Well, Christmas is over for another year and sadly I did not get that Wii U that I wanted and wrote about in another article but I did get a piece of tech I had had my eye on for some time. You see, when I am not reading about technology I love to go for a run. So this Christmas, thanks to Sweatshop in the UK, I managed to get a TomTom Run GPS watch and heart monitor at a great price.
I already have a GPS watch, a Garmin Forerunner 10 but I found it lacking in two areas. First, it takes ages to get a GPS signal whilst outside and second it did not cover indoor running on a treadmill. So I did some research and the TomTom Run GPS watch appeared on my radar as it allowed for treadmill running.
I don’t know about you but I cannot run at my best without having it accurately tracked. I regularly post my runs to the likes of Garmin Connect and Facebook but not to show how much I run or how good I am but for me to look back on to see how far I have come once I look back.
I was disappointed that the Pebble smartwatch had no built in GPS although it is still a great piece of kit and I found that the battery on my Forerunner 10 nearly died after running the full 42.2km Bangkok Marathon back in 2013 so it added another mark against the Forerunner 10 although it is great for the casual runner but I realised I needed something more which was another reason to snap up the TomTom Run GPS bargain.
It is amazing how technology can help us push ourselves and I can now race against my own times on the TomTom to push myself just that little bit more. This was something my Forerunner did not really allow me to do. But you may be wondering so far just where exactly am I going with this article as so far it does not really talk about tech. But that is the point, tech is so ingrained in our lives that we think nothing of it and, as with me needing a GPS watch to run (and music to listen to as I run also) we never think of how technology will affect us in our daily life.
Does smart technology make us smarter?
That’s the question. When I mean ‘stupid’ I don’t mean in terms of lacking in intellect but more in the sense of us losing a part of human nature.
After all, it was good to talk once, read books and such and now we choose to hide behind our smartphones and tablets whilst with our family and friends.
You could argue the likes of Facebook and Twitter have made us vain and self-centered as we choose to share, like and Tweet every aspect of our lives for others to consume and this highlighted particularly by Facebook’s recent end of year app. For those who are unaware this app takes pictures and posts from 2014 and compiles a slideshow kind of look back at 2014 and Facebook got in to trouble as this app, because the content was auto generated, promoted sad events or deaths as part of a ‘celebration’of 2014 which shows that not only do we consume a vast amount of information per person but that surely it is questionable why you would post something so personal and devastating for everyone to see and ‘like’?
Many people still don’t know that usually what is on the Internet is permanent. And also what is on the Internet can be seen by all and this can obviously cause friction between people, groups and even countries which has been highlighted by the recent events surrounding the Sony Pictures movie about the fictitious assassination of the leader of North Korea titled the ‘The Interview‘.
It was initially banned from cinemas after a supposed North Korean having group hacked Sony Pictures releasing confidential information across the Internet in protest of the movie but Sony Pictures backtracked and the movie was released in limited cinemas in the US only.
Eventually it made it on to torrent sites too and the movie itself gained mixed reviews in itself so you have to wonder was the fuss really worth it? We have had films about the assassination of many famous people (such as ‘JFK’ with Kevin Costner) but that did not bring another country wanting to practically go to war over a movie and many people are thinking Sony Pictures may have engineered it all themselves just to sell tickets.
Either way the whole thing got way out of hand and, to me, seemed a little preposterous as it was just a movie but it was technology that allowed for North Korea to get wind of it so maybe the country is not as remote as we think, they at least have Internet access, if limited. Technology is supposed to bring us together, and it does such as Skype and IM programs and social networks but it is also pushing us apart and dividing in terms of those who are connected and are in to tech and those who are not so this could be the next generation of the haves and the have nots which then shows how powerful information has become.
Technology will be driving it all – has it taken over?
What’s your take? Let me know in the comments section below.
Ian, in what little spare time he has, is always interested in all things tech. Ever since the Commodore Amiga up until the latest smartphones and consoles. If it’s great tech then he is passionate about it and loves writing about it to anyone who is interested in reading it. Ian currently divides his time between the UK and Thailand.