The quick evolution of technology

Justyce Mirjanovic

Technology has created its own place in the world and there is no going back. From flip phones to iPhones, there is no denying technology has become an everyday part of life.

The cellphone is not the only device that has come a long way, but it did almost make the house phone non-existent. Before cell phones, there were pagers and before iPods, there were Walkmans.

Senior English major Brittney Christ, said she had a Walkman for years before the iPod came out.

“I see a Walkman now and then when I take the train to school, but other than that, I am actually surprised that they haven’t stopped making them altogether because they are practically obsolete,” Christ said.

Christ also had a pink Nintendo Game Boy and a Nintendo 64. She said as a child the Game Boy was the “hottest thing on the market” and everyone had a collection of games for it.

“Growing up, Nintendo basically was the future of technology,” Christ said.

It can be difficult to keep up with the new technologies and trends that emerge but as the years move on it seems the evolution of technology speeds up.

“Some people can give up trying to understand the way things work,” said Electrical and Electronic Engineering chair Thomas Matthews.

Being an engineer makes Matthews want to understand all of the technology because it usually represents something already in existence.

“The rate of change is changing,” Matthews said.

Matthews said the computer has made the process of inventing much faster. The Internet was one of the most powerful and important inventions and can help with a number of other things.

Cable television is also one of the simplest technological advances humans take for granted. Before cable, one would have to move the antenna a certain way and hope the TV would work for only a handful of channels.

“We want to improve our standard of living,” Matthews said.

Jessica Kimbrell, junior religious studies major, said she remembers her television from when she was younger, which had two dials that clicked when you changed them and a set of antennae on top.

“I remember my dad bringing home a Beta player when I was about four and my mom told him to take it back because she didn’t think they would ever take off,” Kimbrell said. “He exchanged the Beta for a VCR.”

A lot of technology has been replaced, such as VCRs and pagers. It is crazy to think the technology today that is so advanced will be almost non-existent in a decade or so.

Kimbrell said she is worried about our consumer-driven society and how there is always a push to have the newest and greatest. She is also concerned about the waste being generated by these technologies.

“On the other hand, it’s incredible to think that all of this technology is the child of somebody’s brain,” Kimbrell said. “Or shall I say the brains of collective somebodies?”

Netflix has become one of the most popular sites to watch shows on and almost everyone has a Netflix subscription or knows someone who does. Netflix has almost made cable unnecessary because of the many shows, movies and cartoons available instantly.

“It astounds me to think that my son will never know what it’s like to not have his favorite shows at his beck and call,” Kimbrell said. “It amazes me to think that he could navigate Netflix before he could read.”

Technology is very advanced in some aspects but Christ believes there is room for growth.

Christ said in the future she thinks there will be improvements for standard of living options, such as not having to drive a car or pick up a phone.

“What I really look forward to is the medical expansion,” Christ said. “Could we cure cancer and HIV?”

While it may be too soon to tell what technology will develop in the future, it will build on developments from the past.

“One thing is for sure, we will have another iPhone in the future,” Matthews said.