Who would have guessed that IT would have meant anything other than an animate or inanimate object? Today, IT has a whole new meaning: Information Technology, the design, development, data collection and management of anything to do with computers. Because of computers, human behavior has changed faster in the last few decades in than at any other time in history. If you were born before 1980, you have had a front row seat to this remarkable revolution.
Computers have shrunk the world. We can sit comfortably in our home office and do business with people in countries around the globe via the computer. Eventually, Internet access will be available to everyone everywhere.
I got my first computer in 1995. I worried I’d do something wrong so used it with extreme caution. One day our sixteen month old granddaughter came to visit. She sat on my lap and fearlessly drummed her fingers on the keyboard. The computer was up to the challenge. It kept working while she boldly discovered the world of technology. I smiled (and breathed a sigh of relief.)
The first call made on a mobile phone was in 1973. The phone was a big, cumbersome instrument concocted by Dr. Martin Cooper general manager of the communications division at Motorola. Could he have possibly imagined that his dream of everyone carrying a phone in his or her pocket would become a reality?
My husband installed my first mobile phone in my car 1998. It was too big to carry around with me but it made me feel safe. If I needed help, I could call someone. Suddenly, I found myself a participant in the technology revolution. I was no longer watching history. I was making it.
Mobile phones morphed into pocket size devices with keyboards. For my granddaughter(s) and grandsons, texting has become an obsession, and social networking a way of life. In the wake of the disastrous earthquake in Haiti, some are able to connect with relative and friends using cell phones. Pictures of the devastation have appeared on You Tube and contributing to the Red Cross requires only a few strokes on the keys.
I-pods have become the rage. People walk around with wires hanging out of their ears. Headphones evolved into earbuds, tiny microphones that eliminate outside noise so you can concentrate on your music, movie or audio book.
Our urgent quest for instant technological gratification continues to grow. In fact, we can’t keep up. Even before newly purchased techno toys are used, they are obsolete.
3 D movies are nothing new but AVATAR grips us with its imagery even though we must wear 3D glasses that feed different images into our eyes. And 3 D TV is on the way.
Still, instead of becoming more connected, it seems that we have become less so. At first, email was fun. It felt effortless to stay in touch. Hit SEND and you were done. But we actually talked to each other less. Text messaging is a phenomenon that changes our way of communicating. Ultimately, it may transform the way we live. A teacher I know makes the students leave their cell phones in a basket until class is over.
Not that texting doesn’t have its place. I’m just saying . . .
So what’s next? Faster than the speed of light, our universe is changing.