Gratitude for our age

I don’t like to get emotional about an inanimate object, but sometimes you do just have to express your wonderment at advances in technology.

The first computer I personally owned was a huge desktop machine with 300 MB of disk space and 4 MB of memory. It was a custom build and relatively advanced for its time. It didn’t have internet access (had never heard of it), relied on clunky optical ZIP disks for extra storage. At a time when floppy disks had a capacity of 1.4 MB, 100 MB disks were phenomenal. That was around 1995.

So naturally it does cause a bout of minor rage to read statements like the following on this incredible network known as the Internet:

“The iPhone 6 is crap.”

“The Surface Pro 3 is a pile of shite.”

I won’t bore you with any more examples, because we’ve all read them. Sure, we can all pick holes in design flaws, but to describe these amazing miniature computers as crap or shite? Could you not say instead something like: “this piece of advanced technological marvel and wizardry is not to my personal liking”?

Look, here I have an extremely powerful computer which is no larger than an A4 notepad. Where once I had a desktop tower and a hefty 15″ monitor, I now have a beautiful high resolution screen fixed to a PC less than 1cm thick. I don’t have a keyboard attached because it has a pen. I write as quickly as I think and it recognises my barely legible scrawl flawlessly, converting it into text in an instant.

It may not be to everyone’s taste, but this is a work of wonder. For clinicians, therapists, journalists – in fact anyone who must interview others face to face – this is a computer that could change worlds. For digital artists – even lame, aspiring creatives like me – this thing is a game changer.

The iPhone is not to my personal taste. I don’t like the style of Lenovo laptops. The iPad is not as flexible for my needs as I’d like. Sony’s Xperia just isn’t my cup of tea.

But come on: here we are, connected to the world, without wires, watching video clips uploaded by students, taking pictures which we don’t have to take to town to get developed, writing notes while watching the news.

Does a slither of gratitude and amazement not cross your mind for just a second or two?

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