8 Ways Technology has Changed Our Lives
Haay. Life can’t always be simple. In the near future, we can only imagine what our lifestyle will be with the aid of new technology. Life was simple back then but how we live it is much simpler now.
Here comes the age of minimalism. A mobile society. Stepping back, let us take a good look at some ways portable technology has changed our lives.
Call Me Crazy
Remember this? Phone someone using your home landline. If you are outside, scrabble around for a pool of coins you’ve been keeping in your pocket to use in pay phones. Before that, there were beepers. No more comment about that.
Then there were improvements. Phone someone using your mobile phone which was made for a basic call and SMS feature (with ringtone composer). If you are outside, use the same mobile phone but find a spot with a really good signal.
Now: Need I say more about smart phones? Now we have an all-in-one tool that can do almost everything and can be bought anywhere. But in some cases, it makes us NOT do things like:
- A conversation with people we’re with
- In favor to you, a conversation with people you don’t like to be with
- Live life to the fullest especially while crossing the street or driving
- Stay healthy because:
Calling in sick to your office hotline will also make you sick
But these are just specks of dust on an expensive ice cream - you’d ignore them anyway.
Gadgets responsible: Every mobile phone out there.
Type na Type
Remember this? Maybe you’re a fan of snail mail and send out messages to a pen pal you’re having a long-distance relationship with. If you can afford to, contact your relatives (not friends, because calls are expensive) abroad through loooong distance dials. You also talk to operators to directly connect that call for you. And you know what a “collect call” means. “Chat” also means talking with your mouth.
Then there were improvements. The neat Yahoo Messenger and MIRC. These are the tools you use to talk to “friends” who love you more than they should. And you contact your relatives abroad using loooong emails. Long distance calls don’t mean much at this point you still have to be somewhere for a desktop computer.
Now: We still chat. But not the chat that involves talking with your mouth. Messaging apps are everywhere making people a lot easier to reach. No more expensive long distance calls. It even came to a point when online calls were made available. The istoryahan is now much, much longer.
Messaging can be plain and simple nowadays and can be done anywhere. Heck, it even became acceptable to just send out images on occasion - pictures of cakes on birthdays, hearts for “I love you”, flowers for “I like you”, or when totally pissed...
Done better by P. Digong
Gadgets currently responsible: Chatting is more fun to do on a big, handheld screen so you can read better and type easier than you do on mobile phones, and be anywhere when the talking starts. Tablets like the line of Apple iPads are great choices.
Sounds Good to Me
Remember this? Rewind your cassette tapes by spinning them using your hexagonal pencils/ballpens. If you have one, use the “Sony Walkman” to rewind them cassette tapes. Listen to music on-the-go with that Walkman strapped on your belt, or inside your bag.
The legendary Walkman some 15 years ago
Then there were improvements. Keep a stack of music CDs with only ten songs in each. If you have one, use the “Sony Discman” to listen to music on-the-go, with the other CDs in your bag (oh yeah, and the Discman, too.)
Now: There are mp3 players now. The best ones are still under the “Sony Walkman” brand. Keep up to 900 songs in your pocket on-the-go not needing AA batteries like before. Sure, there are music streaming apps like Spotify now, so why do we still need these mp3 players? Here’s an article to answer that.
Gadget currently responsible: Sony Walkman NWZ-b183f
Getting the Act Together
Remember this? You rent VHS tapes from “Video City” or any local video rental stores. You take a bunch of them home (5 at most, you just can’t carry any more) and one of them is a Dragonball Z movie. You check if they were rewound before inserting one in the player. You reach for the TV remote that has only a few big buttons, sit back, and turn the TV on. You change the mode to AV only to find that the tape is damaged. You go to the VHS player to fast forward and skip that part until you come to a part with a clearer picture.
Recorded those TV series, too
Then there were improvements. You rent big movie Laser Discs for the whole family to watch (still, 5 at most). You reach for the TV remote controller that has a bit more buttons aside from the CH and VOL, and for the extra remote controller for your LD player. You turn the TV on and switch modes then you see the picture look a lot clearer on your bulky flat screen TV.
Now: Entertainment systems never fail to get the family together and technology is a big part of making that easier (ironically though, the same technology also made the family togetherness part harder because of smartphones). Now, TV screens have become bigger and their backs thinner, has the function to play movies through USB devices, and can serve as monitors for desktop computers and mobile devices.
The paragraph to describe what you’ll do to use the entertainment system gets a lot shorter over the years. Try rewriting this one after 15 years and you’ll probably put everything in one sentence!
Gadget currently responsible: Portability-wise, there are gadgets available that have the same features. Such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab.
Driving further than ever
Remember this? You keep road maps (that you bought from a convenience store) in your car in case you get lost in the city, or on your way to the provinces. Your collection includes “Metro Manila,” “Batangas, Cavite, and Quezon,” and so on. You need “sounds” to complete the fun on a road trip. For your mobile music library, you keep cassette tapes in your glove compartment or in a separate case stored in the trunk.
The Blaupunkt Verona sounded exciting
Then there were improvements. You have a super slow, super expensive, and super bulky GPS navigation device on your car dashboard. If you can’t afford this (like most of us back then), you keep a newer paper road map. As for the sound system, CD players are made available, and you keep a stack of “burned” CDs containing mp3s ripped from original copies.
Now: The satisfaction of giving yourself a pat on the back after figuring out your way out of an old, folded road map is now long gone. We have built-in GPS in modern cars but most of the time we use Google Maps or Waze in our mobile phones to take us anywhere we want to go. After setting up your destination, all you have to do is listen to what it tells you. At least, the orders coming from these navigation tools will take you somewhere than the orders coming from your boss.
While CD players are still around, most in-car sound systems now include USB and Bluetooth connectivity. Flash drives and mobile phones with music streaming are must haves for a sane driving experience. Soon, we’ll have to say goodbye to aux cables and our old iPods.
Gadgets currently responsible: Tablets and mobile phones for GPS. But not without this mobile vehicle dock! The new Sony Walkman NWZ-b183f can also serve as a USB flash drive that you can connect to your car stereo.
Shoot to live
Remember this? You take a bulky camera with you during an out-of-town and you’re not even a pro photographer. You have a limited number of shots - at most 36. Well, what do you know? An extra film. So add another 12 shots to that. Every shot should be perfect and worth the used film. You also take extra AA batteries with you because the camera flash eats a lot of that battery juice.
Then there were improvements. Take a smaller, lighter, 3-megapixel digital camera with you on out-of-towns, and try to take as many photos and videos possible stored in an SD card - especially when there is much action that you want to re-experience.
Now: Technology taught us to not take for granted every instance that passes by. Because of this, we began to take every moment seriously. There was a means to remember special moments before, there are more ways - about 1 terabyte of them - to remember them now (even the not-so-special moments.) Using mobile phones, just point and shoot everything (MOST ESPECIALLY FOOD, for some reason) and choose the pictures to produce later - even edit them using filters available. You also can manipulate the effect on the photos (usually to combat the effects of aging) to make the people look nicer than ever before. See how this has gone too far?
How about a “picking up the pieces” photo?
Gadgets currently responsible: Mobile phones, and I personally recommend the Huawei P10 because of its great shots. For action packed activities, the GoPro Hero5 line of action cameras capture every moment a level higher than others. There’s more about it here. However, old-school cameras are still around because there are people (purists, like me) who are looking for the thrill of carefully taking shots and producing them as is, where is. Fujifilm Instax has the best line of those instant cameras.
Saving the “Date”
Remember this? You see a girl/boy across the street and you immediately have a romantic gest in your head. She looks so pretty by your standards. You’re single, and you’d like to know if she is. You gather all the courage in the world just to approach and talk to her/him. Just like a spirit bomb that saves the world from evil.
Yeah. The spirit bomb. “Genki Dama!!!”
Then there were improvements. No, it did not really improve in the early 2000s. We all still had to gather that spirit bomb courage to express how we feel to a stranger we like - or just to ask if people are single.
Now. There are dating apps like Tinder, OkCupid, Blue, etc. The need for meeting new people has instantly changed. How? Technology just had to de-individualize people by removing their physical presence while you introduce yourself to a stranger you like to get to know. It’s like performing any embarrassing act with a mask on. Too slow coming up with smart lines? You can take your time thinking and google-ing because it’s a chatroom where you can reply anytime you want. There’s literally no room to be shy here. Maybe in the years to come, we can say goodbye to the days of diskarte when men and women kept their game faces, taking the battle where it should be.
Gadgets currently responsible: You can download and use these dating apps using mobile phones. Just Google them.
Remember this? You come across a word that is totally unfamiliar to you. “ You go to the shelves and pick a book that says “Merriam and Webster.” You also have to come up with a word to answer an item in a newspaper crossword puzzle. You use the same book to scroll through the words beginning with the letter “S.”
Then there were improvements that stuck until now. Just type in “sagging meaning” or “what is to lose firmness, resilience, or vigor” and you’ll instantly get a lot of results. Use this so you can impress someone in Tinder by pretending to know everything, while he/she pretends to know everything too! Isn’t that fun?
Wubba Lubba Dub Dub, too
Gadgets currently responsible: Any gadget that can connect to the internet.
All these changes just happened in a span of a decade and a half, which wasn’t that far back. Indeed, the growth of technology nowadays has been exponential. What we didn’t notice was the still small voice that recurrently tells us to “keep up.” Catching up with the times has been a real pressure at first (to some, including some government offices), but technology has found a way to easily embed itself into our lifestyles - it simply puts pleasure in every step.