Tag Archives: technology

Life in the Digital Age

This past week while I was attempting to de-clutter my house as part of decorating for fall/Halloween, I pulled out a magazine holder from an over-stuffed bookcase and discovered some very old magazines.  I know I held onto these with the intention of referring to them again, but instead they were stored away and forgotten.

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Just a small sample of the magazines I had put away and forgotten.

Nowadays, while I still have paper cookbooks and print magazines and resources for decorating, gardening, etc., more often I go to trusted sites online instead of dragging out the books and magazines.  After all, the latest research, trends, and ideas are easily accessed there without having to dig through stacks and shelves of paper and remembering exactly where a reference is located.  Many times I can find the same information that is in my magazines, on a corresponding website with the same name.

While I still enjoy holding a print magazine in my hands so I can enjoy the glossy pictures, I have let my print subscriptions lapse, because, though I can always pick up the latest issue, eventually, they too will be dated and dusty.

What does this imply for the future of print issues, for myself, and the world in general?  In this digital age, more and more people are turning to digital subscriptions for their favorite newspapers, magazines, and of course, books.  While this is definitely better for the environment, the impersonal feeling of holding a tablet and turning pages by a swipe of the finger is completely different than sitting down with a print magazine or book in hand, especially when one is reading for pleasure.

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News, resources, and entertainment are only a few clicks away online.  Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

I am by no means ready to give up the print books I own, but I tend to acquire just as many e-books these days as print ones, if only to conserve storage space around my home.  Periodicals, though, I have decided I can enjoy and then recycle without remorse, but rather content about the fact I am helping preserve the environment.  After all, the information is still available, online, whenever I need it again.

I can enjoy the best of both worlds- the pleasure of reading books and the occasional print magazines, with the convenience of access to digital publications. And getting rid of some of those excess paper magazines just frees up space on my bookshelves.

Which do you prefer, print or digital magazines and books?  Or do you prefer a combination of the two, like me?

 

A Sign of the Times-When Sci-Fi Becomes Reality

Today we live in a world where smart houses are becoming everyday fact.  When I was growing up, the idea of a “smart house” was still considered science fiction.  Of course, I’m old enough to remember when The Jetsons wasn’t a rerun seen only classic cartoon channels.  When Back to the Future Part II (1989) came out, the technology presented from the McFly’s future home was still fantasy, but today televisions capable of showing multiple shows at once and video door bells are things we take for granted.  (No flying cars yet, though.)

Robot helpers, automated household help, and endless viewing choices- not too far off from today! image from cyberneticzoo.com

My husband and I recently gave in to both encouragements from our kids and the financial relief of ditching cable TV in favor of switching to internet options like Netflix and Amazon Prime.  Not only are we saving money, but we are also rediscovering a number of programs which we never had the time to watch on cable, that are available, commercial-free, at our finger tips or at a voice command to Alexa.

That is another “futuristic” feature we’ve added to our house recently, a second Amazon Echo Dot, so we that we can use them in tandem as a functional intercom, in addition to everything else they are capable of, such as giving us a weather forecast, playing radio stations, and now controlling our TV access.

There are so many time and effort saving gadgets out there, now, that only a couple of decades ago could only be seen on Star Trek or at Disney’s World of Tomorrow.  We can purchase from any store or online retailer self-propelled vacuuming robots, plugs to run houselights from a phone app, and appliances such as washing machines that be preprogrammed to begin a cycle in the future and refrigerators that can email us when we need to add eggs to the grocery list.

We live in a time where digital books are available any time we wish, from retailers or even the public library, and any information resource we could want from movie schedules to college courses can be accessed from a laptop or any Wi-Fi capable device.  For a one-time purchase, anyone can use a digital personal assistant such as Alexa or Siri to order dinner, schedule appointments, or remind us to pick up the kids.  We can use our home Wi-Fi networks to shop for anything from a new house to a new car, and even take care of the financing and purchase insurance, without leaving our front door.

Thanks to virtual reality, we soon won’t have to leave home to take a vacation.  I’m still waiting on that flying car, though.

Maybe in another twenty years? image /i.dailymail.co.uk