What’s your opinion on the best enhancements or the worst things that came about during the past few years? Of course, the list will be different from person to person. What one person sees as the icing on the cake may be a total disaster to someone else – it’s all in how you look at things. A few with pros and cons come to mind.
Are you a reader? Is your local bookstore or library someplace that draws you in to stroll through aisles to check out the latest bestsellers? The variety of ways to read that one can select from these days is remarkable. For the purists, nothing is going to replace a book, hardback or softcover; as long as there are pages to smell and turn, you’re a happy reader. For others who read on the go, the e-version of the same book elicits a similar reaction. For still others, there’s the audio version. Any means that results in reading is a good thing – paper books, e-versions, and audio – just read and continue to encourage kids to read.
The social media world may be unchartered territory to some, but the concept does have its pros. With social media vehicles like Facebook, you can keep up with family and find old friends you haven’t spoken to in years. Reconnecting with people you grew up with but lost touch with is so special – sharing milestone events and who has the most kids or grandkids. Virtual high school reunions on a much smaller scale are possible. For families who live miles apart, social media keeps you connected far better than an occasional phone call or card. Helping older family members embrace some of the easier to navigate tools helps them stay connected, which can help improve their sense of well-being.
Listening to music anywhere and everywhere. Remember those boom boxes? We went from 45s, to long-playing albums, to the 8-track era, cassette tapes, CDs, and all sorts of download options. And amazingly, records –or vinyls, as they’re now known – are making a comeback. On the con side, there remains a concern about kids wearing earplugs with their tunes cranked up way too loud and the long-term impact on an entire generation’s hearing.
Are you like many folks who have boxes filled with VHS tapes that you’re just holding onto in case they make a comeback? Sadly, looks like that ship has sailed. On the positive side, however, with Blue Ray and CDs you do usually get some added features along with the movie – either bloopers, backstory, or editor’s cut – if you like that sort of detail.
The technology behind cell phones has changed how we use phones and the industry seems to add new enhancements as soon as everyone gets comfortable with whatever the latest version happens to be. We’ve transitioned from the very early bag phones to any number of flip versions with pullout antennas, to small handheld devices, and now they’re getting larger again. Landlines are disappearing from homes as people opt to stay in a constant state of availability with their cell phones always at hand. How in touch do we really need to be? How about a moratorium on electronic devices once a week? Or, at least at mealtime?
Think about what you enjoy now that you never dreamed would have existed 20, 30, or 40+ years ago. What’s your list of the best and worst things that people use these days? Isn’t it amazing what comes around and what visionaries think will be in the future? Those creators of the Jetsons got a few things spot on, didn’t they?