How has technology changed the way we think?

Let’s take a trip down memory lane, rewind to the year 2004. The world was a very different place. One thing today that we can liken to 2004 is the state of the Sydney property market. It had peaked and began its imminent correction, at that time, Sydney’s median house price was $515,000. Casting our minds back, here’s a few of today’s ‘essentials’ that surprisingly weren’t around 15 years ago.

  • Facebook
  • Linkedin
  • Smart phones
  • Instagram
    And much more…

Who would have thought, we could live without the constant notifications of where our friends and family were at all times? The truth is technology has changed the world in many great ways. One of the negatives though is that we’ve become glued to our screens or as some call it ‘slaves of the screen’. We’re addicted to keeping up to date with all aspects of life and with the ability to have any information at our fingertips within seconds our patience has deteriorated. Our entire lives are being managed by a piece of technology which sits in our pockets. A study in the UK found that the average time spent by an individual on their smartphone equates to one day per week.

Our ability to access any information with our fingertips within seconds has made us experts in every field. Unfortunately, access to information works both ways, media companies and advertisers have made their way into our lives by saturating our social network feeds. We can’t escape the media and the constant information we’re bombarded with.

Subconsciously our emotions are driven by the information which we take in and the vast majority of this information comes from our media outlets. The sad reality is that sensationalism sells stories.

The perception of any change intensifies dramatically as a result of the over-saturation of information. The perfect example is the property market in Sydney. Over the last 6 years, it was dubbed the market which would never stop growing and rising property prices would lead to an unrecoverable affordability crisis. In 2018, Sydney reached its peak and began its expected correction, after 76% growth we’ve seen falls of 8 – 12%. Of course, looking at these falls in isolation may raise concern, it’s critical to look at the long-term performance of the market. In 2011, Sydney’s median house price was $533,000, its now $900,000. There’s no reason for panic and fear but the bombardment of negative media and our inability to block it out is shaping our perceptions incorrectly.

The case was similar in 2004 with headlines being regurgitated, but what has changed is our exposure to these headlines. Rather than hearing them in a 30 second segment on the evening news or when buying the newspaper, we are now seeing headlines on our computers, on our smart phones and in our Facebook newsfeeds. We’re forced to read the articles and the headlines which seem to chase us through the various social media platforms. These intensify our emotions and subconsciously create fear and concern. Our trust has been questioned by the information forced in-front of us.

Without the right guidance, you’d be forgiven for listening to these articles which often include an interview with one of the country’s leading economists or ‘property experts’. These interviews are then taken out of context to deliver the worst possible message to its readers.

Technology has made us smarter, faster and more connected but at what cost? Are we missing out on great opportunities because we’ve been distracted by misleading, out of context information? It’s important to keep perspective, do your own research and seek guidance from an objective source.

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