Saving our jobs from technology | The Triangle

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Saving our jobs from technology

Photograph courtesy of NASA at Wikimedia

There are countless factors that put a strain on our everyday lives, especially when we need to work. As ironic as this might sound, technology is one of those factors.

In many areas, technology can help us get work done faster and more easily. It also gives us access at the tap of a portable screen, allows us to diagnose problems and even provides us with amazing access to the news we crave seeing.

The most frustrating problem with technology, though, is that it actually replaces the easier opportunities for individuals to make money. These opportunities include service industry jobs, such as data entry, cashiering, clerking, waiting tables, housekeeping, driving and even landscaping.

First, shopping malls began shutting down small, individualized family-owned businesses you used to find in your town’s business district. Now, we see online shopping shutting down those malls that seem to have sprung up not long ago and taking away all the jobs of the people who work there.

Additionally, I have heard some stories in the news about vehicles potentially becoming self-driven in the not-so-far away future. In an example, according to a CityLab.com article, electric bus manufacturer Proterra has recently teamed up with the University of Nevada, Reno to test how well a city transit agency can communicate with a driverless transit vehicle. If this technology enters the market, it would be very frustrating for those working in the manual automobile industry to dig out of the rut this advanced technology trapped them in.

Also, seeing more automated small machines such as robotic lawn mowers on the market is enraging. I worked in landscape maintenance for about a year and so I strongly understand how important my ability to operate such a machine is to me. It saddens me that my ability to maintain someone’s property could be deemed useless and inferior. Isn’t it crazy how quickly technology is evolving now?

Many service jobs in which robots are replacing humans are tedious and do not pay well, but many individuals who work these jobs are disadvantaged in some way or another. A very common disadvantage is lack access to good education in order to obtain the skills needed for more advanced work. People might lack the financial security, or might live in a rural small town so far away from reputable educational institutions, or both. In such cases, the costs of sending a child off to college seem unbearable, as they are enormous compared to the costs of living in the small town.

College students also have service jobs  as they try to make extra money on the side of their mainstream collegiate lives. Students invest massive amounts of money in education and need to find ways to help pay off their debt from loans. Taking away service jobs could be detrimental, because students benefit from jobs that are easy to attain while they are still working on their portfolios and resumes to build their potential of attaining more employment in the field of their degree.

While it may take a long time for potential technological advancements to kick in, it is important to be aware of problems associated with these advancements now so we can plan ahead to better our future, ensuring job security for those left behind.

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