Technology: How Did I Get Here?

As much as I hate to admit it, I have had to come to terms with the fact that I am at the age where I compare things to what they were like “back in my day”. I find myself having to try to keep up with the rise of technology. It is a strange feeling because I have not even reached 30 yet. It just seems as though things have moved so quickly since I was a kid.

Music appears on the internet without any prior notice. I remember having to wait for my favourite artists to announce that they are going to release an album and then wait. After the wait, sometimes with dates pushed back to maximise the buzz, I would have to wait for Musica to have stock. Only then would I be able to ride my bike to the local center, buy the (not so) compact disc and return home to listen to it on my CD player. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience because I would read the inner leaflet while listening to each track. It was great – until the CD got scratched and started skipping.

Television is becoming less and less relevant. With the internet, you can binge watch your favourite shows and catch up on the news at your own pace. There is no longer a need to wait for the 8pm news bulletin or wait to see what happens “next week on…” anymore. Technology has completely revolutionised the way we watch television shows and movies. It went from VHS to DVD to Blu-Ray to streaming. Even live events can be streamed online for far less than what you would pay for a premium television subscription. I remember having to fight my brother for the remote if there was something on TV that we each wanted to watch but on different channels. If I didn’t get to watch my show that day, the chances are that I missed it forever.

Children younger than 10 years old are using smartphones with the same level of ease as that of a 20-something. I find that extremely fascinating. These kids have just learned to read and they are able to operate a handset that is fundamentally a highly functional computer. The knowledge of technology that they have developed from such a young age is absolutely incredible. For me at 10 years old, a computer was a massive box with a massive screen, keyboard, and mouse that had the functionality of what one would consider a bottom of the range smartphone now, if even that. Encarta was our Google. Our extremely limited Google.

Another thing I find particularly fascinating is the rise of social media. We are able to celebrate, grieve, laugh and share outrage on a daily basis with people that we would otherwise hardly see or, in some cases, never even meet. Of course, this is great when you are able to break away from your busy life and connect with other people, but sometimes it is not so great. My 10-year high school reunion is supposed to be held this year and, to be honest, I do not see much reason to attend. Facebook has helped me keep in touch and up to date with what my peers have been doing for the past 10 years.

While I do keep up with what’s trending to a certain degree, I find myself constantly having to catch up. Everything is so instant now that if I have a weekend away from the internet and check back in on the following Monday, so much has happened and people are already talking about the next thing.

That being said, I think today’s world of technology is absolutely incredible in that information is just a touch away. I am at that exciting age where I’ve seen so many technological advances and will see so much more in the future. I look forward to embracing more change.

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