Has technology actually improved our personal lives?
Professor Sandi Greene
23 February 2011
Professor Sandi Greene
23 February 2011
Has Technology Actually Improved our Personal Lives?
Technology, specifically computers connected to the Internet, have revolutionized modern business and created efficiencies never before seen. Without a doubt, organizations are able to accomplish tasks determined to be out of reach decades ago. As information travels faster and more reliably, barriers of distance disappear, allowing for easier globalization and unprecedented speed and accuracy of internal and external systems. With organization-wide enhancements in technology, the same advancements have been made on a personal level as well; online banking, smartphones and email come to mind as key developments. The ability to have all this information at your fingertips, in real-time, has improved the lives of its users immensely Technology has brought immense benefit to our lives and when used appropriately can allow for tremendous educational and efficiency opportunities. Primary focus will be made on the increasing use of smartphones (the BlackBerry effect), increased attachment to the workplace as a result and addiction to modern communication such as social media, blogs and news. Online banking has revolutionized personal finances, investments and retirement planning. The days of personal bankers, tellers and checkbooks have been all but erased from our lives, replaced by a website, at our fingertips capable of handling every element of personal finance available 24/7. From the comfort of one’s own home, an individual can transfer money anywhere in the world, shift their investment portfolio from emerging markets to national manufacturing, pay their utility bills and apply for a mortgage to buy their dream home. How does this make one more efficient? Having all these tools available has consolidated our personal finance vendors tremendously and reduced the amount of time needed to both manage and create key elements of our lives such as mortgages, bank accounts, credit cards and retirement accounts has allowed for vast time savings. Additionally, the speed of these tools has allowed individuals the ability to be more flexible, cautiously assume more risk and capitalize on opportunities better than ever before with the ability to quickly make adjustments and react to news and industry happenings. Of course with such ease of manipulation, comes increased risk. The main risk behind online banking, with much debate, is the security of one’s finances as it very much operates in the cloud and lacks tangible elements. With accounts available via a simple password, actually how secure are the funds held within? In the not too distant past, a financial advisor with a Masters degree, Series 7 criteria passed and knowledge unavailable and foreign to those investing almost exclusively managed personal investments such as IRA’s, 401k’s, mutual funds and Stock Investments. These advisors are paid handsomely to calculate risk, assist with retirement planning, goal setting and management of life savings to ensure security and profitability to those who entrust them. In the modern environment, investors have an overabundance of resources available to them, in fact (series 7 without education?). Firms such as E*Trade (www.etrade.com), Fidelity (www.fidelity.com) and Bank of America (www.bankofamerica.com) offer the ability to sign up for an online account in under 5 minutes, making the same information available to professional advisors available to everyone. With ease of use, however, come some negative elements as well. As the modern environment has given the general individual the proper tools to invest with ease, it has encouraged them to make serious financial decisions without the proper training. This has proved to inspire many to assume more than the traditional...
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