This week, while away from home and office, I had the time to reflect on how different we all communicate today vs. as little as 5 years ago. My phone sends me updates on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as text messages, phone messages and also lets me check in at Foursquare to find specials and free stuff. And of course I have all my books in e-reader (haven’t read bound books since early 2004), games, video, music, camera, etc., — all in the one device. It is interesting to observe how often I use all of these items — almost without thinking. I now routinely google a topic while at dinner to find out more about the subject, or pull up a book I had read some time ago to find a quote. It’s remarkable the ways in which this one device has altered how I communicate with the world.
Then there are the other toys we carry with us on the road. We have an HDMI cable (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) that allows my laptop to connect to newer televisions as an external monitor. We even have a hand-sized Bluetooth speaker that is paired with the computer so that the sound is great. Last night, as Patrick and I were deciding whether to watch a DVD, use hulu.com to watch a favorite TV show, or even download a movie from Blockbuster and watch that, I reflected upon how profoundly technology has changed our lives.
This made me aware of how easy it is to forget how things were. When I learned to drive, one actually needed to insert the key in the lock to get in the car. But it’s been forever since I’ve had to use the key – in fact, I really can’t remember how long ago. A few years back I walked to the garage, clicked the car remote and the locks to the door didn’t open. I clicked again; the locks still wouldn’t open. I stood there dumbfounded and wondered, “Now what am I going to do? It looks like the battery is dead in this remote and I need to get in the car.” Fortunately, not too many seconds later I remembered, “OH, the key will let me in the car!” It was like a revelation.
It’s clear that, to stay up on how the generations behind us are viewing the world, we need to immerse ourselves in the continued changes in communication and technology. What fun to watch oneself evolve and adapt!