Think back to the first handheld electronic device you’ve ever powered off on an airplane. If you’re my age, it was probably one of the greatest inventions of the 90’s: a large, grey, yellow-screened, poorly-pixelated Nintendo Game-Boy. This groundbreaking device was the first of its kind to deliver video-games to wherever you were ( given that you had four AA batteries, of course). In 1995, the Game Boy was the device that blew people’s minds. Simple games, black-and-white (yellow, really) projection, and no sound. Then came sound. Then Game-Boy’s began getting smaller. And then color came. Then, the memory capacity grew so the games became more in-depth. Today, the Nintendo DS model has two touch-screen, color monitors that fold in half to fit in your pocket and games that can be played for months on end with no looping software.
But how did we get there? How did it go from a Harry Potter book-sized, black and white device to the technological feast that we’re a part of on a daily basis? The truth is, I don’t know. And I don’t think many people do. This week’s discussions centered on the fact that our generation is the most technologically advanced– and the least technologically knowledgeable.
Is it wrong on our part? That we’re given these futuristic marvels (Game-Boys, iPods, etc) and we don’t understand how they work? I personally don’t believe so. We are creatures of passion. We are drawn to the things that interest us on an emotional or mental level. So the things in life that we focus our energy on sometimes distract us from the underlying genetics of, well, everything. To tie this theory into history, picture a man in the 1920’s beginning his day with a cup of coffee and a copy of the local paper. If you were to ask this man how a printing press was operated, he would probably have no idea. I believe that it is in our nature to take things for granted (like technology) but we replace their appreciation with the things in life that we are passionate about.