In an age where technological advancements take place on an almost daily basis, the impact on our lives has been so substantial, yet paradoxically subtle, that we hardly even give a second thought to how things have changed over the past decade or two.
Here are 5 examples of how technology has changed our behaviour:
Greeting Cards: When was the last time you bought a greeting card? If you are anything like I am, you probably only consider purchasing a card for a wedding, funeral or significant birthday. These days a text or message on social media have replaced the once mandatory greeting card. The phone ringing over and over again with gleeful well-wishers on the other side has been replaced by notification tones…it is altogether possible to have hardly anyone actually wishing you for your birthday…a deafening silence punctuating the room.
Television: For many years after the introduction of TV, owning a television was a luxury. Families would sit huddled around the single set with only 1 or perhaps 2 channels to choose from. Only the very wealthy would own more than one television. Broadcasting hours were limited, with children’s programmes appearing for only a short time at the beginning of the viewing window. These days families are scattered throughout the house watching their preferred channel, in different rooms on a variety of devices. Children’s programmes are available 24/7, and viewing devices can even be found in kitchens and bathrooms too!
Gambling: Trips to the casino, friendly poker evenings and bingo tournaments were generally planned well in advance. The date was decided upon and plans were set in motion. With the event of online casinos no advanced planning is required. Should the mood strike, one simply needs to login to an online casino and in a matter of seconds your gaming session has begun. Fun, excitement and the thrill of hitting a jackpot – right there in your own living room. No need to dress up – your bathrobe and fluffy slippers will suffice. One also doesn’t have to worry about carrying large amounts of cash with you as all transactions and pay outs are done electronically and thus any risk of being robbed is significantly reduced.
Credit & Debit Card Systems: On the topic of money, have you ever thought of how the absence bank cards would impact on your life? We all take for granted that our money is available to us when we need it and wherever we need it. In the not-so-distant past people had to physically go into the bank during banking hours in order to either deposit or withdraw cash. The other alternatives were to either write out a cheque, or keep a kitty locked away in a safe or hidden under your mattress.
Books: If you enjoyed reading you would either purchase a book from a book store, loan one from a friend or take out one from the library. The tactile experience of reading a book, the musty smell of well-read pages, and having to make a careful choice about which books you’d like to take with you on holiday, have been replaced by sprawling online libraries with thousands of books available at your fingertips at the simple press of a button. Do people still read in the bath? Although no real numbers are known, it is certainly very few people who are brave enough to lie with their expensive device hovering over a tub of water.
So many changes have taken place over the last 2 decades, and like it or not, things will continue to evolve. The devices and systems we use now will be referred to by our grandchildren as ones we used ‘in the olden days’. Hard to imagine? The future is just around the corner.