It’s amazing how huge changes in our behavior sneak up in small steps. When I look at even the vocabulary I use today, I realize that even as recent as a couple of decades ago words like mouse, desktop, icons, footprint, kindle, application, tablet, and so many more, meant something completely different than they do now.
I no longer have a home phone. I don’t subscribe to cable TV. I have no print. I rarely buy a hard copy or paperback book. I don’t collect coupons, or print coupons and loyalty cards are now on my keychain.
I do not have a GPS device on my windshield and rarely use paper maps. Why would I when that helpful woman’s voice, sometimes irritating, tells me where to turn and gets me, usually, to my destination.
I listen to news on a tablet in the morning or on the Internet radio station available on my Apple TV, and I don’t have to be sitting in front of a TV to do this. A tablet is quite portable.
In the early ‘60s I read a TV guide article about the future. I was excited about tall tales of being able to get any movie you want on demand through some touch screen. I couldn’t wait to have an audio greeting telling me I have messages, or reminding me to shop or call someone. Now I am frustrated if the movie I want isn’t yet available on Netflix or Amazon Prime. If it isn’t there now, though, it will be soon, I am confident.
Jeff Bezos stated in an interview that it is his intention to have (almost) every book ever published available on Kindle. That is quite an ambition. I expect he will soon say the same thing about movies on Amazon Prime.
So modern life is ever changing, and APPLE, Amazon and Netflix have truly changed our behavior on a large scale. How many people have PC’s but still have the Apple products for phones, tablets and Apple TV? Right?
It’s getting as though you have to think twice before you purchase almost anything—DVD’s of TV series that are free online make purchasing DVD series so unnecessary. And at this point, if the season I want on a series I am following isn’t out yet, I switch to a different series until it is. The selection is so vast, I wouldn’t have time to see everything anyway. And, unless I need to watch a live sports game, I have no idea why I would pay $100 a month for cable or Dish.
I just heard that the stats on people giving up a home phone have risen dramatically. We gave ours up ten years ago. The only people who ever called it were telemarketers and long, lost relatives, who if we wanted to talk to, would know our cell numbers.
Technology is so amazing that it connects over generations, gender, and even people with vastly different interests. Where but on Facebook, for instance, can you instantly find out which of your friends has a new grandchild, or a birthday, or needs prayer, or wants you to Like some cause they believe in–even if they are thousands of miles away. I don’t always act on everything there, but I am glad it is there.
The down side of all this is obvious. Privacy and quiet time are rare. I was unnerved to see my photos are waiting to upload to Twitter and Google Circles. I don’t remembering setting that up and don’t want to.
But, when I want to share photos, like asking my contractor friend to look at an inspection report on a house, it was amazing to be able to discuss that with him, having instant pictures and the report and being able to go over it line by line. No down time. At Christmas, I wanted to give my son-in-law a picture of a train that my daughter took. It took my son and his girlfriend about a half hour to help me get it to CVS in Los Angeles, so it would be awaiting me at the store by the time we arrived there the next day. Then I could buy a frame and have it ready for Christmas, rather than the old days of film, developing, waiting, printing, paying for copies, etc. This was amazing to me.
For all its downside, I love technology, and am so happy to have the efficiency of digital copy and paste, scanning, digital bank deposits, Amazon grocery delivery and countless other conveniences I never realized have crept into my life as normal, everyday activities. They say a million dollar idea is one that changes behavior. I can’t wait to see which one I can come up with. But for now, I will enjoy paying for or accepting for free the myriad of ideas that have changed mine–mostly for the better.