Last week I had a conversation with a neighbor about technology. The conversation stemmed from her question about I do for work. It’s pretty hard to explain blogging to some folks but I just told her that I review a lot of web services and analyze web news, which pretty much sums up my online life in the simplest terms. She then started a conversation about how Bell South, which she called Southern Bell, laid off a ton of folks back in her day. The reason was due to the switch from immediate customer service to the automated messaging systems we now hear when calling customer service numbers. This prompted me to ask if she felt that due to the loss of jobs because of technology, people were resistant to adapting to it. Her response: “Hell yes!”
Question: Technology Replacing Humans
There’s no doubt that technology has been replacing the need for humans for centuries now. The prime example is factory workers. Factories are now being run entirely by machines and technology and plenty of factory workers have had to settle for entirely different jobs for lower pay or worse. With the future of technology in question, it seems this trend will only continue as the future wears on. So where does this leave the rest of us?
Question: Early Adopters and Technology
Another question that popped into my head was where does this leave the rest of us, more specifically early adopters. We’re keen on promoting tools and uses of technology to businesses worldwide. In doing so, are we creating the circumstances not only for the demise of current jobs, but also our own? Are we giving too much away too soon or are these tools bound to be picked up by companies in the future with or without our constant nagging?
Wiser, Yet Curious
While I don’t wish to put people out of work by promoting the tools I use online to better service myself and others, I have to admit that I’m thinking twice about what I promote now. I came away from my conversation with the aforementioned neighbor a little wiser and a lot more curious about the effects of technology on available jobs and the job market.
Personal assistants are practically no longer necessary when you have virtual online assistants and PDAs readily available at a cheap price. On the other hand, there’s no denying that for some of us, they just get the job done in a lot less time, with a lot less hassle, and most importantly for some, with a ton of money being saved in the long run. Then the question shifts and becomes, is it selfish to want the best for yourself at the cheapest price, but at the expense of the financial well-being of another?