Life unplugged by Rachel Martin, Account Executive

The Internet of Things is poised to explode.

Imagine a world where your fridge is talking to your phone, your toothbrush is talking to your dentist and your home lighting takes cues from your Netflix viewing choices – great, right? Well this future is closer than you might think – just ask anyone with a wearable fitness device.

The Internet of Things, the term for a connected network of smart devices, is quickly gaining momentum, and is set to both revolutionise and disrupt industries as far-reaching as waste management and health care.

In a recent report from Gartner Inc, it is predicted that that 5.5 million new devices will connect every day this year, and by 2020 we’ll be surrounded by 20.8 billion connected devices… mind blowing.

Indeed the pace of technological change over the next few years is already set to eclipse that of the past 20 – but has it tipped too far; have we become slaves to the screen?

Most of us indulge in the need always to have something electronic in our hands, and in doing so we’re bypassing the real world to get a digital quick-fix… our plans for down-time and stress release seem to depend on the speed of our broadband connection.

So we need to find the right balance. We need to keep up with our ever-changing world but also ensure that technology is our master, and not our slave.

With so many different ways to access media, be it through Facebook, YouTube or news websites; via mobile or tablet apps, a strong idea can quickly gain huge scale and quickly…

In my world of PR, to be able to turn around a press release at half past four in the afternoon and for it to be in the papers the next morning is now the norm ; but it wouldn’t have happened ten years ago (possibly not even five).

We have seen great leaps in digital technology over the past five years – Smartphones, Cloud Computing, Multi-touch tablets/devices: all life altering ways of working. And some argue that we are only just getting started, but what we have to remember is who is in control.

It’s all well and good having the world at your fingertips, but when your digital devices are taking up too much of your life, you know it’s time to switch it off and enjoy life unplugged.