How Internet of Things Almost Killed My Family Ties
Internet of Things is the best thing that happened to our civilization since discovery of a bacon.
From the technical point of view it is a tremendous milestone boosting both our potential and power in a way we never imagined before.
Just think about the amount of data analyzed every single day that is slowly bringing us closer to better understanding ourselves (and our daily paths) better than ever before.
Industrialization 4.0 is fact, new and amazing devices are being deployed and shipped to our homes every day and the technological jumps in medicine, logistics, IT and other sectors are so gigantic that our ancestors would have a hard time grasping what is going on in the current world.
I mean even I have sometimes hard time whenever I hear fresh news.
New token — allowing me to smoothly open my apartment, car or laptop with a single movement of a bracelet — is introduced to society? I can go to the shop and buy a smart bulb that can be installed in my house, paired and connected with my smartband and whenever the latter will feel my changing heartbeat the former will tweak the lights accordingly to my mood?
We are able to go to the shop, take whatever we want from the shelf and not wait in a queue because my bank account will be charged once I leave the store?
And how can I forget about smart refrigerator that counts and checks each product that I buy just to inform me with a SMS that I should reconsider doing new groceries.
What sort of black magic is that?
What in the devil’s name is happening?
The list can go on and on forever but I don’t want to point out how IoT is “cool”, “trendy” and beneficial for everybody.
Oh no, my friend!
On the contrary — I want to write how Internet of Things almost destroyed my family ties and how it can do it the same to you!
And it all started with a simple suggestion to buy a smart watch as a birthday’ gift.
You see both of my parents were born in the second half of fifties of XX century in Poland which was still in communists’ hands. Technology back then was scare and limited and the idea of such thing as personal computer in every house was ludicrous and crazy. Not to mention that people were more concerned about getting toilet paper or some food rations rather than thinking about electronic industry.
Nevertheless my parents tried to catch with the technology and get used to it. Slowly but steadily time moved on and so did they with each new technological step — from phone to TV to PC to the first internet connection to smartphone and tablet.
It went quite smoothly until we reached 2000s.
You see half a decade later — when the word “smart” was trying to become a new king — I’ve noticed that my parents gave up with the technological race. They no longer had patience to learn new skills nor tried to understand why they should do it. I even remember how hard it was to convince my mom to use pendrive and how I’ve lost her with the idea of cloud data storage.
Something was lost in the translations.
But honestly I don’t blame them for that at all.
You see as most of us are working as testers we often take for granted that all people around the world understand the technology (and possibilities it can bring) the same way as we do.
Because overall they should, right?
We easily see ourselves in futuristic tomorrow and we understand benefits of that change but what about the people around us who are not so lucky, who were born too late in this race or have a hard time learning new things?
Have you ever thought or considered them at all?
I don’t want to sound like some poor preacher or hypocrite (especially when I am also partially guilty) but did you ever speak with your parents about IoT?
How it can make their life easier or better in many ways. How the data transferred and analyzed in cloud can improve the quality of their tasks. How automation might release and free them from doing boring job and how it can boost their overall performance.
Take it as a joke or not but many people to this day still don’t want to interact with IoT.
They are afraid of it, they are overwhelmed with amount of the information they will need to handle and — because of that reason — they miss many opportunities coming straight from this industry.
They think the technology is expensive or that it is spying on them.
They show concern that they may break the device or not fully understand how to use it properly.
Or sometimes their imagination is too narrow to see how could they implement the IoT in their everyday life.
Look, I get it that it might be not your problem. Maybe your parents have no issues with the internet of things. Maybe they can adapt to a new situation with a snap of the finger just like that.
But in this article I want to awaken your awareness of the dilemma we are currently having — should we — as a testers working directly in IT — lose and spend time by slowly adapting people to a new rules of the world or should we think only about tomorrow as there is no hope for some “oldschool” units?
To be honest I oppose the first solution — both from social and technological perspective.
How come when we have a doctor in the family we ask him for advice when it comes to what should we eat or what should we avoid but we (as testers) can’t help people in the same way?
How come we can’t give advice on how to apply the solutions or what to buy or what sort of devices are garbage or even what IoT can bring to human’s life?
We should start taking full responsibility of who we are (professionally) and be grateful of our positions. We should begin giving back something to the society.
For starters cooperating and participating with our parents should be the first step in our new mission. By being patient and by explaining every single element of the new technologies we might not only strengthen our family ties but also our basic knowledge.
Seriously — it’s way harder to use simple English to an 60 year old person who has no idea what IoT is than to somebody who is on the same level of knowledge as we are.
There is never a good or bad time to begin as well as correct approach or topic to pick.
But we should start somewhere or else we will always be divided in a society who either is false informed (or have misleading point of view) and people who want to force new technologies at all cost.
At the moment there is lack of balance and without it we are forced to see situations as the one I described in the beginning of this article.
I am a strong believer in the curve of technological anticipation. I do believe all of the people want to take a part in that “evolution” because we all know deep in our hearts that — in the grand picture — this progress has a crazy amount of advantages for all of us.
But it won’t happen if we will depend only on peoples’ good will or if we will tell others “to Google it” (or — in worst case scenario — that it is too difficult for them to understand).
We need to take action right now!
In a sense I’ve lost my battle few years ago because I’ve gave up on my parents.
I should blame myself for letting them feel obsolete when in fact it was (is and always will be) my full responsibility to teach others about new technologies.
As a professional tester I should have a strong code of ethics forcing me to be a proactive person teaching others how IoT works. Especially whenever with my own hands I’m involved in testing projects directly from this industry.
To summarize my point and close this article I just want to let you know that even if you have limited time and your daily planner is full of many activities you should consider spending some time by sharing knowledge and your passion.
It is a win-win situation for everybody: you will spend time talking and presenting what you love most, other participants will fell special knowing you dedicated your time to them, overall awareness will increase and in the end IoT will become more desirable thing.
Or maybe I am just too optimistic and positive about the future?