Technology is running our lives these days. Smartphones, laptops and machines – it feels like we can't live without them. Technology has burst on the market in a relatively short period, and many people can't picture a life without it.
To understand how we escaped the dark ages (which wasn't all that long ago) and where we are now, it's important to understand how technology progresses and why it matters.
When time goes on, everything about us is shifting. We have been almost entirely dependent on technology for a century, and it goes without saying that things were handled very differently decades ago than they are now. But as much as some people want to suggest that our dependency on technology hinders us, we can't argue that it makes life a lot easier!
Here are a few things that technology has made so much better for us!
Then: Snail mail was the primary source of correspondence then as opposed to today, where it was the primary source of junk mail. I recall getting pen pals at grade school and being extremely happy about sending letters and collecting stamps. Although there's something really sweet about the concept of snail mail, it's called snail mail for a reason—sluggish it's and in the end, inconvenient.
Now: Today, we basically use anything but snail mail to connect with each other. Whether it's email, text, video chat, fax or instant messaging, we have an abundance of tools to help us to reach each other without having to find a mailbox. Technology has successfully simplified correspondence from a few days to only a few minutes.
Then: There's nothing more inconvenient than the horse buggies, the boat, and the little covered wagons that you used to drive on the awful Oregon Trail game. Forget about the ludicrous amount of time it takes to get somewhere, talk of being miserable! People have died daily attempting to get from point A to point B. It's inconvenient now.
Now: Today, our modes of travel are the concept of glamorous. From first class aeroplanes to flashy luxury cars, everything today is about altitude, safety and comfort. And if all we can afford is a coach ride or a 90s Honda ride, it still beats a few states for months to come.
Then: Play is certainly indeed a great source of entertainment today, but its medieval equivalent isn't all that great. And if the special effects were a little stronger, let's note that women were played by men because the stage was no place for a woman." Let's put the obsolete values in the past, right?
Now: Thank you for the movie theaters, cable TV, Netflix, video games and tablet applications! Not only are things a little more fun than they were back then we're all beginning to see more diverse media coverage, whether it's gender, race, sexuality or sexual orientation. This is what I call improvement.
Of course, technology also makes us complacent (especially as college students; we're too anxious to procrastinate with some Orange Is New Black on Netflix). Yet without the incredible advance of science, we will all be using outhouses and shouting out our windows to speak to our mates. Our reliance on technology is not that bad.
Purpose drives Technologies FORWARD
Both inventions have been born out of intent. For example, search engines have been created to filter through vast volumes of online data. For each new upgrade technology, current systems are merged to produce something different than what was traditionally used. And it goes on and on.
With the lightning speed of technological evolution, it is no surprise so many people have failed to keep up. To be honest, the breadth of technology is so great, it's almost difficult to sum it up in a single blog post.
Here's just a quick snapshot of how quickly the Internet and technology as a whole have grown in recent years.
THE PAST: WORLD, MEET THE INTERNET
Looking back to the 1990s, many, but not all, households and enterprises started to obtain access to the Internet as a new commodity. The sound of a terribly slow dial-up signal linking to the Internet is a not-so-found memory (EEEE-AAAAAHH!!!) for people living at that time.
Fortunately, as more users have found value on the Internet, technology has gone off to remove the need to use a phone line to go online, instead providing quicker access to the World Wide Web.
THE PRESENT: SNAPS, CHATS AND DOUBLE TAPS
Fast-forward a short years ago (side note: remember VHS tapes!? fast-forward OG? Well, carry on...).
Connection to the Internet has been available nearly everywhere since the days of the dial-up. It is uncommon these days for customers to go to a coffee shop, a library or other place of business and not be able to reach a Wi-Fi signal. Even if there's no Wi-Fi signal at close range, most people always have access to the Internet through their cellular data link on their smartphones and personal hotspots, no problem.