Technology – Breakthrough Vs. Breakdown

No doubt technology has had a huge impact on our lives both positively and negatively. It has become easier to do so much in less time, reach more people with fewer resources, it has even become easier to become famous. I mean, just one viral content can be a game changer! 

Well, you may say that it has also made us lazy. Someone said that with technology people no longer think, and that is why we require artificial intelligence for almost everything. Back in the days, I used to pride myself on being a mobile calculator. My colleagues in school turned to me for quick calculations. But now, I prefer to use my brain for more serious tasks and simply reach for the calculator on my phone or laptop. 

Let me tell you an interesting story about how technology made a difference.  

Some years ago, my sister was in a singing competition and she made it to the voting stage, I think she was in the top 10. I was in final year at the time and I had made a lot of friends. I expended a lot energy to get her votes, and even got some friends to join my campaign. We waited for people to cast their votes via text messages on the spot. Our mum went around schools, canvassing for votes on assembly grounds. Everyone basically pitched in to the best of their capacity and influence. Thankfully, my sister made it to the end as the first runner up, but with all of us spent and exhausted from the campaigns.

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Fast-forward to 4 years later, my sister goes for another competition, a bigger one, with millions of viewers, about 70% of Africa was probably watching, so we definitely needed to do more this time than we did 4 years earlier. The stakes were higher, the competition stronger, the prize grander, and we busier. I was in Access Bank Training School at the time so I literally did not have time for a house to house campaign. At this time, social media had gained some ground in Nigeria, and many people were on WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. It was all we needed to drive our campaign this time around, I mean what else could we have done?

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So we created lots of content and put them out via these platforms, so if you were on any of these platforms, we stood a good chance of reaching you. We did videos, funny pictures, sent direct messages to people we knew and influencers on social media. So ong as you had access to the internet and these platforms, you were in our reach real-time or near-real-time. We created virtual groups on most of these platforms, had strategy meetings there, raised funds, assigned tasks to people all around the world and kept tabs on each other to ensure we achieved our objectives. We also used polls to evaluate how we were doing compared to other contestants. All of these were made possible thanks to technology. It made the campaign a lot easier and week after week, we learned how to do it better till we made it to the finals. 

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Well, we didn’t win but we made it to the end and that was great. We were left with a great network of people we can call friends and some family, many of which we never met and probably never will. But a common goal, with the help of technology, made us a family.

This is just one side of the prism of technology. Talk of medical breakthroughs and advances in medical care like in vitro fertilization and vaccines, cashless economies, online schooling, weather forecasting, eco-friendly solutions, and the live streaming of popular shows. The list goes on and on.

You may despise, love, or abstain from technology, but you really cannot hide from it, let alone live without it long enough. No doubt technology is power. However, the usage of that power is yours.

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