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Then and Now: How Technology Has Changed Our Lives

As time moves forward, everything around us changes. We have become a generation almost entirely dependent on technology, and it goes without saying that things were done very differently decades ago than they are now. But as much as some people like to say our reliance on technology hinders us, we can’t deny that it’s made life a lot simpler!

Here are a few things technology has made so much easier for us!

Communication

A snail dragging a small bag of mail behind it.

Image courtesy of http://socialpublishinghouse.com

Then: Snail mail was a primary source of communication then, as opposed to today, where it is the primary source of junk mail. I remember having pen pals in elementary school and being incredibly excited about writing letters and buying stamps. While there’s something very romantic about the idea of snail mail, it’s called snail mail for a reason—it’s slow and ultimately, inconvenient.

Now: Today, we use literally anything else but snail mail to communicate with each other. Whether it’s email, text, video chat, fax or instant messaging, we have an arsenal of technologies that allow us to contact each other without having to find a mailbox. Technology has successfully shortened communication from several days to mere minutes.

Transportation

A screenshot of a family traveling with a covered wagon in the game, Oregon Trail.

Image courtesy of http://oregonlive.com

Then: There’s nothing more inconvenient than horse buggies, ships and those little covered wagons you used to drive on that dreadful Oregon Trail game. Forget about the ridiculous amount of time it takes to get everywhere, talk about uncomfortable! People regularly died trying to get from point A to point B. Now that’sinconvenient.

A convertible Mercedes coup covered in Swarovski crystals.

Image courtesy of http://topspeed.com

Now: Our modes of transportation today are the definition of glamorous. From the first class plane rides to the flashy sports cars, everything today is about speed, safety and comfort. Even if all we can afford is a plane ride in coach or a ride in a 90s Honda, it still beats taking months to go a few states over.

Entertainment

A medieval painting of male actors on stage.

Image courtesy of http://luminarium.org

Then: Plays are definitely still a great source of entertainment today, but its medieval counterpart isn’t all too great. Even if special effects were a little better, let’s remember that women were played by men because the stage was “no place for a female.” Let’s leave the outdated ideals in the past, shall we?

A family enjoys Netflix with a bowl of popcorn.

Image courtesy of http://techhive.com

Now: Thank goodness for the movie theaters, cable television, Netflix, video games and phone apps! Not only are things a little more fun than they were back then, we’re also starting to get more diverse media representation whether it’s gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. Now that’s what I call progress.

Sure, technology sometimes makes us complacent (especially as college students; we’re too eager to procrastinate with some Orange Is the New Black on Netflix). But without the awesome progression of technology, we’d still be using outhouses and screaming out our windows to talk to our friends. Our dependency on technology isn’t such a bad thing.
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