I was leaving the dentist office after having a checkup and passing the grade of having teeth in good order, when the receptionist handed me a paper card with my next appointment time. I was used to this as she does this every time I visit which in turn I put directly in my phone. What caught me off guard was her next offer — a free mini paper calendar. I briefly thought about it, but politely said “No thanks”, which immediately made me wonder, when was the last time I actually used a paper calendar or a written anything down on paper for that matter.
My typical day usually starts out (after I get the kids off to daycare that is) with a quick check of the email that came in since last night, opening up my calendar app on the computer and checking what is scheduled today or this week, and turning on the iPad to read through the latest RSS feeds for my daily news intake. There is also a quick glance at Facebook to catch up and see what “friends” have been doing since last time I was on and a read through my twitter timeline to see what breaking news is happening. Maybe also a quick balancing of the bank accounts online or even “penning” a new blog entry.
To sum it up, I live in a world of technology “I want it now” emersion. Each one of the items above can be replaced with things of yesteryear in that it makes me wonder, what did I do before these things enriched my life. One might say that I spend too much time in front of the glowing screen, but this is the age of now and the age of consumption.
When I was a kid, if I wanted to catch up with friends or hang out, I called them on the phone. Now that I am an adult, I use Facebook or pretty soon the awesomely new Google+, as my friends are spread about the country. I could even email them or family members for instant updates or quick hellos. Writing letters, albeit more personable, but definitely more time consuming, has become a thing of the past. No wonder the Post Office is having trouble.
I grew up in a household where the news came in on the TV at 6pm and in the morning newspaper. I never really read the newspaper, unless it was the comics section. Now I catch up on my news through RSS feeds (which I cater to my liking — a newspaper you can not do that) and through Twitter in which I usually find out breaking news before the major news outlets, again which I can customize to follow whom I want. This method of news aggregation is quick and easy to find what you want and is important to you; plus, think of all those trees you are saving.
I used to use paper calendars to write down what I needed to get done for classes when I was in school, but that was because I didn’t have a “smart phone” that I carried with me all the time. It was good for what it was worth, but does a paper calendar email you 15 minutes prior to an appointment or send a verbal notice? My wife still uses a paper calendar for her items, as she likes seeing things written down. Although, now she has gotten into the habit of just asking me what is on the calendar before planning anything.
As I mentioned before I carry around a phone everywhere I go. On it includes an address book, maps and any application I want. It also has quick access to a search engine in which I can look up any address or phone number — don’t get me started about getting those hefty phonebooks in the mail, which have become so pointless these days. If I need to travel someplace, I used to use paper maps — which I still keep in the car, but now a quick entry into the GPS and I am off to my destination.
No I do not mean the electrostatic noise that my wife and I hear every night due to the baby monitors in our room with all the interference from the electronics in our house, but just how the technology of today has made this world hum.
Some may say its making us anti-social at the same time making us a new type of social. I would say it’s making my life easier from an organization and time benefit standpoint. Gone is the clutter of keeping paperwork organized in multiple locations. Gone is the forgetting of an important date. Gone is the ability not knowing what your friends have been up to and the once a year letter.
I welcome technology with arms wide open and can’t wait to see what my girls grow up with.