A Decade of Technology Changes: What’s Next?

Do you ever wonder what’s the  next new thing to be invented, reinvented, produced and delivered to us? Ten years ago, blogging was something a handful of people did. Now companies, CEO’s, universities,  presidents, grandmas, cpu and monitoremployers, movie stars, quilters, news stations and teachers all have a reason to put their words in a post and hit the publish button.

I worked with a brilliant guy in my past and I often asked him this question – what’s the next new thing? Years ago he told me about a new concept called Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) which was difficult for me to grasp at the time. Now, I use VOIP with Skype and my phone.

What’s the next new thing?

When I first browsed the web, Netscape was the only choice…Amazon was a place far away and Google was a funny word.

AOL had the market with the disks they mailed on a regular basis so we could connect to the internet.  Connecting to the internet meant dialing a certain number where everything took it’s own sweet time. While the computer was connected, the phone was unavailable.

In the past ten years, I’ve seen flash (or thumb) drives replace cds (which replaced floppy discs). With each year, the amount a flash drive holds increases and will soon be able to hold a terabyte of memory!

The big deal ten years ago was the Blackberry. Now a Blackberry is old fashioned compared to the iPhone family that continues to ‘wow’ the world. The ‘land line’ is a thing of the past as our children subscribe to cell phone use only. I recently discontinued my land line due to the cost and the handful of calls that I received.

Back then a chat was something I did over the phone – today it’s a text using dozens of acronyms. The preference seems to be to send a text rather than make a phone call.

We no longer need a VCR recorder because of programs like Tivo and On Demand that allow us to record a host of programs to watch at a later time. In fact, we can  skip watching TV and tune into our computers and watch our favorite programs on Hulu and other such programs.

Our televisions have gotten flatter and wider as have our computer screens.

Film cameras are no longer produced and digital cameras are being replaced by cell phone cameras.

A decade ago I was so cool jogging with my neat yellow Walkman. Cassettes were soon replaced by compact discs and now, thousands of songs are downloaded into a device as big as my thumb or onto my cell phone device.

Books were either hardback or paperback. Now, we have to decide if we want to use a Nook, Kindle, Sony, or some other type of e-Reader. Libraries are in the process of going virtual as well.

A social network was a gathering of people, like you might find at church or on a Friday afternoon meeting face to face, perhaps. Online social networks like My Space, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube and other sites allow many people to connect via their fingertips. They share videos, photos and information for their friends and family to see across the miles or across the world.

Oh my goodness! So much has changed, evolved, and emerged in so little time. What’s next?

If you know or think you know, let me know!!!

13 thoughts on “A Decade of Technology Changes: What’s Next?

  1. When I was in highschool, I remember hearing that ‘someday’ we would not carry cash at all but would have a little card and the money would just be moved out of our bank account when we bought something. That seemed very ‘space age’ at the time. And now look at us!


  2. As much as I love the new technology, I sometimes find it overwhelming.
    Especially after my trip back home to Sweden … there it was ‘worse’. You could hardly do anything without a cellphone … not pay the bus or the subway …well, you had to go somewhere else to buy a ticket. Locked up my suitcase in a locker at the railway station … couldn’t do that without a plastic card!

    When it comes gradually, you don’t think about it all that much, but I had lost touch with the whole cellphone business because I was upset when I came here … the system is totally different in North America compared to Europe. There, you don’t pay when someone calls you or texts you… for example. I do have a BlackBerry, but only use it for the web.

    I wonder too what’s next. The integration between TV and the web will probably be tighter but I don’t know …

    I would be very reluctant to give up my landline …especially here.


  3. mkmercurio

    Hi Marsha,
    Yes, it must have been the VOIP tags. You wrote that you use Vonage and I’ve been recently introduced to MagicJack – same concept – using voice over internet protocol. It works for me and my wallet!


  4. mkmercurio

    And now those little cards replace checks which replace bank tellers which replace a source of interaction and communication. I am still in awe of a FAX machine! How does that even happen???


  5. mkmercurio

    Giving up my landline was a huge step for me! It took a long time of thought, research and therapy but I did it. The number one reason? Nobody was using it to call me! The majority of my conversations happened on my cell phone. And so I did it – severed my landline connection and it’s been ok.

    In an area where cell phone connection is limited or power outages happen often- I would have to have a landline.

    I think the “what’s next” thing is already here, we’re just not aware of it’s importance yet. You may have more insight after your Sweden visit…time to share!


  6. mkmercurio

    Thanks Ann. Just the fact that you and I can connect using a computer in a blog post is something that wasn’t in our world (at least not my world) ten years ago. And now? Wow, how cool, huh?


  7. Hello Marge – Loved this article. Imagine what our parents must think…?
    What’s coming next? This week there were 2 local news stories about that very thing! One is a new pen that can write microcircuits on plain paper – you can write or draw electronically with it and your body is the energy source to light it up. It is instant circuitry. I want to learn more about this one. The other “new thing” is paying at the cash register with your smart phone. The demo showed people going through the check out line, passing their smart phones over a reader and exiting the store with items purchased in about 5 seconds. No cash, checks, credit or debit card needed. Apparently Google has started this with Google Accounts and Apple and others are entering the market. Currently being used by just a few stores – national big box, I think. Sprint has the only phone that currently does this, according to the story, and the others are all ready to jump on board.
    I started working in commercial computer graphics in 1982 – when floppies were 8″ disks holding 16k of information and pcs didn’t exist yet. We were excited then when we had 16 colors to use! LOL! I still have trouble keeping up with all the new innovations – still using a computer with a tower and it still has a slot for 3″ floppies!
    Thanks again for this one – I find that I can still think and have ideas faster than a computer – 10 years ago there was an Apple IIE on display in the Smithsonian!


  8. mkmercurio

    I’ve heard about the scanning software that allows you to use your phone to pay for purchases. In addition to cash, you access your online tickets for travel, concert tickets and who knows what else? It’s brand new, coming fast and soon to be obsolete as something more comes along!

    Floppy disks, 8-tracks tapes, reel-to-reel- Polaroid cameras, film cameras. Come and gone already!

    Thanks for taking me down memory lane again!


  9. Good question, Marge!
    Maybe the point-and-shoot cameras will be replaced by cell phone cameras. But I doubt digital SLR cameras will be. The photos are of better quality than cell phone cameras.


  10. mkmercurio

    I think you’re right – once you deal with professionals – they want the good stuff. For the rest of us (me), the Canons and Sony’s work just fine. I take some photos with my iPod but am not as faithful about getting them off and into prints.


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