefore get educated without leaving their homes and families, improving their QoL. Technology also affect the physical infrastructure of the schools. Many of the old school rooms with chalk, erasers, and chalkboards have changed into “smart rooms” with white boards and many electronics. These “smart rooms” may have several advantages by providing: Access to many resources available on the internet. Screens that are easier to see throughout the room compared to the chalkboards. Better audio throughout the room. Opportunities to connect with key people around the world to discuss specific topics. Thus, a person could argue that these technologies provide opportunities that were not available in the past. On the other hand, schools use to go on more field trips providing kids the opportunities to see new places, learn by doing hands-on activities, and experience travelling. Depending on what is important, you may favour one opinion over the other. However, it can be taken “as is” and see both sides of the coin. Technology is everywhere. It is difficult to get rid of it or pretend it is not there. It’s probably best to help kids learn how to use technology appropriately, disconnect from technologies, and reconnect with nature. There is something to be said about reading a book, being in a play centre with other kids, and going on field trips to develop social skills and knowledge. Numerous platforms and Accessibility of information Most people have a smartphone, computer, and perhaps a tablet. In some cases, we have become slaves to those devices. Everything we do seems to be tied with those items. Many tasks are automated. However with automation, we may lose some brain functions. For example, our ability to remember key numbers are lessen since we rely on our phones to keep those numbers. We also miss out on important learning such as when daylight saving changes or how to manually change settings on our devices because these processes are automatically done. We settle for what the algorithm provides us. Transportation Thirty years ago, we used a road map to find directions, the best route, and calculate distances. There were lots of skills gained using these maps. For example, using and interpreting a legend on the map to determine types of roads and distances. Today, satellite maps and street view help us find our destinations. Google Maps will also provide information on amenities in the area. Wow, this information is very useful and can help organize outings. Traffic notifications are readily available too. In fact, Google Maps will provide you with the quickest route to your destination based on traffic flow. Thus, these types of notifications are benefits of the technological advancements. Farming There are increasing technologies available in farming. Simply adding a GPS tracker on top of the tractor helps ensure the proper amount of fertilizer is applied evenly on the field. The savings are big! There are even fancy equipment that will “drive” your combine down the field in a straight line. Imagine 100 years ago, farmers did most work by hand or with horses or limited tools. The equipment and tools have evolved to make things faster. Interestingly, farmers did lots of physical labour and they were healthy. A learning to keep in mind: be active and do not solely rely on technology. Health Technologies have made leaps and bounds in this field. There are so many that I will limit my examples to the diabetes field. Insulin was discovered in the 1920s. Since then, it saved millions of lives. Then, home blood glucose monitors arrived. These monitors have evolved so much that they require only a little drop of blood and provide results within 5 seconds! Now, there are radio frequency scanners that read sugar levels. This is a huge improvement that help people check sugars frequently and maintain sugars by providing real time values. In addition, insulin pumps were designed to mimics the body’s insulin production. The technology provided in these pumps have helped hundreds of thousands, if not more, gain control over their diabetes. At every step along the way, improved sugar control also improved the QoL for many people with diabetes. Summary Technology can be great. It has helped in education, health, work places, transportation, and other areas. There are many examples that show how technology improved QoL. Regardless of what aspect technology has played or is playing in your life, there needs to be a balance and promote quality in personal interactions with other humans.