Donahoe Kearney - February 2020

BRIEF

donahoekearney.com

February 2020

LIVING IN THE AGE OF ACCELERATIONS

Does Technology Help or Harm Us?

If you’ve seen me in court or we’ve met in the office, you get that I’m old school when it comes to technology — I actually write stuff down and take notes by hand. And I don’t have a lot of patience for the newest tech thing (ask anyone who works here, my family or our tech company).

But even if you’re tech-challenged like me, here’s a cool question to consider (and it’s not “what is my &^%$# password?”):

Would you rather be the richest man in the world 100 years ago (probably John Rockefeller) or have an average amount of wealth today? I’ve got a feeling many of you would choose a regular existence in the 21st century rather than a lavish one a century in the past. That’s what I would want for one important reason: I don’t want to give up my access to modern technology. In the past century, and even in the past decade with the rise of smartphones and the internet of things, we have drastically changed the livelihoods of people everywhere with advances in technology. Modern medicine has mitigated and outright eradicated numerous diseases, better agricultural technology has led to healthier people all over the world, and Wi-Fi and 4G have helped us stay better connected to one another. Even as someone who can never remember my password, I love all the advancements in technology over the past century Not too long ago, a client of mine lost parts of both arms and feet as a result of medical malpractice. She can still connect with friends and relatives using her cellphone, and adaptive technology keeps her safe when she is home alone. With a little help and adaptation, she can drive a car and take her two kids to church, the store, school events, and more. It takes a lot of guts and courage for this mom to live a full life most of us take for granted. And it wouldn’t have been possible even 20 years ago. That’s one thing I think gets lost in the constant complaining about people being addicted to their smartphones, screen-time, and all of the time people waste due to technology. These kinds of advancements go a long way toward improving the lives of disabled people everywhere. And that’s just one real-world example of how improvements in smart tech have improved someone’s day-to-day life.

And because of that, this mom has enriched the lives of many others (including mine).

With the development of faster and smarter computers over the last decade, we’re also living in the “age of accelerations” — where we can’t keep up with advancements — and yes, there is a downside: Cyber criminals, like criminals everywhere, seem to be the first to adapt to new things and exploit them. But the “good guys” always catch up. We hear a lot about people being addicted to their phones, complaining about 24/7 access to everything, and how unhealthy it all is. Well, that’s probably true. Here’s something else that is true — all these devices have an off button. So yes, we can pity “poor” Rockefeller — the richest man in the world without indoor plumbing, HVAC, medical devices, modern medicine, or access to so much information and so many people. But to really answer the question, you’d have to put down your cell phone and actually read a book on Rockefeller.

-Frank Kearney

202.393.3320 • 1

Published by The Newsletter Pro • www.TheNewsletterPro.com

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