Technology leaps forward, like it or not

Technology leaps forward, like it or not

Robert’s column

My iPhone is dying.

I started having trouble with it just recently, beginning with battery issues that are hindering my ability to take videos and pictures.

It was a state-of-the-art machine when I first purchased it, and I felt a stab of pride at having such a high-tech piece of equipment at my disposal.

But the fact that this was a long time ago was reflected in the face of my young niece when I showed it to her in the hopes she could diagnose the problem.

“This thing is ancient,” she said with that tone of disgust that teenagers reserve for people they see as old beyond imagination and completely out of touch with the modern world.

“It’s so old that I wouldn’t even know who would be able to fix it,” she concluded before tossing my phone back to me with a look of disdain on her face.

Actually, it’s been more than six years since I bought the phone and, it appears, the technology of these things has increased exponentially in that time.

It’s hard to keep up, especially for a cave man like me who has trouble keeping pace with the fast-moving and ever-changing times.

That fact was made very clear to me a few years ago when a young colleague of mine, who was also writing an article on changing communication technologies, asked if I knew anyone who had ever used a rotary phone so she could interview them.

She asked me this in a tone that suggested that people who used rotary phones likely once lived in caves and roasted mammoths over open fires.

I vividly recall the phone my family had when we were living in a small community back east when I was a toddler.

Not only was it a rotary phone, you had to hand-crank it to get it operating and then had to talk to an operator who would connect you to the line you requested.

The operator would then monitor the call, and if she felt you were sharing homework answers with your friends, she would instantly cut you off and terminate the call.

Interestingly, when I told her this, my colleague shot me that same look that my niece gave me recently when she evaluated my phone.

The look said “how is it that you are still alive after living so long ago in such a backward time”.

It’s a fact that kids today are just more “tech-savvy” than the rest of us who are increasingly long-in-the-tooth and slowly losing the mental capacity to do the simplest of tasks, like tying shoes.

Young people, now and as they’ve always been, are like sponges for learning.

Mix that with their almost manic need to remain in constant contact with their peers and friends, and you suddenly have a whole generation that can operate computers as easily as they breathe.

Using a keyboard properly is a skill that I’ve been trying to master since computers became crucial to daily living, and I haven’t got it down properly and tend to still use just two fingers when typing.

However, after decades of tapping away on a keyboard to make a living, you’d be surprised at how fast a two-fingered typist can go.

All I know for sure is that our technology seems to be hurtling forward in such leaps and bounds that it is leaving many people behind in the dust.

And I find myself already looking forward to retirement.