Dec 1

While visions of the new millenium being filled flying cars and teleporters have yet to be fulfilled, we’re still living in a present with a great many wonders created every day.  While we can seemingly never live up to the lofty aspirations of science fiction writers, we’re surrounded by technology constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible every day.  Take, for instance, the prevalence of smartphones.  As amazing as it may have seemed to be able to find answers to our questions almost immediately through the use of the internet, we’ve now dropped the requirement of the home PC, allowing practically instant gratification anywhere we happen to be.  What seems more amazing than this feat is the ease with which we take it for granted, along with many other innovations for which omnipresence has removed the luster they once held.

Slipping into everyones’ periphery so gradually, it seems as if GPS systems have had the same effect, providing what may have once seemed the impossible without the wonder.  With paper maps becoming increasingly antiquated and the concept of an atlas falling into obscurity, GPS systems have added to the growing list of functions once left to individuals.  The skill of knowing the best route or providing access to little-used shortcuts once being held in reverence has now fallen out of necessity and out of use.  Liken this, too, to the mental database once dedicated to the phone numbers of friends and family.  Today, one would be hard pressed to fin an individual who can recite more than a handful of phone numbers from memory, mostly relying upon their cell phone to handle the task.

This begs the question:  Have we equated progress to the ridding of once-held human tasks one by one?  The litany of examples is startling when given serious thought (we’ve lost the ability to cook a meal from scratch, for instance), but this is exactly the point.  Innovations and inventions of the day have created such a casual ease that we rarely if ever give serious consideration to their potential detriment.  Perhaps instead of constantly and consistently looking to the future, we should occasionally take a step back and realize what is in front of us in the present.  It seems as if Hollywood has taken notice…