If you’ve got a boss who likes to ping you on the phone at any time of the day or night or you’re someone who worries about how data about you is collected and used, you might be a little skeptical about the benefits of technology. While there are certainly drawbacks to our increasingly-surveilled world, most of those can be managed, whether it’s by taking steps to protect your privacy better or finding a new job. In the meantime, there are an awful lot of ways you can make technological developments from the past decade or so work for you to enhance your life, from the simple to the dazzling.
1. Money Management
At the simpler end of things, managing your money has never been so easy. Do you want to know how much money you need to put away monthly to retire by a certain age? Are you trying to decide whether you should keep renting or buy a house? Online calculators can help you determine the answer. Maybe you are considering refinancing your student loans and want to know how much you can save. With a student loan calculator, you can figure out how different interest rates would change your repayment plan. Technology can help you make a budget, even going so far as to tracking your spending for you if you find it too tedious or anxiety-provoking to do it yourself. From online banking to investing online to filing your taxes and more, it’s never been so easy to take care of your financial life as it is today.
It sounds like a fantasy, but self-driving cars are still being developed and tested and are likely to become a reality someday, although perhaps not as soon as some investors would prefer. In fact, if you’ve bought a car in the past few years, it probably included some safety features that use a similar technology to autonomous vehicles, such as a system that detects when you are drifting into another lane or when you might collide with an object. By eliminating human error, which is responsible for the vast majority of accidents, autonomous vehicles will make traveling somewhere by car significantly safer. In the security industry, technology has improved safety by leaps and bounds. Instead of traditional locks that can be broken or keypads that can be hacked, your home and car can be locked and unlocked with facial recognition or fingerprint technology.
Thanks to technology, education has never been so accessible. If you want to get a college degree but can’t afford to move to another city or work full time, you can take online classes. Many prestigious universities now offer substantial parts of their curriculum online. If you just want to learn more about a particular topic, you can access free courses online at a variety of sites. If you’re enrolled in classes but struggling and can’t find a tutor locally, there are plenty available online. This can be particularly beneficial if you are studying a language and want to work with a native speaker. The use of technology in K-12 classrooms has exploded, allowing students to do everything from working with virtual or augmented reality to visualize the biology of the human body to connecting with astronauts on the space station to watching theater performances in distant cities and more.
From researching and purchasing plane tickets to reserving an apartment for a week in your dream city to apps that find restaurants, translate foreign languages and help you navigate new places, travel is more comfortable and more accessible than ever thanks to technology. You can research every aspect of your trip before you go and even use dating apps, apps that connect people with similar interests, forums, or social media to help you connect with locals while on your vacation.