The first time I jumped out of an airplane and cheated death by successfully floating to the ground under a piece of fabric, I walked right into the wing of another airplane. I was so pumped up from the adrenaline rushing through my veins that not only did I fail to realize the airplane was in front of me, I had no idea the wing gashed open my forehead.
I may have been ahead of my time; people today are doing these absent-minded things more than ever thanks to technology. Have you seen any of the online videos of people so engrossed in their phones that they walk in front of cars, fall into pools, or trip down steps they didn’t know were there? When most people think of the costs of technology they’re thinking only of the financial costs, but there are other more subtle costs as well.
Financial Costs – Some financial costs are easy to identify as they’re costs that simply did not exist for many people prior to the technology revolution. Cable TV, the Internet, and cell phone plans are all costs that prior generations didn’t have. Other costs are not as easily identifiable since they’re simply built right into the product. Have you ever wondered how much a car would cost if it wasn’t loaded up with technology?
Opportunity Costs – More than likely, we’ve all experienced the inability to make a purchase when a store has lost either power or Internet access. I’ve also left stores after growing frustrated by the cashier apparently not knowing how to work the register.
Training Costs – The bumbling cashier also highlights the huge training costs that come with technology. Companies spend a lot of money training and retraining employees every time a new piece of software comes out, or a new piece of technology is utilized.
Privacy Costs – It seems like technology is putting an end to privacy. People use apps like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to document their entire lives for the world to see. Some companies now make big money collecting data on you.
Time Costs – If you aren’t careful, technology can be a huge time waster. Have you ever decided to go online for a just a few minutes to check Facebook, and then find yourself jumping from news article to news article? Suddenly that few minutes has turned into hours.
Physical Costs – All of this technology is a major distraction. The previously mentioned videos of clumsy people might be funny, but there are also many texting-while-driving accidents and even deaths that are no laughing matter.
Technology is constantly changing and we continue to try our best to adapt. What are some of the costs you’ve experienced while trying to keep up?