Infographic by: medium.com
Life Before Technology
Although this article will be screaming how old I really am, I braved to discuss this topic here since I find it very interesting how our lives evolved on this technology. It is fascinating how technology have changed and impacted our lives, mostly in a positive way but unfortunately also in a negative way.
I remember the days before technology took over our lives. Life used to be slower, and we had time for many things. Now we are in a perpetual rush to get things done or busy with many obligations. How did our lives turn out this way? What has changed before technology, and what is it like now to live with gadgets to make life more convenient?
Technology is designed to make our chores easier to manage and handle. But how we maneuver the presence of technology determines the quality of our lives now. If we allow ourselves to be a slave of technology, we find ourselves unable to function with simple tasks that we used to do.
Let us look at some ways on how life has changed after technology. Let us remember that it is not technology that is bad for us, but it’s the way we manage how much technology will dictate our lives.
We Used Landline Telephones Before Smartphones
Houses had a landline phone that would ring in the morning and mostly stay quiet after dinner. We would chat with a friend or call for an order within the day. But when smartphones took an active role in our daily communications, we are connected to the outside world 24/7 and part of social media groups with friends and family.
We get messages at different times of the day from different people. It used to be limited to 9-10 hours of the day, but the messages come even past midnight. It is a constant ping of incoming texts and messages on the smartphone, and unless you leave it on silent, it will disrupt the tasks you are doing.
There are advantages to the Smartphone:
- Updated on what is going on with friends and family.
- Being part of a message thread saves you the effort of repeating your messages since everyone can read them.
- Allows transfer of early information or plans of action to prepare for the next meeting.
We Used a Phone Line to connect to the Internet before Wi-Fi
Computers used to be connected to a modem for internet access. It was slow and limited only to one connected computer. That meant internet browsing started and ended when you were in front of the computer. But things changed when broadband and WiFi became accessible to the public. The unlimited connection to multiple gadgets like the laptop, tablet, or smartphone changed the pattern of everyones’ lives.
It is a common sight to see people staring into their mobile phones while on the bus, train, or standing in line. People stare into their smartphones while watching a video, reading an article, or chatting on social media. It is a rare sight to see someone without a mobile phone in any public area.
The advantages of broadband and WiFi are:
- The convenience of internet connection in most gadgets
- Easy access to search engines for information.
- Instant delivery of email and documents instead of waiting for the fax or couriered hard copy.
We Watched Movies in Cinemas before the Streaming Service
Almost gone were the days when you would line up to buy a ticket in the cinema and buy your popcorn with soda. You would enter the darkened theater, take your chosen seat before the lights go off, and the movie comes on the big screen. There is this anticipation of watching the previews of new films before the actual movie starts playing.
Now there are different streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Disney, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video. With a monthly subscription, you have old movies and newly made ones ready for viewing on your Smart TV, Laptop, Tablet, or Smartphone. You can watch it anywhere and can binge-watch in bed or the comfy sofas.
The Advantages of Streaming Service:
- It is cheaper to get a monthly subscription and watch movies as many times as you like.
- There are many film selections of different genres and multiple languages.
- It is convenient to watch it anywhere and anytime you want.
We Played Chess, Cards, Board Games before Online Gaming
Families or a group of friends would lay out a board game and play Monopoly, Snakes & Ladders, Scrabble, Twister, Backgammon, Chess, or different card games. Everyone would gather around the table where lots of teasing and jeering takes place. It was the very definition of clean fun and lots of laughter.
Online games are played on gadgets, with virtual players doing the same thing in their own homes. You can group into a team or play alone depending on the game you choose. Most of the time, you are engrossed in playing the game in your room. You forget to socialize with other people and forget how long you’ve been staring at the screen. It is an isolated game and ruins social activity.
The Advantages of Online Gaming:
- It is convenient to play it anywhere and anytime.
- Choice of games is endless, with new ones developed.
- Some online games have the option of earning tokens that have a monetary value while you play the game.
We Read Books before Search Engines and E-Books
As early as primary school, the library was the source of information and entertainment for books. Bookstores carried different titles of books and sold printed copies for us to read. We would rely on the Encyclopedia to get information on history, science, art, geography, etc. Another option is to research a topic in the library and photocopy the references.
That is been replaced with Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines. We take out our gadgets and fill in the word on the search tab. In a few seconds, you have an answer with the many articles and blogs to read from. The e-book has books you can buy online and loaded into your e-book tablet, which can store hundreds of books.
The advantages of Search Engines and E-books:
- Quick access to any information available in seconds.
- No need to travel to the library or bookstore to do research or read a book.
- Eco-friendly option without using paper.
We Used Maps before GPS
Do you remember the time you had the handy map of the city to plan out the route and get to a location? You would lay the map on the table and list down what streets to pass before you can get to the address. When you finally get there, you have to drive slowly to avoid missing the number or landmark of the place.
Now there is a GPS or Global Positioning System that gives you direction and tells you to make a right or left turn. It uses your smartphone or the car’s location system to navigate through the roads. It informs you how many miles or meters before you make a turn, so you have time to position your vehicle. If you miss the turn, it will redirect you back and tell you what to do next.
The Advantages of GPS:
- Efficient delivery service of food and different items using GPS.
- It saves you time and fuel to get to the location of the place.
- Driving directions are mostly correct and accurate.
We Wrote Letters in Paper Before Email
The art of writing letters was taught to us in school with the correct format for personal, academic, or business purposes. Punctuation, choice of words, and correct salutation of the letter addressee was studied carefully. The letters were mailed using a stamp, hand-delivered by courier, or fed into a fax machine.
The internet introduced email, where you send messages via an email address, just like you would send a mail. Once you click send, it will go to the inbox of the recipient or recipients in a few minutes, and your mail has been sent. The email sits in the mail inbox and can be retrieved at any time once it’s delivered.
The Advantages of Email:
- Email is sent for faster communication to one or multiple addresses of people.
- The email has a feature to send pictures and digital images.
- Eco-Friendly use without the need for paper or printing ink.
We Used Film To Take Pictures Before Phone Cameras
The photo album has your collection of old Polaroid square pictures and rectangle 4×6 inch pictures. The old pictures were shot from a camera, with the film developed in a film shop. These pictures are reproduced in different sizes, wallet size, regular, enlarged, etc.
Nowadays, we hardly bring a separate camera because the smartphone can take pictures. It is capable of autofocus and auto lighting to store data in the phone memory. You can view the shots on your phone or computer, and move them to a USB disc. This is what you bring to the camera store to develop into pictures, or simply keep the pictures on the USB or computer.
The Advantages of Phone Cameras:
- Save physical space of storing your albums in a cabinet or corner of your house.
- Easy viewing of hundreds of pictures within a file on your computer or phone.
- Pictures are taken from the phone case to be attached to email files or uploaded into information sheets.
There are many advancements introduced to society. I want to emphasize that using technology does not bring harm, but it was created to make things convenient for us. However, if we aren’t able to use it in moderation and become too dependent on it, we forget to be self-sufficient and self- reliant.
Life before technology was not all that bad, but now that we have things to help us, then we should appreciate it for what it is. We must remember to be in full control over how we use it, not the other way around.
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