What We Have Experienced Since the Pre-Digital Era
Have you ever been asked this, “what tech world did you grow up in?”. It’s an interesting question because no answer is wrong or right, instead, it offers valuable insight into the technological world. For Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), one of the biggest technological inventions was DNA fingerprinting. Next, we have Generation X or Gen Xers as they are commonly known (born between 1965 and 1980). There were so many advancements during this time so it’s difficult to pick only one, but the LED stands out. Then there are millennials or Generation Y (born between 1981 and 1996). Here the list is endless, but this is also where we first got introduced to smartphones, albeit not the smartphones we know today. Then we have Generation Z aka Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012). Probably the most notable advancement here is social media. While these are subtle touchpoints to what we have experienced throughout time, there are so many things humans can do. What does this mean for the future of gaming or the workplace? Let’s look at technology and how it has evolved to what we know it today.
What was the pre-digital age?
It is hard to think back to a time when the different types of technology weren’t available since our lives are pretty much led by devices. Devices from the past almost entirely served only one purpose at a time – landlines were used to make phone calls, radios were used for entertainment and news, and VCRs were used to play videos. These are only a few examples of the pre-digital era. Today, people rarely use landlines (there are people who still use them today) as they have smartphones; radios all but almost disappeared as you can stream nearly all radio stations on your digital devices, and VRCs no longer exist. It might not have seemed like it at the time, but in retrospect, when landlines, radios and VCRs were around it was a much simpler time.
At first, we saw the pre-digital age evolve very slowly so much so that boomers were able to keep up. But as soon as products were digitized, photos turned into megabytes, print newspapers became digital editions, live-in experiences became digital, the world changed, and fast! This was the first step to technological advancement; physical products became digital and now we find ourselves in the mid-digital age.
Where are we now?
We are in the mid-digital age. Here, technology is finally immersive and accepted despite the pushback it received in the pre-digital age. So how have we adapted to technology in this mid-digital age? Things are much more streamlined and there are regulations too. Think about it this way, Disney + is not allowed to air a Netflix show unless they have the rights to do. Usually, this means that Disney + would have to purchase the license to the content to allow their viewers to stream it. Our world has also evolved through devices – and probably the biggest evolution out there. Today, you have one smartphone that does a multitude of things, 20 years ago we were merely touching the surface of it. Smartphones are getting smarter and smarter!
We can take a step even further by looking at both the positive and negative sides of technology. In the past, technology provided just enough convenience that it did not consume your life. Today, there are numerous regulations attached to our technology. For starters, if a device goes against the telecommunications laws in the US, America can simply put a ban on the product. This has to do with security threats. If your device has advanced spy technology, no country is going to allow it. This is fair since national security is important not only to protect the country but to protect the citizens as well.
Post digital age
It has been predicted that we will slowly reach our peak with technology and make the switch back to a much simpler time, but it’s not what you think it might be. Technology will be fully embedded into our lives where we will no longer need to say “digital account manager” or even use the word streaming as digital will run concurrently with our lives. Technology, specifically the internet, will be seen as a background tool rather than a tool that’s used to live. People will make the shift to smart homes instead of smartphones. We won’t be making the same comparisons we do today (online vs. in-store) since everything will be done one way instead of the other.