I was born in 1990. My entire childhood and adolescence was defined by this idea that, every six months to a year, something new and absolutely mind-blowing would enter my universe.
A color monitor
A color printer
A digital camera
Flat-screen computer monitors
Cell phones that takes pictures
Since this is already an astonishingly long list, I’ll stop there. But look it over. All the items are things that are now so commonplace that nearly everyone uses them (or an updated version of them).
It’s been a really long time since anything has given me that awed, the-world-will-never-be-the-same feeling. In fact, the last time I remember feeling it was ten years ago, when my brother Matt bought his first smartphone.
Since then, we’ve had a smattering of new things that made small splashes. The iPad came out in 2010, and was pretty hyped up, but now they’re mostly used as child-entertainers and small-business-cash-registers. I first got Instagram in 2012, and it’s gone on to become almost as well-populated as Facebook. The Apple watch was sort-of cool, and some people bought it.
And we’ve gotten lots of big promises that never really delivered. Things like Google glass, and VR, and self-driving cars.
But I feel like the entire attitude surrounding tech has changed in the last 10 years. Instead of tech being new, exciting, and always changing into something we could never imagine, tech has become scary.
We’re afraid that smart phones, which have now lived comfortably in our lives for ten years, are destroying a generation.
We’ve got more smart devices, from crock-pots and light bulbs that we can turn on with our phones, to Amazon Alexa. But with more smart devices comes increasing privacy concerns, and fears about all the new ways we’re potentially vulnerable to hackers.
And then, of course, there’s the whole Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal. And I feel like everyone just sort of wishes they could quietly leave tech behind for a while.
But we can’t. Not really.
Technology has become our abusive husband that we can’t leave, because we’d have nowhere else to go.
My basic thought is that in the last 6-10 years, technology has stopped giving us new exciting things and has instead permeated our lives, becoming more scary than exciting. But even though this is the general attitude I observe, I’ve looked for articles on the subject and can’t find any. Any such articles, as well as your personal experience/ideas, would be welcome.
This has been ABC post 29, my very last day of the April Blogging Challenge. Tomorrow, Mom will close out this month.