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To think technology isn't really making our lifes easier ...

(26 Posts)
unlucky83 Thu 13-Apr-17 21:26:26

I heard someone talking about this on the radio a while ago and I thought they had a point but the benefits outweighed the disadvantages. But I am now starting to really relate to it and think it just isn't the case.
Things that are supposed to be helping us actually make us more stressed.
His example was cash points - before you knew you had to go to the bank to take your wages out before it closed on a Friday. Now you can access your money easily at any time - so you expect to be able to - and if you can't (cash machine not working) it pushes up your stress levels - your expectations have not been met.

I wrote a huge ranty post - but the jist was my stress levels are through the roof at moment - I am frustrated and irritated.
Really fed up - and most of it is due to technology not working as it should...I have spent more time this week troubleshooting problems with technology than benefiting from it!
Things like updates causing things to stop working properly and faulty sensors causing problems - when it is just the sensor.
And even when things work as they should we have to spend time maintaining them - cleaning out filters etc.
And it isn't just computer/gadgets -it is the technology in things like cars and boilers and dishwashers...etc (I had a new boiler fitted a year or so ago - it wouldn't work after install - a specialist engineer came out with a fault reader....the only fault was a loose connection to the fault reader socket ....hmm)
And things are so complex now that even dedicated technical support often can't help...just don't understand enough.
I think we need to slow down and simplify things - so that they do make our lives easier.
Please tell me I am not on my own - it is not just me being old and jaded ...

UppityHumpty Thu 13-Apr-17 21:52:36

I haven't used physical cash in 2 years. Pay my parking by Apple Pay, my commute and every expense (big or small) by card.

ChillaPower Thu 13-Apr-17 21:56:42

I love new technology, I can turn off and on all the lights in my house on my phone, ditto the heating, i use a completely online bank, can do my Tesco/amazon shopping in the bath grin errors and downtime is frustrating but overall technology has made my life a lot easier not harder.

GnomeDePlume Thu 13-Apr-17 21:58:14

Um.... You do know you are posting this on the internet not just writing it on a piece of paper don't you?

Technology isn't perfect but think of all the time it works and you barely notice. The utilities which are supplied to your home, which are available at the click of a switch/turn of a tap. All the times your car just starts, no hand-cranking required.

YABU
Of course there are sometimes problems and I am sorry you are feeling stressed but perhaps you have unreasonable expectations that everything should work perfectly all the time.

LagunaBubbles Thu 13-Apr-17 22:04:02

So you would simplify things by getting rid of cash machines? I'm a Nurse, I will just have to walk out on my patients then so I can get to the bank physically...dont be so ridiculous.

Meekonsandwich Thu 13-Apr-17 22:04:33

I think about this too,
And I think it's about equal.

I work in a shop and have had staff and customers say "oh they never had tills do the adding for you in my day!"
Well yeah, but they never had health and safety and audits in your day either!! Kpi's or emails bothering you.

With the internet, it's easier than ever to get information.
But that information goes largely unchecked.
People can keep in touch,
But can get mercilessly bullied by strangers.
You can answer emails in a few minutes,
But you're expected to be available 24 hours a day.
You can use cards and phones to pay,
But you don't realise you're spending money and can't keep track of It so spiral into debt.

I think with both ways theres pros and cons.
I'm a simple person; I only have a tv because dh is addicted, so I think I would prefer to live in simpler times, however at least now I have the choice!
And if I ever did need modern technology and medicines and procedures I can choose to use them smile

Trills Thu 13-Apr-17 22:05:17

It's making my life easier.

Are you sure you're not just using it wrong?

ZilphasHatpin Thu 13-Apr-17 22:10:34

You're so right OP, it was much easier when we washed our laundry by hand, had to post all our communications in the post box, wait 7-10 days for cheques to clear before we could take our money out after queuing in the bank during our lunch hour before the banks closed for the weekend.

Violetcharlotte Thu 13-Apr-17 22:20:45

It's annoying when it doesn't work properly, but in general it makes life so much easier!
Sat nav - you can find your way around easier
Apps - you can do all your banking, pay your bills, record your TV programmes, book your gym classes, pay for parking...
Skype - easy to stay in touch with friends and family a long way away
Technology means I can work from home or pretty much anywhere with wifi if I need to.
So much more, that's just a few things off the top of me head.

Violetcharlotte Thu 13-Apr-17 22:21:09

*my head!

Asmoto Thu 13-Apr-17 22:25:18

I think it's removed one set of problems and replaced them with another. Technology is a rich playground for fraudsters. 25 years ago, who'd heard of identity theft, phishing, hacking, cybercrime etc?

ChillaPower Thu 13-Apr-17 22:30:31

25 years ago, who'd heard of identity theft, phishing,

Identity theft, phishing and fraud were still an issue before internet, frank abignale, michael sabo to name two famous fraudsters

UppityHumpty Thu 13-Apr-17 22:30:41

25 years ago people committed fraud by official looking post or phone. They created counterfeit cheques. They phished via telephone for people to give up card numbers and pins. They also stole receipts to get card details (back in the days when credit card details weren't hidden away).

hazeyjane Thu 13-Apr-17 22:31:16

My son is disabled, there are aspects of technology that have improved the lives of people with disabilities unbelievably, and a social media that helps people affected by rare conditions and disabilities connect with others around the world. Personally I feel lucky to live in a world of such technological advances.

StrawberryJelly00 Thu 13-Apr-17 22:33:55

All positives come with negatives it's not perfect

However if you think it's raising your stress levels you can start to cut it out of your life in small ways

DrasticAction Thu 13-Apr-17 22:36:00

Agree with Hazy, esp for people with disabilties its made huge advances for them and allows many others to connect in some way to the world around us.

Asmoto Thu 13-Apr-17 22:36:28

frank abignale, michael sabo to name two famous fraudsters

Yes, but the very fact that they became household names indicates the relative rarity of such crimes in the era.

CreamCheez Thu 13-Apr-17 22:40:41

The thing I hate the most is everyone going around glued to their machines. I live in a big city & it's frightening how things have changed, socially.

Zafodbeeblbrox10 Thu 13-Apr-17 22:42:24

I understand your angst OP. I won't be using Internet banking anytime soon, what with the risk of being hacked.. But today I was in my bank (NW), taking out money and paying some bills, and as usual was accosted straight away by a young lady trying to direct me to the machines as usual, which I declined. Then inquisitioned about what I will be spending MY money on, and also having a protracted conversation about my planned activities for the weekend. I just wanted to take money out and do some other banking, and pleasantries are ok but this is invasive. I was offered Internet banking as an alternative, but it seems that nudging everyone that way is the whole agenda.

LostSight Thu 13-Apr-17 22:48:54

Really fed up - and most of it is due to technology not working as it should...I have spent more time this week troubleshooting problems with technology than benefiting from it!

But isn't the problem here that you are now so used to the sheer convenience of everything, that you only notice when it goes wrong? Which suggests that the vast majority of the time, the benefits outweigh the downside?

That said, the things I dislike about technology mostly relate to excessive communication and access to information. Bad news is available via so many websites. In the old days, it was limited to the odd bulletin on the TV or news headline on a paper. Now it's too easy to wind yourself up and difficult to get away because the reports are everywhere.

Fortunately I now live in a country where you are not expected to be available for your job twenty-four seven. In my last job before I left the UK, it was unspoken but there, that you should have your work-provided mobile with you and switched on at all times, just in case.

The internet was a double edged sword in my job. People would look things up and come in with skewed, misunderstood or frankly incorrect information and I would have to explain why I couldn't do what they were asking.

I have put a stop to mobile phones during mealtimes. Hard to believe just how little people communicate with those actually in the room with them when they are too busy discussing important topics on Mumsnet

grin

Trills Thu 13-Apr-17 22:53:04

I would rather have a washing machine, and then every few years have a bad week due to a non-working washing machine, than never have a washing machine in the first place.

WaegukSaram Thu 13-Apr-17 22:57:42

I would rather have a washing machine, and then every few years have a bad week due to a non-working washing machine, than never have a washing machine in the first place.

This is what I was coming to say. Can you imagine how many hours you'd spend scrubbing clothes and putting them through the mangel or whatever it was without this technology?!

Voice0fReason Thu 13-Apr-17 23:10:45

I LOVE my technology.
As a disabled person it has opened up a whole world to me.
Yes there are disadvantages, but they pale into insignificance to me.

unlucky83 Thu 13-Apr-17 23:46:53

Ok - maybe I didn't explain that very well (maybe I should have posted the rant)
It is like meek and asmoto said - there are no doubt advantages -but there are disadvantages too. And I think we might be hitting the stage where the disadvantages are greater than the advantages.
I don't think we should go back to no technology - I just think it is moving too fast. So fast that things no longer work.
I've had two problems recently - both caused by software updates -one windows 10 and one android.
I have email problems - one that developed after an 'improvement'- before it was working perfectly.
I have had a similar problem with two separate email accounts - emails needed for verification not arriving. It took several 'live chats' and several weeks to sort out one out (the other haven't bothered yet)...the 'system' wouldn't let them send one out manually...
I had an issue with authorising banking for several people - they weren't getting the letters they were supposed to - but the 'system' should have done them automatically and the system said they had been sent - it was only after it happened to 5 separate people over 18 months that they admitted there must be a problem - no-one could work out why it wasn't working and they couldn't do it manually...
Same with a mobile phone company - the 'system' wouldn't let them do something.
I have an app I love but it has been updated and now I get script errors (I can use it on the web too).
I live by things like google calendar and reminders etc - they do make life easier...as long as they do work - and if they do don't 'improve' them just for the sake of it...
And so complex that even the people who are supposed to understand it and be the experts struggle.
I currently have 3-4 things on my to do list that are sort out some technology issue...something must have had something come up every week for the last few months.

Also putting technology into everything - making things more complicated and not necessarily better.
Eg I have a fault on my car - it is probably a faulty sensor but maybe just a glitch - it isn't sensing anything essential but the same warning comes on for things that are -so I need to get it fixed... but no sensor - no problem. It seems people spend more and more time and money fixing these kinds of overly sensitive sensor problems fixed...
I said about my new boiler - boilers from 30-40yrs ago were really simple - they lasted for years. And no one I know who has replaced one has noticed that they are actually using that much less gas (my new boiler is supposedly 30% more efficient than the 10-15yr old one it replace - I know I am not using that much less gas - maybe 5% and it has been mild...) The modern ones have a lot more to go wrong, do need more repairs and won't last longer than 10yrs - so more hassle fixing them and repairing and replacing them....
I had similar with my dishwasher - repairman thought it was a faulty sensor - but actually it was probably a fault on PCB - the control board - I just got a new machine. Actually my last washing machine developed a PCB fault (and boil washed a load of delicates...)
I wouldn't say no cash machines - it is better now than it used to be - you can use any bank's machine and get cash back in shops (I used to have to get a tube to my branch machine -and if that wasn't working...) but still...it is about expectations -you expect something to be simple and it isn't....
I love internet banking but if the site is down for maintenance etc - or your broadband is playing up - it is frustrating.
Also the direct debit thing - yes it makes life easier but then you have to keep track of them...(I went overdraw once because I forgot I had a big bill going out - I could have moved money from another account - I then had the charges (not a lot) but also the hassle of talking to the bank.
Also for work I now have to use an overly complicated glitchy database - its take 3-4x longer to enter the data and it makes you change your password to one you haven't used before every 6 weeks or so... so I do have it written down. And you go to use it briefly and have to go through the rigmarole of changing your password...
And this has taken ages to write -not because it is huge (sorry blush)
but because after the latest windows 10 update my mouse is playing up (again ) and keeps wandering around the screen so I keep deleting/typing things in the wrong place... angry another thing to add to my list....

ArriettyClock1 Fri 14-Apr-17 00:02:49

Can't remember the last time I went to the cash point.

Apple Pay, contactless, pinging money over to friends in seconds - all this makes my life so much easier. I get regular texts from the bank with recent transactions and access my accounts from my phone - no danger of going overdrawn now or not spotting fraudulent activity.

Appliance breaks? Order a new one online and it's delivered the next day. Compare prices in seconds.

Amazon Prime - ordered several revision guides for ds at 10pm and he was using them by 9am the next morning.

We have super fast broadband and dh's company pays for it because he works from home, as do I. Our work/life balance is fantastic because of technology.

We dont even have to get up to switch the lights on or off as Alexa does it for us!

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