Years ago, I spent a drunken evening arguing with someone close to me. It was one of those nights when the truth, as one perceives it, is expelled in all its anger and grief. I do not wish to divulge into the specifics of our conversation, but this person expressed their disappointment in my efforts, or lack thereof, to reach out more often. They suggested how I should’ve texted, instant messaged or, at least, emailed if I was too busy to call. Those assumptions struck me as odd because they were in reference to a time before mobile devices occupied every aspect of our lives.
Reflecting upon this conversation made me realize how normal the integration of modern technology has become and how much we take it for granted.
It’s Easy to Forget They Haven’t Always Been Around
The accusation this person made was based on the presumption that those modes of communication were mainstream and accessible to the vast majority of the public, which they weren’t yet.
What this person failed to realize was that I didn’t have text messaging until I was a sophomore in college. Having been broke like most college kids, my ability to communicate by those means were limited. Messaging was pricey back then (unlimited texting was something only rich people could afford), the first version of the iPhone was just released a year prior, we had to use a computer to view emails, and other phones weren’t smart yet. I was resigned to using an old clam shell until I got my first real job years later.
Those were the days when phones, voicemail machines, and cameras had to be purchased separately (along with memory cards, carrying cases, cables, filters, and the like). As I recall, the process for uploading digital photos was far more convoluted than posting them to social media, but nothing was as bad as having to take film to those Kodak Kiosks. Am I right? And don’t get me started on what it was like using a map like my parents did. Luckily for me, MapQuest was around when I started driving, but I still had to print the darn directions!
Nowadays, all the things mentioned above can be accomplished on one device within a few seconds. I can send multiple texts, post a photo (or ten), reply to an email, and pull up directions before a minute ticks by. It’s funny to think about how much has changed since then and how my loved one, having grown up accustomed to technology being at their fingertips, didn’t consider how humans experienced the world prior to these modern advancements.
I don’t blame this person though. Each generation is conditioned to accept the norms they experience, often taking for granted the fact that they are new. Heck, I know I didn’t fully appreciate the conveniences I grew up with. Cars, air conditioning, electricity, microwaves and televisions were part of every day life; standard living tools. It was hard to picture a few decades back when the majority of those items were reserved for the wealthy few.
So What’s the Point?
Just because something is common or easily accessible now, doesn’t mean it always was or will be. Tech evolves faster than humans. Everything we use today will be considered obsolete in ten years. Rare, extravagant pieces of tech may be accessible to everyone someday, and what’s acceptable now will be primitive tomorrow.
Many of those in my generation (I’m 32 as of writing this) and younger have lost sight of this and the miracles technology has produced. As with anything, too much familiarity and accessibility can cause us to take things for granted because we assume they’ll always be there; because we’ve never had to live without them.
But as with family, friends, pets, your first car, and pretty much everything else in this world, it can all be taken away. Nothing lasts forever. We must learn to be grateful for what we’ve got, while we’ve got it and appreciate how far humanity has come.
It is a miracle to live in modern society. No other humans have been able to live like we do now.
Flick a switch, or ask Alexa, and the lights are on. Turn a dial one way, you’ve got heat. Turn it the other way, air. Push a button and you have access to thousands of 4K video games instead of a handful of 32-bit cartridges. Hundreds of high-definition channels also are available to most people when there once were only three fuzzy ones, if you were lucky. You can even chat for free (long-distance calls sucked) with family/friends on the other side of the country via a video feed on this crazy invention called the internet.
It truly is amazing all the things we can do!
Before You Go!
I’ve written negatively about technology in the past but I thought I’d throw it a bone in this article (the link to the previous articles can be found at the bottom of this page). Do you think I’m right? Do you think we’ve become ungrateful for the miracles provided by modern technology? Be sure to voice your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below!
Also, if you enjoyed what I’ve written here you may enjoy my book! Check out the links below for more information!
My Book, Through the Devil’s Eyes, is Now Available at Barnes & Noble!
Synopsis: God vs. Devil, Good vs. Evil—Who Will Win the Battle for the Souls of Mankind?
Through the Devil’s Eyes is Also Available on Amazon!
You’ve Heard God’s Side of the Story. Time to Hear Mine!
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