How Life Changes – Television

Ok, it’s not a post about see the doctor. It’s not about growing old. It’s about – well, what else? Technology.

Perhaps this is continuation of my previous article about how media storage has changed – in that what has also changed, with the technology, is how we interact.

For example, watching videos. We used to have to watch everything in black and white – and only at certain times and days and channels. The resolution was very poor and most of us only had one television per household. It was like this for decades. Finally, televisions sprouted color, added remote controls (as a kid, I was the first remote control), grew and became more affordable. But, then they flattened and grew even larger – beyond the 36″ max with most CRT-based TVs. Resolution also improved.

The ability to record and the introduction of cable television and then Internet-based services such as Netflix gave us selection and the ability to watch what we wanted when we wanted – sometimes commercial free. But this freedom can lead to an addiction for some – binge watching entire seasons in one late evening.

Recording also brought selection via video store rentals. Betamax and VHS. Briefly laser disc. Then DVDs. We had large consoles to store all of our collections of VHS tapes and DVDs. But no need any longer. Vudu will let you convert many of your DVDs to digital format so that you can discard even these. At one time I spent hours converting my VHS tapes to DVDs just to make room for … more DVDs. Goodbye VHS tapes. Be kind, rewind. Then, goodbye to DVDs. Netflix will now let you download some content to watch when you’re, God forbid, offline.

What’s next? Virtual worlds. Videos add a third dimension and become interactive. TVs and tablets collect dust as we move to glasses – at first bulky, then sleek. But, now we can move when we interact – like when the workout shows were on TV, but at our own discretion. Sort of the Wii meets video games. Consider the new maladies from this. Ok, ok – I promised to avoid discussing doctor visits.

But, why stop at glasses – so cumbersome. Why not a digital interface embedded in your eye or brain? This allows the hardware to get more discrete. It also makes this type of technology the norm for society. But, with instant availability and instant content of anything we desire, how will we interact socially? As much as we are on our phones now, imagine the new addictions. Even when driving. With self-driving cars, this gives us more time to be plugged in and devouring content. Where’s the creativity. Will society revolt? At what point will technology be frowned upon? Made illegal?

I feel so old school, typing this on a laptop. I’m not dictating. I’m using a real keyboard. Something that has been around over 100 years.

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