In 2012, we have the capability to gather and share virtually any piece of information from almost anywhere in the world. We have tools that give us directions in real time, devices that grant us to play games with friends who are hundreds of miles away and hand held gadgets that can store more music than an entire record store. Scientists have even developed battery powered mechanical hearts that can keep people alive for long periods of time, despite heart failure. Today’s technology would have seemed like far-fetched science fiction a mere 30 years ago. We are most definitely living in the future, and I am loving every second of it.
One of the things that reminded me how advanced our society truly is was an article I read recently that stated that Virgin Galactic, a space tourism company created by Sir Richard Branson, anticipates to start offering flights to outer space by as early as next year. Tickets aboard these space shuttles will cost about $200,000 each. While the hefty price tag makes this something that is more than likely completely out of the question for most people reading this, this is not likely to remain the case for very long. Consider this, in 1925 a nice radio was considered a luxury appliance and cost around $170. Adjusted for inflation, that would equal about $2,200 today. But today’s radios are more technologically advanced, yet they can be bought on-line for under $1. Using this logic, it’s likely that in our lifetime tourist trips to outer space will probably cost about the equivalent of a luxury cruise today.
Another large technological milestone is that the American company Terrafugia has already developed a working prototype flying car, which is expected to be available for public buy by the end of this year. It will cost around $280,000. While it looks more like an airplane capable of road travel, this is still a futuristic invention that has been looked forward to for several decades.
I occasionally hear people state they wish they could just not have a cell phone for a few days, or even a few hours, so they can distance themselves from others and be left alone with their thoughts. But this day this would be almost impossible without your close friends and family assuming that something terrible had happened to you.
I’ll admit the expectation that everybody can always be immediately contacted can get annoying. When I text a friend and they do not respond within an hour, I cannot help but feel resentment toward them. I know it’s illogical, and that they most likely just have not checked their phone, but I still feel this way nevertheless.
However, the reality is that any one of us could select to leave our phone off for a day or two. Yet we don’t. This is because we fear we might miss something important. Deep down, we are all fans of new technology, regardless of whether we want to admit it.
Don’t get me wrong, I still strongly value staying in touch with nature and spending time outdoors. But nobody can state that a hike through a vast national forest would not be safer, and therefore more enjoyable, with the occasional assistance of a GPS and a cell phone.
Lastly, some people will argue that this boom in technology is what will ultimately lead to our downfall, whether by overpopulation, famine, pandemic or the creation of a weapon powerful enough to destroy the planet. But I’m a firm believer that human beings are among the most resilient of survivors. Regardless of how bad things eventually get, I think people will always discover new ways to thrive. This is why I am constantly looking forward to what advances in technology will bring to us. Who knows, we might even be surprisingly close to hoverboards and time travel.
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Submited at Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 at 2:30 pm on Uncategorized by Alina
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