What do a Personal Assistant, a teacher, a lecturer and employee of the Department of defence have in common? We all live in different countries and time zones, but we are working together to moderate a Twitterchat for a MOOC that is being taken by 40,000 people from around the world. Technology allows us to do many amazing things these days and brings the world to you.
I remember the days when the only way I could stay in touch with my family in Germany was to write (although not often when I was a teenager) or call (restricted by finances). Now I can connect with friends and contacts from around the world instantly (unless the time zone means they are asleep), for free (not including the cost of broadband), frequently and at my convenience.
It does make me think how we managed before. As a teenager I would often meet friends in town to go shopping. If one of us was late or unable to come we had no way of informing each other at short notice. The others, waiting at the meeting point, would just wait an acceptable amount of time and leave. i couldn’t imagine not being able to let someone know about a last minute change of plans. Makes me a bit twitchy to be honest!
Are we slaves to technology or is technology our slave? I think it’s all dependent on us. If we manage technology and know when to switch off, and not use it for the sake of it, technology is utophic. If you don’t manage it properly dystopia will ensue.
Remember there is a real world out there to explore so make sure you step out once in a while (and don’t forget to Tweet about it, add photos of the outing to Facebook and blog about it when you get back!)