Pop Quiz CTL Subscribers. Put on your thinking caps and name a couple of skills you needed before the Internet and having a smartphone in your purse or pocket.
- Spelling – I can remember being a decent speller. Now I just ask Google or Alexa to spell a word.
- Arithmetic – With a calculator on every phone you can just type in or better yet just say “Ok Google add these numbers”.
- Maps- remember looking at a printed map for the directions . If you’re born before 1990 you may have never looked at a physical maps
- Libraries – This one is very sad for me because libraries and physical book stores were always a wonderful trip for me. Now a student can wait to the very last minute to do their assignments
- Writing printed (non email) letters. The image of being a college freshman just flashed in my head. Coming down to the collection of dormitory mailboxes and getting that letter from home was a cherished experience.
- Typewriters. Taking a typing course in High School was a big bonus in searching for material now.
- Photo Albums: The skill of filing has totally been replaced by digital photo albums and tags.
Summary: Although my life style and my ability to find information has greatly improved with the Internet. I think these are some of the down sides that have affected me.
- My handwriting has deteriorated. I don’t even enjoy writing.
- I am thoroughly addicted to my smartphone.
- My patience for listening is at an all time low.
- I am too easily distracted.
What skills have you lost since the Internet is so much a part of our lives?
I am usually very skeptical when I read the following words “must read article”. I started reading this with the expectation that I would be done in less than a minute. Double yowza – there are some great predictions. The following are the ones I found fascinating.
- Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.
- Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don’t want to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving. Our kids will never get a driver’s licence and will never own a car.
- Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. Energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that can’t last. Technology will take care of that strategy.
- Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breath into it.
- It then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease. It will be cheap, so in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medical analysis, nearly for free. Goodbye, medical establishment.
- If it doesn’t work with your phone, forget the idea. And any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed to failure in the 21st century.
The initial sobering thought is that you would not be reading this post if there were no internet. The thought of LWTI (Life Without The Internet) came to me in sort of a wave of experiences. The front edge of the wave led me to admit sometimes I use my smartphone and its connection to the Internet to avoid human contact. Yes, if I am restless at dinner or a Poker game, I take out my phone and check email or scan world headlines. Every time my phone vibrates I take it out, often interrupting an ongoing conversation. In short, I am addicted to the stimulation of the Internet.
What was life like before the Internet?
- Communication – There were F2F meetings, often requiring time- consuming travel to meetings. There were long distance phone calls. There was snail mail. In the 1960’s, I can remember patiently waiting in my college dormitory post office to find out if my family’s care package shipped 10 days ago had arrived today.
- Banking -Ah, the days of standing in line to make a deposit or to pay a vendor. It was licking a stamp on an envelope and mailing the bill to the provider of your services.
- Libraries – Walking to the library and hoping that the reference book you needed for your report was available and paying the library fines often.
- Movies – As a child, Saturday afternoons were special for my bother and me. I fondly remember going to a matinee where admission and popcorn for the both of us cost less than a dollar.
- Employment. There was no such thing as working online. You dressed for work. You commuted to work. More often than not you worked from 8-5 and commuted home.
- Television. For the first 18 years of my life there was one T.V. in the house. We watched together as a family and of course there was no streaming, Youtube or viewing on a tablet or smartphone.
Was life slower, better, more enjoyable before the Internet? For my grandchildren there are no comparisons. All of their lives they have experienced Email, Google, Facebook, iPhones and ordering from Amazon and receiving their products in the same day. They don’t know the meaning of film and typewriters.
Could we exist today without the Internet? Does the child growing up in the Internet age lack personal communication skills? Do we as adults keep our personal communication skills sharp?
In Part 2, I will discuss a need to return to some of the skills we had before the Internet.
Thank you Cuenca Tech Life subscribers for challenging me to keep this blog an interesting time in my life and perhaps providing you with some interesting tech observations and predictions.
So what has changed since last year:
- Only an educated guess but I think Cuenca now has about 7K expats
- Smartphones continues to be the number one subject followed by photos
- Fiber Optic is now cheaper than ever 50 mps for $60
- The Tranvia is now 85% complete only a 23% increase since last year and predicted to open in Oct 2017 almost 2 years behind schedule
- Ecuador will elect a new president today
- I now am officially a Fish Monger and you can see more of my product offering at this link
- Google and Amazon introduced their new smart speakers (Google Home and Echo) and I predict they will be the next paradigm shift in technology. There are more than 13 million of these products in homes as of this writing.
The three most viewed posts are as follows:
Thank you again for viewing Cuenca Tech Life.
A paradigm shift is defined as a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions. Standing in line at a supermarket cashier to pay is the way all of us understand and have practiced for years. For me its over 50 years of shopping and standing in line.
My conservative estimate is that I have spent 10 days of my life standing in line to pay. Amazon Go is going to change that paradigm at least for Supermarkets.
What do you think of this new paradigm?