Hello from China!Actually, I will be back in New Zealand by the time you read this but I am in China for a short time and making the most of technology. I am connected through a virtual private network (VPN) so I can get G-mail, on a wireless connection in Starbucks near the Confusian Temple in Nanjing. I know 3 Chinese words.
Technology through my phone is allowing me to communicate (barter) with shop keepers and give directions to taxi drivers. Google maps keeps me informed of the right location so I know the taxi is going to the right area directly and not via some other city.
The Youdao translate App allows me to speak to my phone in English and have direct translations spoken or text to people who don’t speak English.
We-chat is a fantastic App that most Chinese people use. They use it for chatting like messenger or whatsap. They can order food, taxis, train tickets and pizza with it, and pay through Alipay directly. Shop keepers wave q-code cards at me in shops so I can pay for things with Alipay on my phone.
Technology has become so entrenched in our everyday lives that it is probably impossible to go back. And let’s face it, why would we go back?
This does bring up some issues though. Some of us, and I include myself can have difficulty learning to use the new concepts and technology.
I have a credit card, why should I need to use Alipay or some other version of software that turns my phone into an eftpos card?
The answer is really that technology will just keep rolling on. It makes things easier. When someone sees an opportunity or market, they will build a technology to fill it. If it proves popular, it will catch on. If not, it will quietly disappear.
My point with this column today is that we have to learn to embrace technology in all its forms. Not be scared of it. I understand the angst. Truly I do.
So, if you need help with your technology, even just reassurance that your tech is set up correctly, just call me. I’m here to make your digital world better.