Commentary

Can you imagine a life without smartphones, tablets, smartwatches and other high-tech devices which make our daily life so much easier? Even if you answer this question with yes, the reality is different. We are almost addicted to these little helpers which have become an integral part of our lives.  Always available, always close at hand. Cross your heart, what is the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing in the evening? For many of us, it is the look on the smartphone. A quick update on social media, reading through the headlines, preheating the coffee machine via app or turning on the radio in the kitchen. And these are only a few examples for the countless possibilities of mobile devices. Smart Home is booming, new gadgets and technologies are introduced almost daily, artificial intelligence has been integrated in our everyday life as well as in the industry. Robots which take on hard work from employees are no longer a rarity. We rely on machines that are becoming more and more intelligent through machine learning and are taking on many activities at work as well as in everyday life.

Even if we do not want to admit it, we rely on technology. My smartphone wakes me up every day, I get up and look at my fitness watch to check my resting pulse, Tile always searches for my misplaced keys – I never have to worry about these kinds of things. My mobile phone shows me the latest news while I drink my coffee, it reminds me of the package I have to pick up later at the post office, it shows me the current weather conditions, only to mention a few examples. This is indeed comfortable but I am still not dependent on technology because of this. At least, I thought so – until recently I was taught better…

On my way to work, I witnessed a traffic accident. I stopped, parked my bicycle and called an ambulance. Without further thinking, I put down my mobile phone on the bike. When I came back, it was gone. In the chaos of the traffic accident between police, emergency staff and countless onlookers, I totally panicked. My mobile phone with all of my contacts, photos, videos, receipts and bank accounts etc. was gone. I emptied my bag immediately and searched for it. It was gone. I desperately tried to locate my mobile phone with my Tile tracker. If it had been within the Bluetooth reach, my mobile phone would have rung even if on silent mode. Nothing. There was no doubt, the mobile phone was gone. Completely confused, I arrived at the office where I explained the incident with a proper dose of drama to my colleagues. I blocked my phone as well as the SIM card immediately and registered the theft. My friends were informed within minutes, a substitute for my mobile phone was organized and all passwords were changed. A few hours later when I finally calmed down, I wanted to get my hand creme out of my cosmetic bag and behold, there it was – my smartphone. I could not believe it and kept thinking about what happened again and again. No, I do not have any memory of it and therefore no idea how my phone got into my cosmetic bag. Moreover, I tried to locate my phone several times. Had the technology on which I rely on every day failed? Looking back, I am convinced that it was not the device, but me who failed. Late in the evening when my phone finally worked again after I had tediously blocked it via my google account, I realized that Bluetooth was switched off.

Since this happened, I always think about how much technology has changed my life and I have to admit that it is an important part of me. Even if we refuse to accept it, digital transformation cannot be stopped anymore. But it is still us who program and control our devices.

– This article was written by Maria Dudusova, Account Director at HBI

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