Monday, June 28, 2010

Enjoy the Golden Age of Technology

I was reading an article today that is required reading for one of my college classes. We Are the Web by Kevin Kelly was written almost five years ago. The main idea behind Kelly's article was about how fast the internet has grown in the last ten years.

Some of the history Kelly talks about is how a lot of big wigs dismissed the power of the medium and how they couldn't possibly see a way to monetize the web. Now granted, radio and television can reach an audience of almost 90% of our population. But think about the advances we've seen since 1995.

You can download music from a website on to a portable device smaller than a Walkman (for those of you born after 1990, it was these bulky things that played cassette tapes and could only hold 9 or 10 songs at a time). No longer do you need to run down to the video store....mostly cause they're all going out of business. Just sit in your pajamas and choose what DVDs you want Netflix to send to you. Heck, why wait for the physical movie, watch it instantly on your computer or iPad...and soon your iPhone!!!

Who writes checks anymore? Simply click your bank's bill pay option and violĂ ! Your money digitally disappears into your vendor's bank account. Want to know the latest gossip on Lady Gaga? There's a website for that....actually there's 312,000,000 different links when you Google the Gaga (that sounds dirty, but I digress).

The internet has come so far in just a short time. What does the future hold for this utility that is as common in a family's home as a car or refrigerator? Great things if we allow ourselves to dare to dream! My first thought is things I saw on a cartoon I watched as a kid (and even those were reruns from almost 50 years ago!)...The Jetsons.

Now, we all know there are no flying cars yet. That disappointment will have to be saved for a different blog. But just watching an episode will show you the things that were dreamt up back in the 1960s have become a reality today. Heck, even Captain Kirk inspired today's cell phones!!!

In the next 15 years we will see the desktop as we know it disappear. With so much information being stored in the "cloud" online, people will choose this over continually upgrading their OS to the latest overpriced product. Consumers will want to get online as quick as possible to access their information.

Computing devices will continue to be made more efficient. Items like the iPad and the HP Slate will be seen as the beginnings of hand held computing systems that are just as powerful, if not more so, than the desktop dinosaur. People will be in constant contact with the information they need. And in 15 years this won't be a bad thing. Many consumers of all things internet will be able to learn to balance online with offline life. I don't believe we'll allow ourselves to end up like the humans on least I hope so.

I too believe, just like Kelly, that we will look back on this time as the Golden Age of Technology and people will write stories about us and how great it must have been to be part of it. We'll tell our grand-kids that back in our day, we had to use our finger to open up the apps on our mobile devices. My how technology has evolved.

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