Do you feel like technology has changed everything? Growing up in the last 3 decades has given my generation a front-row seat to how fast the world is changing. From rotary phones and cassette players to iPhones and iPods to AR/VR and self-driving vehicles, technology has consistently evolved over the years. But what effect has this evolution had on us, the direct beneficiaries? This blog focuses on how technology is influencing our collective behavior over recent years.
5 Ways Technology Is Influencing Our Behavior
Technology has changed many of the conventional ways we took for granted. We approach our entertainment differently. My son spends more time on Netflix watching on-demand TV shows than live channels on Spectrum TV. This is just one aspect of our lives that technology has changed. But does anyone stop to wonder how this affects our lives and behaviors? Here are 4 ways technology is influencing and will continue to influence human behavior:
- Drones and Bird’s Eye Views
- Autonomous Vehicles and Road Safety
- 3D Printing and Modern Consumers
- Fitness Trackers and Wellness.
Let’s examine these in more detail below.
Drones and Bird’s Eye Views
Drones have been around for more than 2 decades. However, they have grown beyond their original uses in military surveillance and tactical operations. These days, drones have more and more applications in leisure, especially vlogging, travel blogging, and extreme sports. Thanks to better technology, drones today are sturdier, more durable, faster, and more maneuverable than ever before.
One of the ways drones can influence our behavior is in e-commerce. Retail giants like Amazon have famously considered the use of drones for express deliveries, planting online purchases right on your doorstep. FedEx is very vocal in lobbying for free access to American airspace for drones. This would transform the logistics company’s operations significantly. On the consumer side, it will start to modify behavior. Customers will begin to expect faster deliveries and will be less patient when it comes to delays, returns, or other logistical hiccups.
Autonomous Vehicles and Road Safety
Self-driving vehicles used to be the domain of science fiction. Does anyone remember Knight Rider? Who wouldn’t want a self-driving, intelligent car that can communicate with its owner? The good news is, you don’t have to wait very long to get one. Giants like Google and Tesla have already come up with working prototypes of self-driving vehicles that are virtually autonomous. But consider the implications.
Autonomous cars are less likely to crash because the risk of human error is much lower. However, that also means that we will begin to depend more on the vehicle’s onboard computer and sensors than our own senses. Sure, a vehicle that can take you from point A to point B by itself is very convenient. But what would you do in the event of system failure, if you don’t know how to drive? What if you couldn’t manually override a computer error that may lead to damage, even if you could see it coming? The more we rely on technology to do things like driving for us, the less proficient we become at them. We may well have a generation that cannot drive a car at all, depending on computers for transport.
3D Printing and Modern Consumers
3D printers are one of the most important technological developments of our time. With the right materials and schematics, you can literally print anything. From manufacturing car parts that are out of production to special tools aboard the International Space Station, 3D printers have a lot to offer.
But consider for a moment, the effect they will have on consumer behavior. Instead of buying a new shovel, I could simply purchase a schematic and print as many shovels as I want. Instead of buying building materials, I could quite literally 3D print a house for myself. This will shift consumer focus away from manufacturers and retailers. Instead, it could lead to a rise in self-sufficiency where you can print whatever you need instead of buying it.
Fitness Trackers and Wellness
Wearable technology is more than a novelty. It has several practical, real-world use cases that we take for granted. Fitness trackers can track your physical activity during the course of the day. They offer you information on how many calories you’ve burnt, your heart rate, and your daily fitness goals.
This has led to an increased focus on individual health. Fitness trackers encourage people to work out and live healthily. In some cases, meeting daily fitness goals can become almost like an obsession. However, many would argue that a shift in behavior towards health and fitness is good, even if you become a fitness fanatic.
Of course, technology comes with numerous benefits. I can theoretically control all aspects of my smart home from heating to lighting to security provided they are all connected over my Charter Spectrum internet home network. But take a moment to ponder how reliant we have become on certain forms of technology. The impact technology has on changing behaviors is very real, and something that one should always consider.