How Technology Changed Society

Through the years, we’ve watched technology grow like a child budding into adulthood: It starts out mostly crying and pooping, then crawling, gradually learning to walk, and finally able to run at a speed we all wish we could keep up with. We’ve seen technology fail, and we’ve seen it succeed. We’ve poked fun at it when it doesn’t make sense, and we’ve praised it when it’s absolutely brilliant. We’ve yelled at it when it runs out of power, and we’ve fixed or replaced it when it gets run down.
We treat technology as a family member—even if that is a little co-dependent. You can’t blame us, though; it’s certainly made aspects of our lives easier: We’re no longer forced to send letters through the postal service, book vacations through travel agents, shop in stores, visit the library for research material, or wait for our photos to be developed. Thanks to technology, all of these activities can be performed either digitally or online.
At the same time, though, technology can make life more convoluted—especially when something doesn’t work right or doesn’t do what it’s supposed to: Say, for instance, a GPS device tells you to turn the wrong way on a one-way street (yikes! ), or a computer erases all of your important data (ouch! ). Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to understand how a product or service works, not to mention whether or not to hold off on adopting it until a better, shinier thing comes along. A perfect example is the ever-evolving video format.

We’ve gone from Betamax to VHS to DVD to HD DVD/Blu-ray to just Blu-ray (and everything in-between, of course). It can take years before a technology catches on, and even more time before we see a significant price drop. For the most part, however, technology does us more good than harm: It’s reconnected us with old college roommates, helped us learn a foreign language, and encouraged us to exercise. Follow us as we look back at how technology has changed our lives—for the better and for the worse—in terms of communication, computing, dining, entertainment, and travel.

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