I’m sitting here tonight, tapping away on my laptop keyboard, and I got to thinking about what I would be doing right now if I didn’t have all these amazing gadgets at my disposal to communicate with, and build a life around. The fact that I’m sitting in my bed typing away on my laptop, while my router, hooked up to my main computer in the office, picks up the signal and gets me onto the Internet, is pretty amazing. It’s more amazing considering that it wasn’t really that long ago – less than a generation- that we were reliant on everything BUT a computers to communicate with others.
I think about how easily I have slotted myself into becoming reliant on the new technologies, although I haven’t gone as far as to set my mobile phone up to be Internet ready, use an iPad, or set my Foxtel up to be Internet capable, I’m quite good at going through a few gigabytes of computer download each week.
I do a lot on the Internet these days. I buy books, I study, I organise my business, I update my website, and I talk to my friends. If I could get my groceries delivered to the island, I would probably do that too. I’m becoming a cyber hermit.
I can vaguely remember my time as a sunburnt, adventurous child, intent on getting out of the house for as many hours as possible in as much downtime as I had to play with out of school hours. Back then, chips were something you got hot from the corner shop, processors had some use in the kitchen, and ports were a name for our school bags.
My son, only the next generation, has grown up with CDs, computers, pocket mobile phones, iPods, iPads. I could go on, as it’s a long list. Suffice it to say that he is pretty adept at pushing buttons, tapping keyboards, downloading, and digitising. He doesn’t even know if he can get hot chips from the corner shop, because he never gets out.
It would be pretty fair to say that we are moving along at a pretty fast pace, and it’s getting faster than it was perhaps only 50 years ago. With each generation that comes after this one, a little more of the old will be lost, and new social and societal structures will emerge in the changing environment.
It’s pretty hard to imagine, given the trajectory that we are on, what the world will be like in another 50 years. I’m hopeful for improvement, provided that we don’t blast ourselves into kingdom come as modern warfare techniques also advance along with the advancing technologies, and some nut decides to press ‘the button.’
As per my previous rant about us losing the plot, we have a lot to learn about preserving the only place that we have to cohabitate on, despite our amazing technological advances in the last few years.
So, what would I be doing right now if I didn’t have all of these marvellous gadgets at my disposal? I’d probably be sleeping quite soundly and not getting on my cyber-soapbox bleating about the state of the world and some possible future lunatic with a big bomb and a trigger finger.