Outmoded Technologies


I think the generation I was born in is one of the last to know what it’s like to have a childhood without a phone in our hands and apps for anything and everything. During my primary school years, I would only ever use our household computer to print off information for homework research tasks. Nowadays, kids are mastering iPads before they even start pre-school.

I stumbled across this video at the start of the semester and it kickstarted a whole train of thought of outmoded technologies. I was so dumbfounded while watching this video- a majority of the kids didn’t even know how to turn on the computer! Do most people own laptops these days? I just didn’t understand the initial confusion. Don’t PCs still have to be turned on that way? Even though this video is about an operating system, I couldn’t help but think about the devices we use today.

I’m still a big fan of buying CDs and DVDs but technologies today are starting to limit that for me. I use my MacBook Pro for everything. And I mean everything! I don’t have a TV in my bedroom, so I watch all of my movies and TV shows on my laptop. Ninety-five percent of the time, that means I need to utilise the disc drive my laptop still has. If something were to happen to my current laptop (touch wood), I wouldn’t be able to use it how I currently do (until I buy an external disc drive, that is). Companies are making it easier for consumers to move away from ‘older’ media formats like the CD and DVD and make way for us all to go digital. (Is this what it felt like for people to convert all of their VCRs to DVDs??)


7 thoughts on “Outmoded Technologies”

  1. Hey I enjoyed your blog post. You covered a lot of things I’ve been thinking about lately. You always hear people discussing how fast technology is moving but its definitely a bit frightening comparing your own childhood to that of others and I guess our parents are thinking the same.
    I definitely think the last generation of kids are gone without phones, you’re often hard pressed to find kids sitting down without a smartphone or tablet in hand.

    I had a good laugh watching the video, I feel like (sort of hope) those kids aren’t the average teens and that they should be able to turn on the computer. Although I do feel for them I think desktops are somewhat dying out, laptops now being just as powerful just portable.
    Also I think many of the modern desktops are sort of the monitor and computer combined, which is crazy when comparing it to the bulky monitor displayed in the video. But in short the power buttons on the new desktops are somewhere on the monitor and easily accessible so i feel for the kids in the video.
    Here’s a similar sort of video, this girl can’t hang up a corded home phone. I guess mobiles and cordless home phones are the only things left now!

    I think you’re definitely part of the majority in terms of using your MacBook Pro, I’m definitely the same. I’ve got a TV nearby but I rarely use it because watching shows and movies on my Macbook is quicker, easier and I can choose what I want so I think Macbooks are only going to grow in that dominant sense. I definitely agree that companies are wanting us to go digital but I also think that consumers also want this move as well, it’s just easy and super speedy. I think the Macbook Air not having a disc drive is good evidence of this move away from discs, which I doubt people would of imagined 10 years ago.
    Everything is moving super quick but I think you’re right in the sense that this move from DVD to digital would be similar for people moving from VCR to DVD and I’m sure there will be another similar move from digital to something in the future!

  2. Reading this made me think back to when I got my first mobile phone. It was around 2006 and there were so many different brands and styles of phones to choose from. Nowadays the choice seems to mainly come down to either an Apple or Samsung phone. I’m sure the choice in buying computers would be very similar too. It would be interesting to look into whether this is because companies such as Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and Google are creating the “best” technologies or if there are other contributing factors as to why their products are still being bought. This topic seems really interesting, so great job!

  3. I think that is a very interesting topic to look into. Like you, after watching that video I was dumbfounded! I remember having to sit through the “dreaded AOL dial-up” when I was younger. It wasn’t as bad as those teens made it seem. I guess it’s just the perspective of what you’ve been accustomed to. I think that it would be interesting to see how this evolution to go digital not only effects outdated modes of technology, but the older generations as well. How are they coping/keeping up with all of the new technology? How has the limit of technology use affected our consumption patterns?

    A different angle that you could go down is, to see how these new technologies are crippling our basic social skills. Like you said, some kids are learning how to use an iPad before starting pre-school! By being introduced to a screen at such a young age, how would that affect a child’s social skills later in life? I was a nanny to two boys (age six and eleven) a few summers ago and they were so engrossed in technology and screens that their mom had to set a one hour screen time limit each day. I would have to force them to go outside and play. I look forward to reading your upcoming blog posts!

  4. While we are all tempted to focus on the future of technology, it sounds like what you have discussed here provides a great starting point for an exploration of the decay that the internet has set in motion in industries which previously promoted the rise of our obsession with games and films about cyberculture and innovation. For example, you might want to look at this article by VICE reporter Livia Albeck-Ripka about the closing of the last independent video store in Melbourne due to the enormous success of internet content streaming services like Netflix. Albeck-Ripka suggests that the closing of indie video stores has unexpected side effects, such as increasing the gap in connections and support networks within the community as well as the loss of local dialogues around new and independent film making (http://www.vice.com/en_au/read/how-netflix-killed-melbournes-last-independent-video-store). You could also look into a more broad look at how our collective history as a worldwide community is being potentially lost now that we express our biggest moments through records on platforms which are prone to error and unexpected destruction of sources (http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120927-the-decaying-web).

  5. The statement of “kids are mastering iPads before they even start pre-school.” really resonated with me. Children are being taught life through screens and some parents seem to really approve of their children spending a lot of time “learning” on education apps. I do agree that we must embrace the tools and they are useful in some ways but studies have shown an excess could have some effect on their life-based learning skills and physical activity. http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/smartphone-tablet-overuse-among-toddlers-may-stunt-development-1.2940848

    Interesting introduction to your topic. it would have been nice to see more theory in the blog. Also be careful with excess colloquialism and grammar.

  6. Such a curious topic! on the surface, it’s actually pretty funny, especially when we think about the kids who don’t know how to use old PC’s and the elderly who still cling to their outdated cassette tapes. It leads me to think about how some outdated technologies are coming back into ‘style’. Vinyl is ‘retro’ and collecting vinyl records has become a hobby of many – particularly hipsters and those searching for a certain aesthetic to decorate their rooms with. It’s a signifier of class, having enough of an appreciation of music in one of it’s original forms. I wonder how this engagement with technology is affecting our construction of identity?

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