Leader: Technology is changing the way we live

Imperceptibly, our lives are changing. The world of our parents and grandparents is becoming a lost world.


Imperceptibly, our lives are changing. The world of our parents and grandparents is becoming a lost world.

So many little habits and social tasks that they took for granted have been seamlessly superseded by new technologies which have brought along a whole load of new habits.

When did you last ring directory inquiries? When did you last ring the cinema to check film times? When did you last pick up prints of your photos?

These are just some of the things that have been identified by a survey as becoming things largely of the past.

Incredibly, the technologies which have had such a profound effect are still very young. The impact of the internet has gathered pace like a runaway train in recent years. One in five people are now never out of reach of an internet device, the new survey suggests.

The world is a different place, but whether it is a better or more courteous place is an open question.

An e-mailed thank you letter is an impersonal electronic note which has none of the magic of receiving a handwritten letter, the writing and posting of which actually demonstrates some thought and effort.

You used to ring people up and they would answer: “Ironbridge 3847.” Now they will probably just say: “Hello.”

Millions of photos are being taken of modern family life but, with so few being printed, a pitiful fraction will survive for the next generation – all the others will be obliterated by the delete button, or lost when you change your laptop which, at two years old, is already obsolete.

Yes, silicon chips have brought a revolution. But there are always those occasions – like when your computer’s hard disk fails – that you realise that there is something to said for the “old ways”.

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Comments for: "Leader: Technology is changing the way we live"


What you mention about preserving photos is potentially a major issue. Hidden caches of old photos can be a real benefit to historians or just people interested in their family history, but the problem now is that we really don't know if in 50 or 100 years time it will be easy to find a device capable of reading a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray disk (assuming to disk hasn't decayed).

It is already uncommon to find a floppy disk drive (3.5 inch, let alone 5.25 or 8 inch) and just look at the Doomsday Reloaded project - which started with data retrieved from now obsolete laser disks (then considered state of the art - only 25 years ago).

On top of the issue we how we store data (often in "the cloud"), even if we have the binary data that makes the photo/video we don't know if there will be software available which can read JPEG/MPEG files so we can see what we've found!

The Original Jake

Technology has always changed - and will always continue to change - the way we live. There is little to be said for the old ways, they're the old ways for a reason. I'm sure our grandparents had similar conversations decades ago when discussing the modern technology available to them compared with their Victorian forebears.

I've always been a sociable person, but I'm far more in touch with people now than I was in the days I had to write a letter to a specific person to relate a piece of news. For example, a few months ago I was on a train to London and happened to make a throwaway comment about it on Facebook. It was spotted by an old university colleague, who was on the same train; five minutes later we were sitting together reminiscing about old times. That's pretty incredible, but it's not an isolated incident, this kind of thing happens to millions of people all over the world every day.

I have hundreds of very high-quality photographs of my toddler because modern technology allows me to process each one on my computer in about five minutes (I'm one of those people who takes it quite seriously and meticulously converts every photo from a raw file). Modern technology and the Internet means I can access them all from any computer - or phone, or tablet - from anywhere in the world. I don't need to print them to share them.

As for losing photos when you change a computer... that's just nonsense. I don't know anybody who throws their data away just like that. That would be like throwing the contents of a cupboard away when you decide to change your furniture.

I'm struggling to think of an example of something where the old way would be better. I'm looking forward to the day when my car, my fridge and my garden sprinkler are connected to the 'Net.


Welcome to the fabulous future world of the ultra modern house of next Tuesday.


and your writing this very article on what?? and uploading it to the world wide web????

funny way to complain about technology on a local news website??