I realized last week that 10 years ago I finished my first year of college at Shippensburg University. Its amazing how much techology changes in 10 years since first going to college. My roommate had a laptop while I had a desktop computer w/ a ginormous 17" CTR monitor that took up my whole desk. There was no Wi-Fi on campus and nobody took a laptop into the CUB to do their papers. They were still writing them in notebooks long hand to re-type later. People had a cell phone but nobody used it because not all your friends had them and you only had 250 minutes a month for $35.00 and nights and weekends were still starting at 9pm. Plus you could just dial a 4 digit number from an on campus phone and get your buddy in their dorm room. Texting? Forget about it. You could text but nobody thought anything of it and people would wonder why you just didn't pick up the phone.
At that point Pam and I were getting some cool new Nokia cell phones (remember how cool Nokia was at the time) and we were both leaving the comforts of a T-1 internet connection back to dial up.
I packed up my Playstation to head home. There was no Xbox or even a 360 and internet gaming wasn't even on the radar. My 10 or so DVDs were brought home packed up along my VHS tapes. Yeah I was still buying VHS tapes because not everything was available on DVD and I was still unsure if DVD prices were going to come down. Hell i was still watching DVDs on my computer as a standalone DVD player was still +$300.
I was exchanging AIM screennames and email addresses with people to keep up with in the summer. Facebook and Myspace didn't exist and we still chatted on AIM and put up away messages letting people know what we were doing, the original status/wall updates!
As I finish typing this I'm getting ready to head to the couch with my iPhone in hand to read. That way if anything updates I'll be notified on the phone so I don't have to be tethered to this cumbersome laptop. Its amazing in 10 years how much technology has changed and defined our daily lives. My lunch break at work now consists of me checking up on my Twitter and Facebook messages between eating and reading a book. I answer texts, send texts and try to figure out what the conversation of the day is between my friends that can use their work computers for fun stuff throughout the day.
I look at technology like the iPhone and Droid style smartphones the way my grandparents looked at TV. It was there, but not everyone had one, at first and by the time they were raising children it was the norm. Hell, my 2 year old knows how to pause a video on my iPhone, which goes to show before they even start school they're becoming intertwined with technology. I wonder how long it will before he starts emailing grandma and wanting his own cell phone to text his 7 year old friends from school.
But on the flip side I love this technology. I have all my friends in my pocket everywhere I go. I love the ability to keep in touch with my friends all over the world with this tech stuff. I don't need to be at home in front of the computer to talk to my friends. I can be on the porch smoking a cigar or relaxing on the beach and still keep up with them.
On the flip side, how long before all this technology becomes self-aware and turns on us.....