14 April 2011

Innovation & deterioration

I can remember a time when our house only had one computer, and (gasp) one television, and we used landlines. I can even remember my first email account...I don't even know if the site still exists! My sister, on the other hand, 8 years my junior, probably can't remember Oregon Trail, floppy disks, and VHS tapes or cassettes. Such a huge change in our innovation- I wouldn't have been able to write this blog when I was her age, and I'm not even that old!

In this age of innovation, where I can post a blog from my iPod, I can't help but wonder what else will come along before I hit the generation age where I fear I will begin to lose my tech savvy. I mean, it's one thing to grow up with these innovations...it's another to have to learn them when everything inevitably upgrades. What's going to happen to me when they integrate Windows 2020 and I don't know how to use it. More specifically, for whom is all this 'innovation' beneficial? I mean, are they intending to phase out generations earlier and earlier? Am I going to be part of that trend?

Some of my colleagues (not all, though) don't even know how to use the current version of Microsoft Word. You know, since they change it so often. Will that be me soon? Was I born late enough in the trend to be able to adapt to the next innovations successfully? I certainly hope that with the number of changes they've made, I've learnt adaptability enough to adapt.

One thing I've noticed more, though, and I'm sure others have noticed too, is that with all this innovation...we're losing all the ties that make us human. Who goes out to chat anymore, or even talks on a phone? No, people these days text, write blogs (guilty), update their facebook, but so many more aren't. Want a pizza for dinner? When I was younger, you could get out the yellow pages before dinner, and order a delivery or pickup, and you'd use cash to pay usually. Now, you get online and design your pizza, tell em when you want it ready, and even pay online...in some cases, you can just use the Internet on your cell phone, and you can even pay online! Forget all the trouble of seeing people or talking to them or (Shock! Horror!) waiting. Are these kids gonna have any patience at all?what is going to happen to their communication skills when they don't really have to communicate face-to-face much? Will they miss it, even? I mean, after all, they did grow up with such innovations. I have trouble with friends, though, so it's a bit disheartening that going out isn't done much anymore...unless
you go to the bar for a drink or something. I'm not that type, though. And I'm not fond of the principle of online dating and/or friendships. It's just...less real to me. Will these kids ever have the same kind of relationships shared in past generations? Unfortunately, probably not. They'll facebook each other, but I doubt it will ever have the same meaning- even in my generation, with all the changes that have been made.

No longer do you have to speak to order a pizza. You can complete degrees and certifications online, conduct interviews, shop, play games, just about anything, even work from home, with your handheld devices these days. I'm actually reliant on mine, I don't know about anyone else, but I'm sure I'm not alone. I feel lost if I don't have a mobile contact with someone...how will I contact them? I don't have to wait until we're both by a landline, usually. And a lot of places are keeping their doors open later- I can completely avoid people and shop at 2am!! Or just shop online.

Will we see a decline in communication, human interaction, and ultimately in population? Will
Future generations even know the difference, besides from what they see on wikipedia? Now for some important research...I've been asked about the proper grammatical use of 'computer mouse' in the plural form, and my curious mind has to wonder...why is it a mouse? What's the history behind it? I can only hope that future gens will have the patience and curiosity to at least learn about things online, if that's how we have to do it. I just kind of wonder, though, if eventually technology will backfire and ultimately consume or obliterate the human race as we know it....

Sincerely, my strange new nickname Ashley Elle. :)

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