‘Ain’t technology grand?!?’ is my intermittent series on appreciating the little things that technology does for life. In these posts I dwell on how things are cooler now than they were back when I didn’t have gray hair, mouths to feed, creaky knees, and a pill a day pharmaceutical habit.
Okay, first up I’m going to apologize for going for the cheap (and dated) pop culture reference in the title. I couldn’t resist. Plus, that title pops a lot more than any combination of mobile gaming and universal wifi that I could come up with for the title. There really was in-air gaming involved in the inspiration for this post. I promise.
I finally talked a friend into trying Hero Academy and thought I’ve started getting a little burnt out on the game (it has nothing to do with the fact that he constantly beat me so get that smirk off your face), I had a lot of fun with it pre-burnout. This particular friend travels a lot, and he uses Southwest enough to get access to the free in-air wifi. So we were essentially going head to head while I was on a fast moving train and he was on an even faster moving plane. I’d love to go back 25 years and tell my younger self where it was all going to lead as he was excitedly unwrapping his first Gameboy under the Christmas tree.
I was excited to get that Gameboy, but I was never really that into it. There wasn’t much point in having it around since I had a much more powerful, and color, Nintendo system in my bedroom. My parents weren’t really the travelling sort, and my mom was one of those ‘turn off the game and talk to your family’ types before it was cool so the Gameboy didn’t get much play. But here I am today carrying around a phone with more computing power than my Commodore, NES, Gameboy, and eighth grade math teacher all rolled into one.
Mobile computing and wifi are technologys that would have been nearly magical twenty years ago but are practically taken for granted today. I was going to a movie a few days ago, but the ticket line was so long it was spilling into the street. So rather than spend twenty minutes waiting in triple digit heat I ducked inside the lobby, pulled out my phone, and bought a ticket online. (Then I wasted the twenty minutes standing in line at the concession stand. Hopefully I’ll be doing a post about being able to order concessions online soon. Are you listening Regal?)
I think my generation is just the right age for the online explosion we’ve experienced over the last twenty years. Young enough to adapt to new technology, but old enough to remember how it used to be well enough to truly appreciate the advances. It’s amazing to me how easy it is to go for wondrous and impressive to ho-hum and expected.
Barely related viewing (but still recommended): Snakes on a Plane in 30 seconds (reenacted by bunnys)