Byte Me Article 119 – Hurry, society to keep youth sane and safe

Hurry, Society to Keep Youth Sane and Safe

Where are we going with Information Technology in the next 10 years?  Keeping pace with changes in IT is at its all-time hardest right now – there have never been so many new technologies being thrust upon the market.

Will this pace of technological innovation slow down – I don’t really think so.  Are all of these changes good – again, unfortunately I don’t really think so?  If we look at the last 5 years and the 5 years before then it is plain that the rate of change and innovation is speeding up.

During the previous 5 years we mostly saw computers and Internet connections speed up to the point that we could browse the Internet without much delay as well as using our PC to watch TV or movies with good resolution and definition.  The last 5 years however has seen a massive expansion of portable devices such as smart phones and tablets that are also able to access the Internet, send and receive emails, make phone calls, play movies/music and even entertain us with games.

2013-04-13 Byte Me Article 119 - IT Leaps & Bounds

At the same time, to take advantage of these portable and personal devices we are seeing a massive trend toward new forms of online social media (keeping people in touch with each other) such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter – and a plethora of new online games.  I used the word ‘unfortunately’ before since our legal systems, parental controls, school policies and societal values are not really keeping pace.

Children and our youth are sponges when it comes to being entertained without effort, they are giving up sport, outdoor activities and even mixing face to face with adults and their peers to endlessly sit on a couch and play with these devices.  Many human interest groups are now seeing this as a social epidemic which is affecting the health and mental wellbeing of our next generation.

The next 5 years are going to see more devices launched that will challenge how we live and go about our everyday work.  As an example, our police have enough trouble with drivers using mobile phones now – what is going to happen when semi-transparent video screens are incorporated into sunglasses and spectacles?  The same goes for teachers trying to stop students using mobile phones in class – how will they know when a student is using a wireless earphone small enough to hide in the ear canal!

I am not suggesting that we should stop technology advancing (that will never happen) but governments, schools; our legal systems (and parents) need to start scurrying with constant policy changes and new constraints to keep our youth both safe and sane.  We sell & configure computers, servers, laptops, tablets and any number of devices to be used as either business or educational tools however personally I can’t wait to grab my tennis racquet and get away from all this clutter whenever I can.

I love the idea of technology helping with business management, breakthroughs in the fight against cancer or making cars safer (although we need the state of our roads to keep pace) but I would hate to see the next generations becoming fat, lazy and useless because they only care about being entertained by the flashing screen they keep pinned in front of them. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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