Rise and Convergence of Technology

By Cathy H - 9:35 PM

I remember much of my growing up being centred around marks of technology and the evolution of electronic gadgets. Since I was a child, I always had a fascination with technology, different kinds of computer programs, the internet, and all the different gadgets that were available on the market. Now when I look back with all the gadgets and technology that I have available now, I find it hard to believe how I "survived" my days back than without dying of boredom and entertainment at my fingertips.

The first time I came to Canada, all I possessed with a giant radio with a disc option of which I would borrow audiotapes from the library that I played for hours on end. When I discovered the internet, I was allowed 30 minutes on a weekend day (asian helicopter parents rule) and I went on basic sites such as Neopets and online games. Than in grade 7, I got my first "IRIVER" MP3 player for like $150..with around 500mb of storage and a single slot screen displaying the song title playing, with a AA battery at the back of which I had to charge every few hours. Than, I got a creative ZEN with a tiny screen that allowed the revolutionary technology of video playback. I would painstakingly sit by my computer and wait for the conversion of multiple videos to put into my device so I could enjoy some watching MVs and films on a screen the size of a matchbox. I thought that technology was mind-blowing at the time, no matter how long it took to convert the video files. Than came my first iPod generation 1, which I thought made me one of the "cool kids" at school and I'd play that ball bounce game which was among the 2 set on default in "games" section.

Fast forward to grade 7, I sneakily went into Best Buy to get a phone behind my parents back. Not that I even wanted to call people or needed it, but thought I needed to have it as all my classmates around me were showing off their flippy phones and Motorola RAZR. I didn't even have phone contract at the time, but used it strictly as a accessory and prided in using its 0.5 MP camera to snap selfies and send it to my email..that costed $2/picture to send through.

Than to first year university, getting my first iPhone and laptop after my PC system breakdown and several phones that failed to perform their expected level of functionality. I thought I had the complete set..for only a year or so. Slowly, the laptop began getting slower and the rise of MacBooks began knocking off every other laptop brand off the market. Suddenly, there were bigger and brighter displays, retina display functions, gigantic screens the size of my hand. This really started to evolve around 2012-2013 I think..when Samsung began their Galaxy and Note phone products and suddenly I could see what apps people were from their car window. I remember going into Future Shop this winter break to look at MacBooks and decide if I wanted one. The salesman kept pointing out BIGGER SCREEN and FASTER SPEED and IF YOU PAID $500 more there is retina display which is that many times better than the one with a little less functionality. Over the break, I switched both my iPhone (which stuck with me faithfully for 2 years with perfect functioning) with a Galaxy s4 and a new MacBook Air.

When I realized I was holding the newest and top two pieces of technology in my hand, it suddenly made me kind of sad. I was sad that even though the screen I'm typing on now is lighter and faster than any laptop I ever owned, it seemed like further down the line I would look back to now and think "how did I ever survive this age?" And the first time I used my S4, it made me sad to think back on the years when this technology wasn't available to me and I was able to make due, but now I can't even imagine life without a smartphone. A few years ago, I thought a Motorola Razr was revolutionary and couldn't even imagine a s4 with data, screen the size of a tablet, and the functionality of both a gaming device and DSLR camera. Everything seems to be getting bigger and better...and it makes me kind of anxious and nostalgic for the older days when I would go on camping trips with a iPod nano 1st gen with no other purpose than to listen to music. A camera was a camera that was to be developed by purchasing film. But now, every platform seems to converge together and we are spending less time in the present and more time trying to capture the present for the future.

I find myself worrying about camera angles and what kind of Lightroom filter and colour correction I should be applying when I get back home, before I even take a picture. I worry about how many memory cards and backup cameras I should bring on trips to make sure I get that HDR quality. Where should I check in on instagram, Facebook and the list goes on. It's like I can't separate my life from technology anymore. Everywhere I go I am picturing it through apps and technology, I think as time goes on I'll forget how to actually enjoy the present moment. Those stereotypical "leave your phone behind and venture into the wood days" now leave me with insane boredom..and this summer when I went vacationing in a rental lodge, I was on my iPad,phone and camera even in the hot tub. Sigh...its just never-ending but such a habit and addiction that I don't know if its good or bad for me/society. I guess I'm just trying to say that technology both gives more advantages but also takes away something.

"With expansions come limitations"

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