The world is changing at an extremely rapid pace, and so is technology. Back in the old days, people update themselves on current issues and happenings of their city by reading newspapers, or other forms of print articles. However, many things have changed since then.
50 years ago, people read books called autobiographies, to learn about that particular person’s life and accomplishments. In this day and age, people still read a book to do the same thing – it is called Facebook. People post updates and statuses on these social networking sites, and friends will instantly know what they are up to with just a click of a button. What I’m trying to say is, technology has changed the way people live their lives. There are so many things that can be done with a computer, from watching a movie, to buying things. The way people communicate are also computerized, in a sense. Hand-written letters are now replaced by emails, and visual interactions are replaced with the invention of webcams. We now live in an era of computer mediated communication.
As mentioned in the article, electronic gadgets such as computers are getting more advanced by the year, and also cheaper. This increase in affordability has made computers or laptops seem like just another shirt you own – almost everyone has one, some even two or three. Hundreds on programs on computers allow for two or more people to converse, ignoring the boundaries of geographical proximity. A very good example would be MSN, which millions of users subscribe to. Messages can be sent and received instantaneously, including your facial expressions! A simple 🙂 or 😦 will allow people to comprehend someone else’s mood, even though there is no actual visual interaction. Emoticons, which serve the same function, are also prevalent in these online chatting programs. Tired of reading just words? Simply click on the Skype button and you are seconds away from real-time video conferencing. Communication, be it written or visual, can now be done with a computer.
Other things like news broadcasts or articles, can also be found online. These news can be read anywhere, anytime, especially since inventors have now also merged the technologies of a computer, together with a cellphone. With the abundance of iPhones and BlackBerries, the same computer mediated communication can also be done on these smartphones! When people go for meetings, or need to take down certain notes, they take out a laptop or an iPad instead of a pen and paper. Even the tedious task of finding a life partner can now be done online, because the setting up of dating sites have made this possible. You can even filter out unwanted individuals with a simple click of the mouse. However, with communication being computerized, there might be a danger of having an identity crisis. Online, you can be anyone you want. But once you shut down your computer, you are back to reality. Some people end up confused because they adopt multiple identities virtually, especially in online games. This can be detrimental in the long run.
To sum it all off, we are now slaves of technology. We most probably would not survive without our laptops or iPhones. We are too reliant on technology for communication and information, and I think that all of us are already on a path of no return. Who knows that, like my title suggest, newspapers will be wiped off the face of this Earth in 50 years. News and updates will be in the form of holograms, like what you see in your typical Startrek movie.