connected city

Historians have been unable to find any moment since time in memorial where human civilization reached such a monumental peak with regards to technological advances.

We have been climbing up a mountain reach without knowing where the peak is. There’s comfort in that for the overly ambitious and apprehension for the fearful. No matter which side of the spectrum you find yourself on, there’s no denying that technology has inherently redefined our way of life.

Let us talk about some of the drastic changes that have occurred within the last half-century or so.

Digital Currency

The change from gold coins to paper bills happened quite some time ago and it was only logical that the trend would be towards a more virtual form of currency. After all, the bills that we carry in our pockets are nothing more than receipts having being assigned a certain value in terms of its gold equivalent.

The twenty first century is slowly but gradually adopting the use of digital wallets in order to make transactions. Mobile banking has long become the norm in many countries and states because of the ease and convenience with which trade can be conducted, on a national and international level.

One may think that this is a dangerous road to be on and they are probably right but then again, paper currency wasn’t a very good idea either. You spend your life amassing it and then the stock market plummets, or the currency devalues; either because of overprinting or dwindling exports. All of a sudden, you find that the pile of cash in your mattress amounts to nothing.

So, instead of crying over the changing times, it’s imperative that we adapt, evolve and capitalize on the many benefits it affords us.

Media Culture

The most drastic change we have seen in current times is in the advent of virtual media. People don’t read newspapers anymore because they don’t need to. Everything you want to know is available to you at a distance of just a single tap on your Smartphone.

The ticking hand of global politics is in the perfect sync with the travel of rapid information to and from every corner of the world. The entertainment industry has boomed into a giant and Social Media has become an encompassing monster that is at the crux of this culture. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram generate traffic by the hundreds of millions and are the primary user traffic resource for advertisers worldwide.

New and improved gaming consoles, like the Xbox and the Playstation offer everything that the adolescent mind could ask for, and video streaming services have almost made cable TV obsolete.

Whether this change is good or bad is something that is being furiously debated. We are not going to get bogged down in that argument. Regardless of how you feel about it, there is no doubt that it has flipped our world upside down.

Travel and Tourism

The advent of gas powered vehicles cranked up the speed of civilization like never before. This gave rise to a new age of commercial tourism because all of a sudden there was no part of the globe that was out of bounds.

The digital age further expanded upon this idea by introducing travel apps that allows individuals to browse the most appropriate tourist destinations, check hotel bookings, get acquainted with the landscape, find reasonable accommodations, get in touch with tour guides and avail travel packages within personal budgets. In effect, it’s a virtual tour before the actual tour so you can get a taste before you decide on the meal.

This has revolutionized tourism across the world, and in many cases resulted in a big boom for the economy of many countries and states.

Travel apps in particular have made it easy to navigate the cluttered and congested urban sprawls of city centers. The apps are constantly updated to let you know about restaurants and hotels in the vicinity of the region you’re touring. You can add your own filters to narrow down the searches and therefore find whatever fits your needs or limitations.

Academic Learning

When the concept of “online classes” and “online degrees” first appeared before us, raucous roars of laughter were heard in response. A few years down the line and the laughter subsided into giggles. And now, almost decades later, the concept has laid down firm roots in the tracts of society and nobody has the galls to rebuke or mock the notion.

Virtual learning has been given a tremendous boost with the normalization of electronic devices like laptops coupled with the fact that the internet has become such an integral part of our daily lives: whether personal or professional. Wi-Fi and 4G really put a dent in it.

Now, it’s come to a place where teachers and students can interact easily, quickly and very conveniently anytime, anyplace without worrying about geographical distance. Knowledge can be imparted much more efficiently by utilizing the numerous tools technology has provided us with.

PowerPoint presentations, E-books, Online guides, Online encyclopedias and YouTube Lectures have made students’ lives abundantly easier. E-books in particular are in vogue. While many may argue that a traditional “book” has more inherent value, there is no denying that it is infinitely easier to save a thousand E-books on your Smartphone or Laptop and open them anytime you need them, rather than devoting a whole library to house them.

The same is true with regards to admissions and application forms, all of which can be conducted online.

What does the Future hold?

It’s hard to say what the future has in store for us. We have microwaves to warm our food, refrigerators to keep it cool, air conditioners to keep us cool, vehicles to drive us and planes to fly us, antibiotics to treat us and 3D films to entertain us. It’s difficult to ask for more and yet the wheel never stops.

Bitcoin is a fairly new development that might revolutionize currency and do away with paper bills for good. Holograms and teleporters may seem like science fiction at the moment, yet so did mobile touch screen just a decade ago.

So, hold on to your seats because the world may yet get weirder.

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