This week we’re looking at how technology has changed our lives, and today we’re going to look at the impact on our minds, for the better or worse.
Let’s start with the most obvious. Vanished from the equation is the hand-written letter. Personally, I think it’s great to get a hand-written letter if you can read it because people just don’t want to go to all that trouble. With email, texting and Skype conversations, most of us feel that it’s just not worth the effort to write the letter, find an envelope, buy enough postage, and then get it to the post office. Over the years as we’ve done less and less handwriting, we’ve lost the dexterity to form the actual letters on the page, and for many of us, our script is, well, awful.
And if you think our hand-writing is getting worse, how’s your mental arithmetic? In the days of yesteryear, you didn’t always have a calculator nearby, so we were, for the most part, pretty good at quickly doing a calculation in our heads. Then along came computers, and suddenly the calculator is a dinosaur, and people switched over to spreadsheets. But alas, even that too is becoming passé for people on the move. Siri, what is two times two.
On another front, I remember making mix tapes on cassettes for those special moments on a date, or for a long highway trip, where I could put 90-minutes of music songs on the tape, and all commercial free, and enjoy. Today, everything has done full digital. Gone are the CDs, the cassette tape, and lots of other music delivery formats. Today’s music lover has found an internet channel that delivers a specific genre of music and delivers it in high quality. Music services are also growing in popularity, with companies like Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and other starting to dominate the landscape.
Reporting for Computer Insider, I’m Bob Pritchard