Will a connected future help us fix our broken lives?


Tech, 5G networks, gadgets, smartphones, family, Dubai, UAE,

Tech advancements are meant to help relieve our anxieties, yet we've never been under more stress.

By Vicky Kapur (From the Executive Editor's Desk)

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Published: Tue 22 Oct 2019, 6:35 AM

Last updated: Tue 22 Oct 2019, 5:33 PM

The future is connected, they tell us. 5G networks will help us connect everything to everything else. Our TV will talk to the fridge, the car to the microwave, the AC to the dishwasher, and the health app to the garage door . or some similar permutation. Better speeds coupled with superior bandwidths will result in connectivity in the blink of the proverbial eye, which will then open new avenues for revenues. From hospitals to homes, factories to cafés, and malls to highways, the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) will keep us all connected, all the time. Everything will be smart - from watches to phones to cars to homes to cities to schools to luggage and more. You name it and, swoosh, the magic wand of IoT will help transform it to its smart(er) version. 
But as more things get connected, are we at risk of losing touch with ourselves? As technology grows by leaps and bounds, are we taking a step back as a civilisation? As machines get more learned, are humans turning regressive? Rapid tech breakthroughs are, obviously, solving a lot of our problems, but are we creating new ones? Decades ago, when tech hadn't gone smart, a lonely student in a school corner would have raised an alarm among her classmates and/or the teachers. No longer, though. As I entered his school to pick up my son the other day, I saw individuals poring over their gadgets, interacting animatedly with inanimate devices but oblivious to the kid next to them.
Yes, technology enables us to connect with those in faraway lands at the click of a mouse or the tap of a screen, but why are we losing touch with our siblings and parents and neighbours and children? We can now feel humbled by learning about others' achievements even if they are in a remote part of the world. Yet more of us are turning narcissistic. We now have the tools to crowdsource and join forces with random strangers for the greater good, yet we've never felt more isolated. There are now thousands of apps to help us focus, yet we've never been more distracted. Tech advancements are meant to help relieve our anxieties, yet we've never been under more stress. The future, indeed, is connected, but will it help us fix that conspicuous disconnect in our lives?

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