Living in the Star Trek Generation
I absolutely love all the modern advances in technology designed for communication. I’m not really qualified to comment on the scope of products available for consumption at this very moment. And really, with the speed of change, who is? It’s fascinating to me as a member of the Star Trek generation to see many of that show’s gadgets come to life over the last 40 years. Yes, there really are video phones for sale to use in your living room or kitchen, and even if they aren’t in every household yet, they could be soon. Skype is accessible to anyone with an internet connection, and can be used on your cell phone, computer monitor or television.
I’m not alone, apparently, because as a nation, we have embraced new tech items with all the enthusiasm of a marooned sailor checking for ships on the horizon. Positioned satellites make it possible for us to stay connected 24 hours a day. On our cell phones, we love to text family and friends, send pics and surf the internet. On our PCs, notebooks, and Ipads, we check our email, complete work projects and send them in to the boss at the office, attend university and complete our education online and twitter about our briefest thoughts and actions. Like something you see online? Click on ‘Share’ and you can instantly send it via twitter, delicious, digg, linkedin, business exchange and facebook.
Facebook is the new morning paper, and some of us have to be pulled forcibly away from our virtual crops and other online gaming activities. Real newspapers are going the way of the dinosaurs and anyone can be published by blogging on the internet in a matter of moments. We balance our fear of Big Brother listening in on our conversations with our need to stay connected and on the grid.
What’s amazing is that as new and exciting as many of these products and advancements are, something new will be introduced next week that will make them obsolete. Do you have an Ipod or MP3 player? They replaced the CD player…which replaced the cassette player….which replaced the 8-track tape player, which replaced the record player, which replaced the phonograph, which replaced the need for people to gather together to listen to individuals and bands perform in person. Somehow, we still manage to gather together to listen to live performances. But we don’t HAVE to.
The United States likes to think it is one of the most advanced countries in the world. Yet, on a recent list of cell phones per capita, the U.S. ranked #73, with 846 cell phone per 1000 people. The United Arab Emirates is #1 with 1709 cell phones per 1000 people. That’s almost 2 cell phones for every man woman and child in the UAE. Incredible! And yet, you don’t see movies showing UAE citizens with phones held up to both ears. However, it’s a daily thing for most of us to view people driving down the road talking on their cell phones, or taking cell phone calls while eating or visiting with family and friends. We actually interrupt one conversation with another by taking a call.
Scientists are even working on teleportation. You can Google it. http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1874760,00.html
Beam me up Scotty.