Sorry about that, kids.
By the time we're done, we tail-end Baby Boomers will have had front-row seats for the most rapid-fire sequence of technological advances in human history. Our parents were front and center for color television, push-button telephones and two moon landings, but over the course of our half-century of life thus far, science-driven innovation has come much more quickly. Nanotechnology. Nuclear chemistry. Imaging techniques that have scientists evaluating far-distant planets for human survivability.
I remember the day email was introduced at my office. It was heady stuff. Now I can communicate with almost anyone in
My kids' generation will experience everyday technology unlike anything I can imagine now, and the iterations will come more rapidly, but their lives won't see the leap my generation has encountered in terms of distance covered -- analog to digital, microscopic to subatomic, Ford Mustang to
What this means, at least for me, is that I've got one foot in two worlds. I read the newspaper every morning and then I pick up my smartphone and thumb-scroll through my Twitter feed. I don't remember phone numbers anymore because they're all stored in the phone, but I can't quite bring myself to log appointments on anything but paper. I know: How quaintly "Mad Men"-ish of me.
I have no problem when, whether by law or common courtesy, I have to put away my phone. I can sit through an entire movie without checking for messages and I can obey the flight attendant's instructions to put away all electronic devices without dreading withdrawal symptoms.
Those rare moments of peace are dwindling, though. Most recently, it's the sanctity of the commercial jet. The
Maybe airborne phone users will tire of the novelty and we'll achieve a stability of civility. Or perhaps the airline industry, which charges for every other midair service except the lavatory, will figure out a way to collect for phone time, too. Sort of a corkage fee.
Ah, but I dream. If we have access to information technology, most of us will use it -- all of it, and simultaneously if possible. My kids can
It happened for me long ago. Twitter and iTunes -- those I can handle at once. But then, I'm a Baby Boomer, with one foot in analog and the other in digital.
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