Grateful for Technology

October 29, 2020
Todd Fritz

Technology has truly come a long way over the years.  Not to age myself or anything like that, but I remember the first phone (which was a rotary dial) in our home centrally placed down the end of the hallway and we had a LONG cord which allowed us to carry it down the hall into our bedrooms and shut the door for privacy while talking.  If someone else needed to use it, they either tugged at the phone cord until your ear was plastered into the door, or they went downstairs to hop on that phone and interrupt your conversation.  I still remember my old telephone number growing up.

Then as I went to college, we either made collect calls back home or used calling cards (remember 10 10…)?  I studied in Denmark my Sophomore year and we used a payphone and international calling cards to call home.  We sent cassette tapes back and forth in the mail so we could hear each other’s voices.  We didn’t have google maps or GPS, so traveling meant buying a “Let’s Go Europe” book and researching our destinations and learning to read maps and train schedules.  I am still dumbfounded when I think of my classmates and I all meeting at the Arc De Triumph in Paris at Midnight to ring in the year 1990 (if you are doing the math I was a child prodigy at age 5)?

Fast forward to 2020…

Thankfully COVID hit in 2020 when we are technologically advanced enough to allow many businesses to stay in business. Can you imagine what the results would be if this had happened 30 years ago?

According to, an estimated “56% of the US workforce holds a job that is compatible (at least partially) with remote work.”  That is staggering numbers to think about.  What is more astonishing is that technology is in large part the reason they are able to do so.

There are over 14.02 BILLION mobile devices worldwide!

Nearly 31% of businesses use VoIP systems today!

According to Gartner, Cloud Based spending is forecasted to grow 6.3% in 2020 to total $257.9 billion!

Through the use of the Internet, we are now able to login to our work from anywhere, from any device, at any time we want, and we are able to do this in a safe and secure environment.

Today, my Microsoft Analytics reported that I have 0 downtime.  Food for Thought: “It looks like you read and respond to email quickly outside your working hours.  Consider turning off email notifications outside working hours.”  Even our Cloud Based solutions are monitoring our daily routines, and recommending we have some work/life balance.

My daughter interviewed me on how COVID has changed my buying habits and consumption of products.  She is an Environmental & Sustainability major at UMD.  Her questions made me think about how technology has been good for our environment. We are not driving as much (less emissions), and not being tempted by impulse buys at the stores(less consumption of products), which are both good.  However, the increased use of plastic bags, packaging materials, to-go containers, single use items like disinfectant wipes, have a negative effect.

The other big change that I’d be remiss in not mentioning is VIDEO technology.  Video calls for business meetings, conferences, concerts, happy hours, or family time have become the new norm. It allows us to see each other in a safe distanced way, BUT for me, it’s just not the same as the hugs and laughter we share when we are face to face.  This is one technology I’d trade to be back to in person meetings and events.

Technology, love it or hate it?  It is continually changing the way we do business, the way we communicate with one another, the way we live our lives.  As we embrace the Thanksgiving season ahead of us, I give thanks for technology.  Thank you for keeping my co-workers safely working from home, thank you for keeping me connected to my customers and family and thank you for allowing me to keep tabs on our community and supporting the local business and organizations.  They need us now more than ever as winter approaches.  Let’s use our technologies to keep buying local and supporting one another!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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