Then and Now: Technology


There are some major differences between my generation and my father’s, just as there are between him and his father’s. I could go on and on about economic inequality or the value of the US Dollar on a global scale, but I’m more interested in technology today.

These are just come observations I’ve made and some conclusions I’ve drawn about the nature of how I see technology and how that differs from older generations. Frankly, I want to hear your opinions more than pontificate on my own, so please join the conversation below in the comments.

The Alphabet: I don’t know much about the rest of my generation, but I can run through the QWERTY keyboard’s order of letters with more accuracy than I can go through the ABC’s. Like this: I know where a given letter is on the keyboard without thinking about it, but I don’t know if S comes before or after T unless I go through the whole A-B-C-D-E-F-G song and get to that part. Sad to admit, but the QWERTY keyboard is much more useful than the Alphabet ever was to me.

Telephones: When I was a kid in the 90s and early 00s, it was a privilege to get half an hour on the phone at night. It tied up the line in case someone wanted to call in and we had dial-up Internet that didn’t work without a free line. Now, I hardly leave my bedroom to get a Dew from the fridge without my iPhone, a device free of tethers and cords, able to search any of billions of facts in moments; not to mention its novel use as a portable phone.

Television: When I was a teenager, we had a DVR set-up in the house and I supplemented the digital recording system with my old, trusted VCR to record shows from times I couldn’t sit in front of the Idiot Box (or as Jubal might say, shut off that “God-damn noisy box!”). I hardly watch TV anymore – only if someone has one on and, laughably, I’m more interested in conversation with that person than the TV. If I watch anything, it’s on YouTube, NetFlix, CrunchyRoll or some other video site, but never on cable (or whatever it is that’s the most common today).


Car Stereo: My mother would drive us to school and would play 102.7, the oldies station, while we went. I have a love of the music of the 60s that will probably never leave me, but most of what I listen to now isn’t on my local radio station. The most advanced thing I ever saw in a car radio before 2007 was my sister’s external CD changer, a device that held 6 CDs and was plugged directly into the player. It was the coolest thing ever to have in excess of 60 songs at your disposal at the flick of a switch.

Now, I can hardly stand not having, at least, a 3.5mm jack to plug my iPod in so I can listen to Muse, Voltaire, Fightstar, Utada Hikaru, Skeeter Davis and the Scissor Sisters all in one playlist.

That’s the easy stuff. I didn’t even get to my old off-brand tape recorder/player (that I used to record songs off the computer and TV to a two-side cassette tape). I didn’t even touch on my first IBM computer (that damn thing couldn’t even play Streets of SimCity). I didn’t even say one word about my collection of VHS tapes outside of mentioning I had (still have) an RCA brand VCR.

What are your thoughts on how we’re changed our views on technology?

Hope to hear from you~


Then and Now: Technology