The Changing Times


Forty-five odd years ago, the word internet did not exist at all. The computer was still in its infancy and had limited use. As a child who grew up in a far flung province, information dissemination was only thru radio and print media. Sometimes, we get our newspapers two days old. Television was extremely rare in our area and only a handful of city dwellers enjoyed this kind of luxury. As a girl nearing my teens, my exposure to current events was left to the confines of our home. During family dinners,we would listen to my dad say “hey, did you know that…” or, “I heard that…” or “Mr. so and so said…” But mind you, most of the news he gathered came from some barber shop gossip or maybe from a transistor radio owner in a nearby town.

Yes, our life in the province was bare basics then. For nightly entertainment, we listen to some drunken neighbor singing like a bellowing pig about to meet his end in a slaughter house. Or, listen to a rock-n-roll wanna-be guitarist cum singer whose tunes sounded like staccato fire from a machine-gun. And on a moonlit night, I play hide and seek with my playmates or some running or chasing games. During the day, I have most treasured jackstones to play with. The boys of my age play cops and robbers armed with wooden shaped pistols that looked more like a letter “L” to me. Or, play swashbuckling buccaneers complete with swords that looked more like a big letter “T” to me and capes which doubled up as their bath towels. Mind you, those were in my near teen age years. But the times did change so fast. Information Technology grew in a very rapid phase. It virtually erased the traditional childhood life style of my yesteryears.

Today, kids of my age then are more aware and exposed to the world’s who’s who and what’s what. And that’s on real time. Thanks to the internet! At a flick of a finger, he can have the world for himself. Anything from A to Z is accessible. He can download and play the latest 3D games on his netbook and smartphone. He can surf or browse on any subject under the sun. He can communicate with anyone even if they are thousands of miles apart. He can listen to FM music or watch TV or even a movie right on the palm of his hand. You would rarely find teeners who knows and can play our primitive games.

Today, a five year old kid can handle and manipulate a touch screen gadgets as if it was second nature to him. Amazing how IT has made the world grow smaller by the day. A newly released gadget today can be an obsolete gadget tomorrow.

During my time as a kid, the fastest means of communication was by telegram. Or, if you had all the time in the world, postal mail would be your next option. Today, you can reach your love ones thru internet and actually see them on your screen. Or, you can send text messages or make calls to instantly get in touch with people no matter their location in the world. You can buy and sell or do business and earn money using the internet in the comforts of your own home. Yes, the times had changed a lot indeed. With these rapid developments and innovations of our IT in this day and age, it now keeps me wondering what’s it going to be like forty five odd years from now. I guess your guess is as good as mine!

[Originally published at rated 4/5 Star]


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