Over the last decade, technology has progressed in every field imaginable. From nanotechnology to remote-controlled contraceptive chips, technology really has expanded and changed at a rate faster than ever. Only a few years ago I remember owning one of those classic Nokia Brick phones, but now Smart phones are capable of acting as standalone computers: from having ultra-fast 4G connection to a motion coprocessor capable of recording how many steps one takes in a day.
Only 20 years ago, personal computers were becoming sufficiently affordable for families to own, but in today’s society it’s not uncommon to spot primary school children with smartphones packed with countless apps which seem to do every single thing imaginable. The internet has been easier to access than ever: with one click of a button one can see and hear their friend or a relative on the other side of the world and send them a virtual chicken.
I’m sixteen, and doing an internship at Filtered, so it would be appropriate to discuss how my generation uses technology. Adults often assume that the majority of our generation uses technology primarily for social media: sites such as Twitter and Facebook, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. At school, technology has evolved as well, with interactive Smart Boards becoming a more common occurrence: these often make lessons more engaging and interesting. As software has become a dominant player in our economy, code has started to be introduced as a compulsory element within IT classes at schools which could eventually become a standalone subject as important as maths or English. Music has also made several developments: websites such as Soundcloud and Spotify allow instant music streaming and sharing - something used by me and my friends on a daily basis. In fact, I’m listening to a friend’s Drum ‘n’ Bass playlist whilst writing this. The development in social media has expanded the functionality of websites such as Facebook: no longer is it a website for staying in touch and sharing photos, but now businesses can use it to promote themselves and my generation uses it for sharing solutions to homework in private groups with fellow classmates and to organise events (such as house parties).
Gaming, something that I personally enjoy (like many young people my age) has come a long way in my lifetime. I remember as a child of 7 I never really owned any electronic devices, but one day, I walked past a kid at my local swimming pool playing an 8 bit driving game on his Gameboy Color. So I asked my mum about it and it turns out that there were these portable devices on which you could play games. I was fascinated and I had to learn more! So my mum told me that I could get one: I was super excited! I remember I would play day in, day out. Often I went to my older sister’s flat on weekends to hit up Super Mario Sunshine on her boyfriend’s GameCube. Almost a decade has passed since those days and those low resolution games have evolved to fully immersive 3D environments which are controlled by motion tracking technology.
It’s not only the entertainment side of things which has vastly changed, practical technology has also changed the way we interact with the environment: the dramatic developments in solar photovoltaic panels have significantly reduced the cost of solar power, to the extent where it has become cheaper than coal: even if the coal cost absolutely nothing.
But has this all lead to a positive outcome? There has been a huge rise in recreational screen time: the average child in the UK is said to spent 6 hours and 37 minutes in front of a screen. I was recently fortunate enough to attend a talk by Dr Aric Sigman school, who explained the link between screen time and evolving medical conditions in later life. I couldn’t agree more, I find that my generation (myself included) do in fact spend a ridiculous amount of time in front of a screen.
It’s commonly argued whether we should limit the extent to which we trust machines to keep us alive. It’s great that Dialysis machines and other forms of life support are used to keep people alive, but advances in military technology have resulted in controversy: military drones are used to bomb cities in the Middle East whilst their pilots are sitting in a control room somewhere in the United States disconnected from reality - similar to a video game.
Technology is amazing, it really is. However I personally think that boundaries should be set to prevent it all getting out of hand - but hey, who am I to judge?
Filtered is an award-winning online training platform which personalizes learning material for each user. By asking users questions about their role, aspiration and proficiency, the platform’s machine learning algorithm is able to pinpoint skills gaps and filter out material that the user doesn’t need or already knows. This minimises time spent training, maximises the impact of learning and increases productivity.
Over 800,000 users have studied our Microsoft and Business skills courses and our clients include many blue chip firms. We also have a learning recommendation engine - globalfilter - which connects content to learners based on role, career aspirations and organisational priorities, in less than 30 seconds.