In 1980, while working at a hospital, I was fortunate to meet a lady that was 104 years old but still had all of her faculties. She had broken her hip. She still lived alone, but her 80-year old son took her shopping every week. A favorite question I like to ask people that are older than I am is who is the first president they recall from memory and NOT by studying from school. The president she named was Benjamin Harrison but her most memorable one was William McKinley. She was standing just a few feet from McKinley when he was shot in 1901 - and she was 25 years old at the time! (She had been retired since 1940.) I couldnt help but be in a state of awe over the fact that in her lifetime, technology went from horse and buggy to man on the Moon.
Recently, I began to think about how far technology has come in my lifetime. We bought our first television in 1956. It was a black and white and housed in a large cabinet. The TV needed to be fixed a couple times per year. (The tubes would often burn out.) Today, people can watch TV most anywhere on something about the size of a pack of cigarettes, but much thinner and it does not need to be plugged-in. For better or worse, even in the 1960s, most people only had a choice of at most 3 or 4 channels. Today, with the advent of cable and satellite, 150 channels or more can be accessed.
Even in my teenage years, sending a letter took several days to travel just a few states away. Now, a letter can be sent across the world in a matter of just seconds. Long distance calls in the 1960s were almost unheard of. The rates were something like a dollar per minute - This is when minimum wage was about a dollar an hour. Today, many are able to make all the long distance calls they want for as little as $30 a month - When minimum wage is nearing $8 an hour!
My first experience with a computer was in 1960. Utah State University was conducting research into whether or not learning by using a computer would facilitate the process. The room we were in had a dozen computers that ran on what I now know as DOS. (Black screen with green text.) Being curious, one day I went into an adjoining room. The room, about the size of a typical living room, was filled with electronics. I know now that it was the mainframe it took to run the twelve computers. Today, a much more powerful computer can fit in ones pocket!
When I was a child, telephones had no push buttons or even a dial on them. To make a phone call, you picked up the receiver and waited for an operator to come online to make the call for you. Our telephone number was MJ284. Although telephone technology made advancements, it wasn't until the mid-1990s that the technology leaped forward at a much faster pace. Today, a telephone can fit in your pocket and you can make and receive phone calls from almost anywhere on Earth. You can also run your choice of dozens of applications on it - much like a sub-micro-computer, which, in fact, it is. You can also take and receive photos on them, play games and music from your own customized selection, and more. What next?
Regardless of your age, stop and think back of the improvements in technology that has taken place in YOUR lifetime. You might be surprised at how much technology has improved in your lifetime!