The past twenty years has seen a rapid growth of the internet, just think back twenty years ago there was internet – not everyone had a computer and if they did, it was either a Compac laptop that weighed more than the average household dog, it had barely any storage or RAM and had a screen that was only slightly brighter than an Etch-A-Sketch. Nor a service, but those who could afford it had it – it was dial up. It was a lot slower than most of us are used to now. Most people twenty years ago, were backing up files on 3 1/2 inch floppy discs and probably had boxes full of them. I-pods or any other portable digital MP3 player were unheard of, if you wanted to listen to your music whilst commuting, then you carried a rucksack of CD’s and a portable CD player which would jump whenever you bumped it.
With the expansion of the internet – adopted far faster than any comparable technology, we are now able to subscribe to music streaming services and download desired tracks/albums on our smartphone and other devises. If you wanted to watch a movie without having to purchase it, you had to have membership to Blockbusters and rent a video tape. This was highly amusing when I introduced a collectors edition of The Breakfast Club video cassette tape to my now nine year old daughter, I received a confused look along with a statement of ‘Is this what you had in the olden days, what is it?’. Suffice to say, technology has come a long way.
It is remarkable to look at our own past and how we amused ourselves as children if we compare it to the lives of our own children. Children now have access to mobile devices at home like a smartphone, video iPods or iPads or other tablets, video games and handheld units like Nintendo’s DS and Game Boy, the list goes on and on. Obviously this could be seen as providing a technological ‘nanny service’ but this is just an example of how far we have advanced. This expansion of technology is benefiting as it can be used as a tool to educate children by giving never before seen abilities to connect with other children all over the globe, giving access to other cultures, points of view and ways of seeing the world. Children can now find the answer to more questions than their parents or teachers could ever know.
The technological advances that have been made today, have greatly enhanced people’s lives, allowing people to spend more time at home with their friends and family, connect with loved ones across the globe. Commuters, frustrated with transport problems, are able to work from from home instead of traveling. We are as it would appear, fundamentally self sufficient. No longer do we need to hunt for that perfect pair of shoes or spend hours walking up and down the aisle of a grocery store looking for bargains when we could simply Google the desired goods online. Twenty years ago, I would of spent a couple hours trudging around the supermarket, struggling to push a shopping trolley with a dodgy wheel, with my new shoes under a mountain of groceries and my daughter running circles around my feet.