Sunday, October 9, 2011

Infinite Knowledge at Our Fingertips

With the recent passing of Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, I started thinking about the impact that technology gurus have had on my life. I couldn’t imagine my life without the internet, or my iPhone for that matter. It has become such a vital role in our everyday lives; allowing us to do things we never could have done before. And it’s all become available instantly and in remote places through the use of cell phones.

I have immediate access to my bank account balances and information. If I hear a song I like playing over the speakers while I’m shopping I can use an app to find the name of the song and bookmark it. I can download that individual song on Napster instead of having to drive to the record store to purchase the full album. My phone beeps as soon as I receive an email and I can read immediately, which eliminates delayed response time. If I’m at work and can’t remember the dosage range for a certain drug, I can use the nursing drug handbook app on my phone to look it up immediately. I can use the GPS on my phone to guide me to unfamiliar places and if I miss my highway exit I can just re-map it from my current location (rather than having to turn around and try to get back on my original route). Access to current traffic congestion is available on my phone, which allows me to avoid traffic jams and saves me loads of time.
Even more complex tasks that otherwise would not have been feasible have become accessible to the everyday person. For example, the screen on my iPhone cracked. All I had to do was go to YouTube and I found step-by-step video instructions on how to change the screen myself. That saved me from paying upwards of $100 to have someone else fix it. Another example – the window motor on my husband’s car went out. He got online and used his credit card to find a replacement motor that was shipped to our house. Then on a forum for 350-Z enthusiasts he was able to find step-by-step instructions with pictures that allowed him to change out the motor himself. Easy. Done in 45 minutes and saved $300.
I often wonder how people went about their daily lives before this upsurge in technology. My husband said when he was a younger he saw a picture of the band Red Hot Chili Peppers. Their drummer could be Will Ferrell’s twin. He went on believing that Will Ferrell had not only acting, but musical talents for 4 months until someone told him otherwise. Had the internet been as readily available then as it is now, one quick Google search would have told him otherwise. And could you imagine writing a research paper? I couldn’t even tell you how many research papers I had to write in school and every single one of them was written using information from research databases online. My mother had to drive to the actual library, talk to librarians to find out where to look, scour the shelves for specific books, and then flip through pages to find whatever information she was looking for. So much work for so little return. What took her an hour I can now do in 10 minutes.
I guess people survived before current technology, but now that I know how awesome it is I certainly couldn’t imagine having it taken away. And here you are (possibly half way around the world from me) reading this post…all because of technology. I’d just like to say Thank You to all those people out there that have made this technology filled life of mine possible.

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