From remote work and education to doctor’s visits, technological advances have shaped the way we operate our daily lives. The pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus baptized many of us into using technology in ways we knew are possible, yet we’re slow to explore. What have we learned about this ramped-up day-to-day use of new technology? Let’s play “Two Truths and a Lie” to gain a better understanding. Which of the following is not true?
A. Technology gives us more time by eliminating menial and time-consuming tasks.
B. Technology has reduced in-person interaction.
C. Technology will eventually eliminate all in-person interaction.
A. Truth. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen how technological advancement has given us extra bits of our lives back by helping us with all kinds of tasks. The time it takes to sit in a waiting area for a doctor visit is eliminated with telehealth appointments. Now, all it takes is firing up the laptop without leaving home or work to meet with your doctor. The same is true for job interviews or work meetings. There is no longer a need to commute to another location, saving us valuable time during our day. On the job, AI is also performing those time-consuming tasks that slow down the workflow. In fields like Human Resources, AI-powered tools help with creating compelling job descriptions or match job candidates with particular jobs using algorithmic based platforms. This frees up time for HR professionals to be more efficient in their roles.
B. Truth. In the past year, it has almost become standard to do all business virtually. From grocery shopping to finding employment, chances are we are no longer doing those things in person. The convenience of using platform based services to order our groceries, pay our bills and do business in a million ways has taken the place of traditional time consuming ways. Looking for a job is at the touch of a button. Connecting with prospective employers is easy with job boards, email, and zoom.
C. Lie. While the convenience and applications of technology were able to shine during the lockdowns due to the pandemic, there was something that all of us really missed—face-to-face human interaction. Students missed socializing with friends despite being able to connect via a computer. Chatting with co-workers over a cup of coffee in the break room or connecting with customers through in-person service transactions may have seemed trivial before the pandemic, but in their absence, we realized just how meaningful those small interactions are.
Those connections are the spice of our working life, and if this pandemic has taught us anything, we need in person exchange. We have the choice to allow technology to take up space when it comes to our jobs. We also have the choice to make space for the interpersonal relationships that teach us, uplift us, and remind us what it is to be human.
Read more about technology’s role in our policy focus: Technology’s Potential Revealed In The Pandemic.