You may know that I tend to rant like an old man when it comes to technology. I launch enthusiastically into “when I was a kid” speeches without invitation. And let’s face it: the SciFi industry has capitalized on apocalyptic visions of the future. I’ll be the first person to admit that it’s a whole lot of fun to explore a future world that is troubled or even warped. And most of us are able to look at our own history and admit some of the negatives that technology has brought into society. So this post is about the positive fruits of advancing technology!
1.Connectivity. Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming how connected we are to the world. I mean, should you really be trying to keep up with all 400 Facebook friends? But it is pretty miraculous how you can move across the country and still be provided glimpses into the lives of the people you left behind. Plus cell phones, Skype/Facetime, e-mail and on and on.
2. Transportation. Cars. Airplanes. Railroads. The ability to travel all over the world. Need I say more?
3. Movies. Don’t judge me for this one, but I am a storyteller at heart! When you think about it, it is pretty amazing that we can create stories in such an immersive way. Although there is a lot of fluff and wasted million-dollar-budgets floating around out there, I could list a number of movies that have positively impacted me. Movies can raise awareness about unknown issues, they can give us a glimpse of how our fellow humans on another continent live, they can encourage and inspire us, and they can convict us to change our lives or the way we see other people.
Two recent examples for me were “The Life of Pi” and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” I wasn’t super impressed with Pi up until the very end when it struck a resounding gong inside my heart. I used to work with broken teenage girls who would make up stories and cause a whole lot of fuss just to avoid dealing with the past traumas in their lives. And Mitty just may be the best movie ever made. Full of fun, adventure, beautiful scenery, and thoughts about what living your life should look like it comforts and inspires me! Movies are pretty awesome. I wonder what comes next? I’m not gonna lie, I’ve always been inspired by the holo deck on Star Trek. Would I like to live out an adventure?
4. Music. Music is balm for the soul. I rarely think about this, but back in the day, music was more of a privilege for the upper class and even for them it wasn’t always accessible. Now I have music from all over the world and several hundred years back in time at my fingertips! Maybe in the future, in my holo deck, I can have a five piece string ensemble constantly serenading me while I write.
5. Medicine. These days there seems to be a lot of debate about different developing medicines, or even well-established ones. But I don’t think anyone can deny that it is miraculous how much modern medicine can assist those who are handicapped/disabled. Wheelchairs. Prosthetics. Surgery. Quality of life is increasing for so many people.
If you could invent one thing to make life better, what would it be?