Humans Are Not Ready for the Internet of Things
What is the Internet of Things?
If you've been living under a rock it would be understandable if you were not familiar with the "Internet of Things". Truthfully speaking it is the name to describe the greatest shift in technology since the internet itself. The easiest way to explain it is a connection of all electronic devices and appliances to the internet, or you can call it the third phase of the internet. Everything from refrigerators, toasters, and televisions will be connected to the world wide web. If you are paying close enough attention you'll see that many of those things are already in play, like smart watches which can interface with your smartphones. However, there has never been anything on this scale since the internet became mainstream at the turn of the new millennium. There are already self-driving cars and there are also self-flying helicopters which will be part of the technological revolution scheduled to go live in just a couple of years. Once you truly understand how big of a revolution in technology this actually is, you'll be able to see how this is going to change the business model for many companies that sell or manufacture electronic devices and appliances. We are going to be live in the future that we watch in movies and read about in novels. However, the important question to ask is are we ready for this big of a shift in technology? How much time do we already spend staring at our smartphone screens to scroll for the next bit of entertainment that is going to satiate our instant gratification? There is no doubt that many people today are already slaves to their electronic devices. So, should we be weary of the internet of things or should we embrace this change?
Most People Should Proceed With Caution
It will be interesting to see how people will react to the new technology that is set to go mainstream by the year 2020. Most people have such short attention spans and yet want even more technological advances for them to get their hands on. How can people be so eager to step into the future when socially many still seem to be stuck in the past? There are so many basic social issues that many people still can not get passed so how in the world are those individuals going to wrap their minds around having even the most mundane electrical devices connected to the internet. Additionally, people already seem to be slaves to their electronic devices and giving people even more accessibility to the internet through virtually any electrical device seems controversial. On the one hand the rate that information will be expedited will prove to be astounding, and the convenience that the Internet of things will bring will be nothing short of revolutionary. However, we cannot neglect the fact that technology has proven to be a double edged sword in many respects. For every pro that exist with technology there are also cons but to what extent will the damage be done?
The Main Issue With the Internet of Things Will be Privacy
Even the internet that we all have access to now, has within it many drawbacks that come with user engagement. One of the main issues is Privacy. One of the greatest scandals in modern day history has to deal with Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the handling of American's profile data and how user information was sold to a third party. This information was then used for psychological warfare by those with nefarious intent in order to influence the 2016 elections. Issues with privacy has bred so much mistrust between people and social media that it has left a permanent scar on the psyche of the American people in terms of how freely one might choose to give out their private information. There has already been major concerns with portable home devices that can connect to the internet such as Alexa. There has been documented cases of the Amazon device recording the conversations of people when the device is not being used. Its safe to say that a healthy amount of paranoia is justified and probably necessary when in the presence of these devices. Now imagine having your regular every day appliance connected to the internet. What if someone were to hack into your device in order to record your conversations or use a webcam to get video footage of people in the comfort of their own homes? Now the purpose of this article is not to induce fear in anyone. The future is bright and should always be something that we all look forward to no matter what changes come with it. Its just that when something new arrives we are all so eager to jump on it without any notion of how we can be negatively affected by it, such as the changes that the Internet of Things will bring. As with anything in life it must be taken with a grain of salt in order to protect ourselves as best we can.
So You Think You're Ready For it?
The hope is that all will run smoothly in our day to day lives and that there shouldn't be too much to worry about in terms of this technology negatively affecting our lives. As cliche as it may sound the old adage rings very true, with great power comes great responsibility and nothing has proven more powerful than the technology that our generation has created. Most of us are truly looking forward to the advancements in technology that are going to be made. The implications that the Internet of Things has for everyday appliances could be astonishing. Imagine being able to connect medical devices to the internet, just think about how many lives can be saved instantly by being able to connect to the internet! There is no doubt that these are exciting time and we stand to gain so much. However with great power comes great responsibility and accountability has to be the main factor in maintaining an ethical use of everyday devices that are connected to the internet. Otherwise we the people shall bare the brunt of the many negative consequences of an increasingly technological world developing way faster than we can actually acclimate to. Although at this point in time, the reality has shown that humans aren't truly ready for the Internet of Things, we will have to get ready real fast because it is coming. If we can avoid making the same mistakes of the past then the Internet of Things will prove to be more beneficial than we could have ever hoped for.