Low Tech versus High Tech: Can Common Sense Prevail?


Recently a woman drove hundreds of miles out of her way because her GPS led her astray. According to her, she started in Belgium and ended up in Croatia before she realized she was off course.

Sometimes it’s advisable to temper our reliance on technology with a little common sense.

The love affair with high-tech gizmos and multifunctional devices can lull us into losing touch with reality or, even worse, cause us to reject out-of-hand those simple but effective low-tech solutions.

Computerworld blogger Mike Elgan has identified several simple, inexpensive, low-tech solutions that he thinks everyone should embrace.


For example:

  • Dash cams: In Russia, virtually anything that happens on the road is documented with a dash cam, or dashboard camera. These are low-cost, low-tech, always-on devices that record from your dashboard what’s going on around you, making them unimpeachable accident witnesses.
  • Mobile payments: In East Africa and much of the rest of the world, most purchases are made with cellphones, using low-tech Short Message Service (SMS) technology. Anyone with a mobile phone can use SMS to transfer funds, pay bills, make bank deposits and withdrawals, and exchange money.
  • Podcasting: Podcasts are a terrific way to learn and to stay informed. With a simple podcasting app you can automatically download podcasts from the Internet and listen to or watch high-quality content at your convenience.

Almost every day we hear about some amazing new advance or high-tech breakthrough.

But as Elgan suggests, sometimes the latest isn’t the greatest.