Drowning in Technology But Still Uninformed

Such broad topics to conquer, information and communication in the year 2019. Smart phones, notepads, laptops, computer watches just to name a few of the many tools we use today to contact one another or get information about something. We are encouraged to seek knowledge and there are continuous advancements in technology to help us along the way. We are encouraged to interact with one another more these days than ever before. People are interacting with their loved ones, friends and co-workers all day and all night, thanks to mobile phones.

Forty years ago people had one phone in their home that was attached to the wall and everybody could hear their conversation. They didn't make long distance calls unless it was an emergency or special occasion, and if they did, they talked for 3 minutes (because it was expensive). There was a daily local newspaper that had news, want ads, classifieds, engagements, marriages and obituaries. It was the one place that everybody and anybody could go to and stay in touch with their community (and the world). 

Fast forward to the year 2019, so much has changed. The old fashioned local newspapers are dying out. Many of them have moved their "papers" to the internet but it's not the same. Where do people go now to get their information, their news about their community and about the world? I believe the following are some of the numerous sources for information today:

  • online newspapers (from local, regional, national and international)
  • TV (cable, satellite service providers, etc),
  • internet (various sites)
  • radio (local and national stations),
  • newspapers (print)
  • social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.),
  • emails

Some people use Facebook as their main communication method where they post invites to parties, death notices and funeral arrangements. But what happens if someone doesn't have a facebook account, or doesn't go on Facebook for a couple of days or weeks, or they are not "Facebook friends" with the person who is posting the party or funeral arrangements on Facebook? 

Governmental entities are trying to be "ecofriendly" so they are utilizing the internet more and more for their communications. They post all kinds of important information for the residents on their websites. This information could be about something current or just regular ongoing stuff. Is every resident supposed to log into the city, county and state websites everyday of the week to check and see if there is something new and relevant? Or will the city, county and state send the residents an email, text message or push notification when something new and important is happening?  Will the residents read their electronic notifications in a timely fashion, will they even be noticed?

These days we have to go to many different sources to become "informed" about our community and the world. That's time consuming and a lot to keep up with.  Wasn't technology supposed to make our lives easier?  What is the purpose of all this communication if we don't know what is going on in our own communities?

We invite you to share your thoughts on this subject. Thank you.

June 21, 2019 — Virginia Horan

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