The last decade or so has brought about so many changes – globally, we’re moving at the speed of light and the use of technology has made our civilisation change more rapidly than ever before. The technology itself is progressing, but that’s changing traditions, too. Whether that’s because we’re online more or simply more educated, you decide!
We’re far more digital
We’re online more than we ever used to be. An eye-opening piece of research was conducted by the University of Ulster back in 2004 about how the 21st Century was going to turn out according to the experts. It’s actually rather funny to look at it now.
They predicted that by 2050, “our entire digital existence will travel with us, possibly through the use of slim-line devices,” according to Professor Gerard Parr, the chair in telecommunications engineering at the university. Of course, that’s just what we now refer to as smartphones. Like everywhere else in the world, these have taken off in a big way. They also talked about voice-activated technology, Wi-Fi everywhere and TV and other media being available in real-time and on the move. Although some predictions (like beaming thoughts, feelings and scents) are not yet a reality, there’s still time yet and we’ve come a long way in the space of just 14 years!
All of this would have seemed quite alien at a time when, although a lot of us were online, digital life had not yet permeated every aspect of our existence in quite the way it has now.
Even our hobbies – like the lottery – are online
In Ulster, people have always been partial to playing the lottery – and indeed, National Lottery funding actually goes to some really good causes around Ulster itself – such as Ulster Wildlife.
But as with a lot of hobbies that have been around for the long term in the area, you can now play the Irish lotto online. This makes things super convenient – no more forgetting to put on your numbers and then kicking yourself the week the they come up.
We’re more conscious about the planet
According to statistics, recycling in the area is at the best levels it’s seen for a decade. Like most of the world, we’ve become more conscientious about the ways we treat our planet and so we are recycling a lot more.
In the years beforehand, we had become captivated with the likes of plastics and fast fashion, but thanks to the steady stream of information we all have regular access to, we now all know that this simply isn’t sustainable.
Thankfully, in mid-Ulster, rates are the best in Northern Ireland for recycling, with almost 50% of all waste being recycled. With any luck, in the future we can recycle even more.
It’s evident that a lot of the developments we’re seeing are down to connectivity, but also to awareness as well. Our generation tends to care a lot more about the world we live in. We know that, while technology is fast and fleeting, our planet is too – unless we take care of it.
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