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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Technology brings convenience

    Within the time it takes you to read this article, you will probably receive at least three text messages and maybe even a few phone calls. Yet most of us know that if we are within a 20-foot radius of a parent or other older family member and receive such a series of messages, a snide comment usually follows. But instead of blaming them for their lack of tolerance, spend a minute in their shoes and try to pry yourself away from the three-inch-long, half-inch-wide piece of mechanical genius that never leaves your side long enough to appreciate it a little more. Technology has vastly evolved over the years, from oversized, electrically-powered hunks of metal into slim, powerful and highly accessible conveniences. Nowadays your dishes wash themselves, your research projects can be done in an hour via Internet and “”snail mail”” is not your only option when you desire to contact your friend across town. From dishwashers to cell phones to laptops, our idea of life is much different than even someone who is only a few years our senior. So when your grandparents inevitably utter the phrase “”back in my day … “” just remember the following.

    The first cell phone was four to five times bigger than your phone, weighed two pounds and could only be used for half an hour. It was originally created to mount into your car permanently, and by mount I mean you took an oversized docking device and screwed it into your dashboard.

    Though you may, after just a week, have received a better bicep workout than a BlackBerry Pearl could ever offer, it’s questionable whether paying $3,995 for a little more definition in your arm and half an hour of airtime would be entirely worthwhile. Aside from its ridiculously high cost, this prehistoric entity didn’t even hit the market until 1984.

    Let’s not overlook the greatest and biggest addition to the new world of convenience, either: The Internet. This groundbreaking invention first went online in 1969 as a result of the United States’ desire to respond to Russia’s launch of Sputnik. But even though it may have started then, it wasn’t the “”World Wide Web”” as we now know it until 1990, when it was simplified. As it grew, our need for other information sources shrank.

    E-mail replaced the mailbox, online dictations of books eliminated much of the need for libraries and the list of conveniences just grows with the passage of time. It’s no wonder our grandparents feel the need to bring us back down to earth once in a while. The threat of getting caught in the “”cyber-world”” is ever-present.

    “”Back in my day I had to walk 10 miles barefoot to school in six feet of snow uphill both ways,”” may not be the truest statement your grandfather has ever said, but cut him a little slack. Just stretch yourself a little further than the majority and put yourself in his position. Wash all your dishes with a dishtowel, mail all your letters in the mailbox and write all your essays by hand for a day. Convenience and technology are things we shouldn’t take for granted. So if you ever find yourself complaining that your BlackBerry is difficult to use because the buttons are too small, remember – at least it fits in your pocket.

    – Isaac Mohr is a freshman journalism student. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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