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Keeping up in our fast changing world of devices

on Tuesday, 06 March 2018. Posted in Columns, Opinions

By: Brenda Harrison

Our world is quickly changing and it is doing so right before our eyes. Many electronic items and services that were once so necessary to us no longer exist.

I am thinking of:

Film cameras and camera shops that developed and printed our photos.

Telephone booths and pay phones seem to have disappeared. In London, however, they have found a new use for their iconic red phone booths. Some have been painted black and converted into a WiFi and phone charging station.

We no longer have to remember phone numbers because we store them in our phones and press the name to connect.

Typewriters have also become obsolete. Instead of typing classes, we now have keyboarding classes.

Music technology has moved from records, to 8-track cartridge tapes, to small cassettes to CDs. Recorded movies have progressed from Beta and VHS tapes to DVDs, and now they may be streamlined and downloaded on computers, iPads and even smart phones. Through this evolution we lost our record shops and video stores, and gained the ability to watch a movie anywhere we want by just a click of our TV remote or other devices.

Ironically, record albums seem to be making a comeback and we can once again find turntables to play them on.

Remember, Walkmans and MP3 players? Gone. Now we have iPhones with ear buds.

No need to tape songs on the radio, because we can hear whatever we desire from numerous apps.

Short hand seems to have disappeared with speedwriting.

Communicating by phone seems to be “old school,” especially with our youth. Talking on the phone is quickly being replaced by texting.

Notice how every organization or agency is an acronym? Maybe it’s just me, but it seems people spout off initial letters as if everyone knows what they are talking about.

We now have ecards, and invitations and “thank you” notes are being emailed.

Books, thank goodness, are still popular but they have to compete with ebooks which are cheaper and don’t require space to keep them. We can find them easily on our devices without leaving our home, download and read right away.

Who uses encyclopedias today? We just go online or Google whatever information we need or want to know. We even find tutorials online on how to build, make, fix or repair things.

In this 21st Century, we communicate by text, Facebook, Twitter, Messenger or a myriad of other apps. Even social media is constantly changing. In the 1990s, chat rooms were popular, but they were quickly replaced by Myspace, blogging and instant messaging, such as Yahoo Messenger. Then came Skype and Linkedin in 2003, FaceBook in 2004, YouTube in 2005, and Twitter in 2006 followed by Instagram and Snapchat.

Whew, I can’t keep up! And, I can’t even begin to imagine what changes we will witness in the next 10 years.

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