Improving life and personal connections through technology

Clara D. Flaherty


Just lately, I acquired an e mail from an aged good friend in England. Tony wrote that his wife’s 70th birthday was coming up, and he is inquiring their quite a few buddies to mail playing cards to her in care of their son, so she would get them all at once at a shock celebration. I sent a card — throughout the Atlantic — with lots of excellent needs. And many weeks back, I viewed on YouTube a friend’s relatives celebration in Edinburgh, Scotland.

While COVID has held us aside bodily, technological innovation has introduced us collectively.

And so, with no sounding like Pollyanna, with war raging in Ukraine, gasoline rates expanding and COVID not however concluded, there are delighted factors occurring, owing to expanding technological innovation.

For instance, on Monday evenings I have been educating my Hopkins Odyssey courses on Zoom — 19th century English Romantic poets proper now. In the previous two a long time, my class members have come from Chicago, San Francisco, New York Metropolis, Florida and Connecticut. Quite a few of my good friends and I have been using Smithsonian classes on Zoom.

On Wednesdays at noon, also on Zoom, my Bible Examine satisfies with customers from a few Baltimore Metropolis church buildings participating. And hundreds of people today have been and even now are working remotely, so steering clear of prolonged commutes and, in some instances, formal gown.

Despite the fact that, as an English teacher, I nevertheless want to browse standard paper guides, I admire the Kindle description that author and previous Baltimore Sunshine reporter Laura Lippman writes in “The Ebook Thing”: Claims she, “books could stay within units, glowing like captured genies, desperate to get again out in the globe and grant peoples’ needs.”

Talking of granting needs, I a short while ago noticed on the PBS NewsHour, a phase on 3D printed households. Through technological know-how, a house — 1,500 sq. feet with 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms and a garage — can be built in 24 hrs, and the charge is much much less than a conventional household.

This new task is projected to increase more than $1.5 billion in 2024. As a final result, lots of reduced-income households who never assumed they could have a property, will be able to.

The use of technological know-how within just a property is wide. When I asked Marshall, my tech-savvy cousin in North Carolina, to listing the technological products he and his spouse use in their two houses, he initially defined that ahead of they drive to their next household on the drinking water, 3 hrs away, they can, via their telephones, have the electricity turned on as nicely as the warmth, while in the past, they had to check with a neighbor to do that.

To estimate Marshall, “between Jan and me, we have two iPhones, two Kindles, a desktop Computer, Windows laptops, iPads, MacBook pro, printers, scanners, sensible Television, Amazon Echos, etc.”

With their telephones, in addition to contacting, texting, emailing and photographing, they do all their banking, all their paying for, as properly as commence their automobiles, read through books and maps, do investigate, and their list goes on.

Of class, every single new creation is not a panacea, and peoples’ typical resistance to change is normally a trouble.

The 1 example that will come to mind is the invention of frozen foodstuff. In “The Magnificent Life of Marjorie Submit,” author Allison Pataki describes how resistant Marjorie Merriweather Post’s second spouse was as CEO of Publish Cereals (women of all ages could neither keep these kinds of positions nor sit on boards in the early 1900s) when Marjorie wanted to obtain Clarence Birdseye’s compact frozen-fish small business. Thankfully for the world, Marjorie prevailed, and frozen food items, generating life a lot easier and healthier, are marketed and consumed virtually everywhere in the entire world.

In truth, a lot of people still want to interact in human being yet, making use of technological innovation will make lifestyle less complicated and connects us in strategies that never ever appeared probable, a definite constructive among our challenges these days.

Lynne Agress, who teaches in the Odyssey Plan of Johns Hopkins, is president of BWB-Enterprise Producing At Its Most effective Inc. and author of “The Feminine Irony” and “Working With Phrases in Enterprise and Lawful Writing.” Her email is [email protected].


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