The thought of being constantly connected gives me the creeps. I know, I know. I’m immersed in technology every day as part of my job and I love technology, I really do. I have all the toys and I use them. I get excited when I talk to someone who has developed a new device that will help manage my health or improve the life of someone with a chronic condition.
But the thought of being connected whether I want to be or not makes me uncomfortable.
A new report by the Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center has concluded that the Internet of Things will continue to spread between now and 2026, despite concerns about cyberattacks, outages and privacy violations as recently reported on the news.
(The Internet of Things, as you might recall, is the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, including home health devices, enabling them to send and receive data.)
The report came up with seven themes in answer to the question, “Could security vulnerabilities that become evident as the Internet of Things rolls out prompt people, businesses and government to avoid or withdraw from certain online connectivity options?”
Here are the themes:
Theme 1: People crave connection and convenience, and a tech-linked world serves both goals well
Theme 2: Unplugging isn’t easy now, and by 2026 it will be even tougher
Theme 3: Risk is part of life. The Internet of Things will be accepted, despite dangers, because most people believe the worst-case scenario could never happen to them
Theme 4: More people will be connected and more will withdraw or refuse to participate
Theme 5: Human ingenuity and risk-mitigation strategies will make the Internet of Things safer
Theme 6: Notable numbers will disconnect
Theme 7: Whether or not people disconnect, the dangers are real. Security and civil liberties issues will be magnified by the rapid rise of the Internet of Things
It appears inevitable that we’ll be living in a completely connected world sooner rather than later. Hopefully we’ll use this constant connectedness for good—to make ourselves, and the world, healthy and happy.