View­point

ArabAd - - CONTENTS -

Nadim Khoury: A Bless­ing or a Curse?

The most im­por­tant ques­tion pre­sent­ing it­self to us, as this evo­lu­tion con­tin­ues to trans­form the world at an un­prece­dented pace, is not about what tech­nol­ogy can do for us, rather what we can do to make it worth our while.

When was the last time you used pen and pa­per to write an es­say? Or a note­book to man­age your ap­point­ments? Do you even re­mem­ber the last time you sent a post­card?

These ques­tions might sound funny, rhetor­i­cal, painful or alarm­ing de­pend­ing on which gen­er­a­tion you be­long to, what part of the world you live in, or what your per­cep­tion of tech­nol­ogy is, but let’s face it, right this very mo­ment you are prob­a­bly read­ing these words on a dig­i­tal screen and scrolling rather than flip­ping. Most prob­a­bly you haven’t vis­ited a li­brary or had a friend tap you on the shoul­der, hand you a news­pa­per and say “Hey, here’s some food for thought, check it out”. You are here be­cause you clicked on a link or de­cided to check out a spe­cific blog or so­cial me­dia feed.

There’s no deny­ing that dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tion and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy have not only trans­formed the way we ex­pe­ri­ence re­al­ity, but how we do ev­ery­thing un­der the sun. Tech­nol­ogy has made many things one click, fin­ger-touch or but­ton press away. Feel­ing hun­gry but too lazy to cook? Fire up your favourite food de­liv­ery app on your smart­phone. Missed the lat­est episode of your favourite se­ries? No wor­ries, your in­ter­ac­tive tele­vi­sion ser­vice has recorded the whole show, cut out com­mer­cial breaks, and is wait­ing for you to press play.

De­cem­ber 2016

You’re prob­a­bly so used to tech­nol­ogy now that you can’t re­mem­ber how you used to han­dle your pro­fes­sional life and busi­ness com­mu­ni­ca­tion the old fash­ioned way. If you’re a mil­len­nial, you may have no idea what the old fash­ioned way was. It is not an ex­ag­ger­a­tion to say that to­day, many busi­ness­men and en­trepreneurs run their com­pa­nies en­tirely from the com­fort of their pock­ets. By that I mean their smart­phone. You know, smart­phones. Those palm­sized de­vices that have man­aged to re­place your TV, ra­dio, VCR, PC, lap­top, tele­phone, fax, flash­light, com­pass, cal­cu­la­tor and note­book. From book­ing a flight, ar­rang­ing a ride and han­dling ap­point­ments, to in­vest­ing in stocks, trans­fer­ring funds and clos­ing deals. All it takes is your fin­ger­tip magic.

The two-word sum­mary? Tech­nol­ogy is chang­ing cul­ture.

But there’s another edge to the sword. Another face to the coin. Tech­nol­ogy has made it too easy and too in­stan­ta­neous to com­mu­ni­cate dig­i­tally. Many of us spend months talk­ing to friends, ac­quain­tances and as­so­ci­ates with­out part­ing our lips. When we do part our lips, we usu­ally don’t see the per­son on the other end of the call, and when we do we see them it’s via Skype. We can’t shake their hands or share a warm cup of cof­fee.

What we need to be con­sciously aware of at this mo­ment in time is that this is only the be­gin­ning. The in­ter­net is 25 years young and smart­phones are far younger still. Yet to­day, tech­nolo­gies that ush­ered in this dig­i­tal revo­lu­tion can de­sign, print – yes print – a pair of sneak­ers, a su­per­car, an en­tire house or a lethal ma­chine gun. Thanks to 3D print­ing, fac­to­ries as we know them to­day could soon be a thing of the past.

Mi­cro-out­sourc­ing – only made pos­si­ble in a dig­i­tally-con­nected world – is chang­ing the con­cept of jobs and has the power to trans­form economies. The list of pos­si­bil­i­ties is end­less. So too are the pros and cons of tech­nol­ogy.

But the most im­por­tant ques­tion pre­sent­ing it­self to us, as this evo­lu­tion con­tin­ues to trans­form the world at an un­prece­dented pace, is not about what tech­nol­ogy can do for us, rather what we can do to make it worth our while.

How can we en­sure that tech­nol­ogy is used for the greater good? How can we en­sure that tech­nol­ogy makes ad­ver­tis­ing smarter, more en­gag­ing, and more cre­ative? How too do we rise to the chal­lenge of bridg­ing the gap be­tween cre­ativ­ity and tech­nol­ogy? Be­cause, af­ter all, tech­nol­ogy must be cre­ative in or­der to en­gage bet­ter with con­sumers, whilst cre­ativ­ity needs to be in­no­va­tive in or­der to res­onate with its au­di­ence.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bahrain

© PressReader. All rights reserved.