Embracing the Next Normal

Time marches on. As does technology.

That should be an addendum to the idiom about death and taxes being the only things that can be said are certainties in life. Time always advances – and with it so does the world and its technological achievements.

Technology can be a scary proposition. We are all hardwired to be comfortable with patterns and routines. And we all have an innate behavior to resist – or at the very least be wary – of change. However, when given the chance, change simply becomes a new routine. Consider these relics: desktop calculators, camcorders, compasses, flashlights, alarm clocks, stereo systems, phone books, rotary telephones – not to mention party lines and telephone booths – voice recorders, dictionaries and encyclopedias.

Certainly, all of those items are still around; however, a large part of their original forms have been regulated to the dustbin of history and they all fit nicely into our pocket on our smartphones. They have adapted, changed and evolved with time and technology.

It’s true that some aspects of technological advancement bring about more effective and efficient ways to cause one another harm. However, the greater good technology provides the human condition vastly outweighs drawbacks. It helps us remain healthier, improves our working conditions and job efficiencies, keeps us safer and helps us better understand one another.

We are dedicating this month’s issue of Greater Lansing Business Monthly to technology and celebrating what it can do to improve and enhance our lives and experiences. This issue explores how technology is redefining the agriculture industry by improving farm management through everything from collecting data on fields to milking cows, how the Industrial Internet of Things is allowing manufacturers to conduct predictive maintenance and how providing high-speed broadband internet access is no longer a want but a need for many.

One interesting aspect addressed in one of this month’s articles is how the technology has saved time for individuals, allowing an improved work-life balance. In that respect, it can be said that technology has allowed us to grow closer – regardless of the notion that everyone today has eyes glued to glowing screens.

As technology advances, it’s up to us to adapt. That may mean learning a new skill set to find our place in it. However, that’s not a new concept. It’s been that way throughout history. As things changed, we also have changed. Despite all of our flaws and shortcomings as the human species, we’ve always been able to step up and embrace the next normal.

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