Technological advances in terms of the home, healthcare and travel have changed our lives. Today perhaps the biggest technological growth area is in the emergence of gadgets such as tablets. But how are the iPad and other such hassle-reducing gadgets helpful?

The world has grown smaller in the sense that we can instantly and easily communicate. We can use email and telephones both for business and personal reasons such as keeping in touch with family.

Computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones enable us to use services such as instant messaging. The growth in social media tools also facilitates communication, and not just with business contacts, family, and friends, but also with the wider community. We can use such media not just to exchange messages or information, but also to share photographs and other files.

In an era when many people have little spare time for socializing, technology makes it easier for people with a common interest to meet people, and for people to form a friendship or even a romantic relationship. People have wider access to learning opportunities through online courses. These are available at the user’s convenience, can be studied at their pace and are particularly useful for those living in outlying and rural areas, where travel may be difficult.

No longer are we a captive audience enslaved to the schedules of TV networks. Now we have cable and catch-up TV, so we can watch programmers at our convenience, including whole box sets. We can also listen to music and view photographs via our TV, or we can connect a PC or laptop and view in widescreen, play games and surf the internet.

Computers spare us the inconvenience of trudging around a supermarket, as we can buy the things we need online. Electronic books and online newspapers can be accessed using a small portable tablet.

Travel has been made easier with the invention of GPS and satellite navigation. We no longer have to take the time to work out routes using a map, which may be out of date or complicated by road works. We can use up-to-date technology for accuracy and to save time.

The invention of gadgets such as smartphones and laptops means that employees can keep in touch and informed when out of the office. Instead of wasting hours travelling and being unable to work, essentially such technologies allow people to carry their office with them. Tablets are more portable than laptops and have considerable storage space for the growing number of applications available — presentations, reports, spreadsheets and charts can all be created on them. Users can also follow developments and news in their area of expertise using RSS feeds, blogs and wikis.

Computers, tablets and smartphones can also be used for video conferencing. Managers don’t have to travel half way across the world to attend a conference or meeting. They can contribute from behind their desk, at home or even while they’re on the move.

So where would we be without gadgets such as iPad’s? Still here and still surviving, but gadgets enhance our lives in many ways. They place more time on our hands and money into our pocket, and they allow us to be better informed and more productive. Go gadgets go!