OA Q&A: Generation Tech
Well, we all have stories.
Every generation has awesome stories about discovering technology, from “I can change channels on the couch” to “What is this ‘electronic mail’ you speak of?” to “Now I do all my work remotely on Snapchat.” The speed of innovation today, while making things obsolete on a rolling basis, also fosters “the next generation” more quickly than ever before – which only adds to the global storehouse of these great stories. We’re proud to have a wide range of generations here at OA HQ, and we conducted a very scientific* survey among our twentysomethings, thirtysomethings and fortysomethings to weave our own oral history.
*sort of scientific**
**we sent around a Google doc
In the interest of full disclosure, and to save space, we have left out the results of two questions: “How many devices do you use in a day?” (because every answer was within 1 or 2 of “a lot”), and the very heady “What is the internet to you?” (Because a clear majority of respondents said “cat GIFs.”)
What is the first tech product you can remember having?
A Jurassic Park game that came with a joystick and hooked up to our computer.
Some old Toshiba laptop that didn’t work anymore, but I tore it apart and tried to understand what the goofy phone cradle was for. Turns out it was a modem that you put your actual phone on. Like WarGames.
A voice-activated penguin that followed me around.
A Commodore 64. Sleep just wasn’t coming on Christmas Eve 1985, and my dad let me help set it up to surprise my little brother.
Commodore 64 :c64: !!!!!11111
How many words can you text in a minute?
My 13-year-old says “not enough.”
Not sure, but definitely less than the amount of emojis I can text in a minute.
Depends on what you consider to be a “word.” I can type “I am a beautiful person” repeatedly with that word suggestion thing, but then people just realize I’m crazy.
It depends on how many of my swear words autocorrect.
I almost never text for a whole minute. That’s like a paragraph.
With or without typos? With typos, I’d say “many.” Without typos, “significantly less than many.”
Can I use text to speech? Bluetooth keyboard? Swype?
I’ve hit 90 wpm on that typing racing site that I forget the name of.
(Editor’s note: That’s not texting, but we’ll allow it.)
What tech products did you have in school?
TRS-80s as far as the eye could see.
Texas Instruments TI-81. Accept no substitutes.
Smart boards, but the teachers didn’t know how to use them very well, so they were just really expensive white boards.
Apple computers to start, and then in high school, it was #TeamGateway.
Those awesome Apple laptops with the handles.
What is technology’s greatest impact on society?
It’s pretty obvious that our capability to communicate is unmatched in all of history, but that’s a double-edged sword. People can (and do) share breaking news and world-changing ideas in seconds, but those seconds are also used to share discord and hate.
Almost no one leaves home without a miniature computer in their pocket that is 100 times more powerful than the computers used to send the first shuttle to the moon.
Technology has exponentially increased the pace of our lives. Time is compressed, and people want instant gratification. Our lives run at top speed, and no one waits for anything.
Technology saved society. The Industrial Revolution, medicine, agriculture, the cotton gin, you name it – our lives are better because of technology.
What was that? I was finishing a Buzzfeed quiz. I got “High Waisted Jorts.”
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