Can We Really Never Look Back?

I’m sure everyone has heard the saying don’t live in the past and move towards the present. However, this is not possible with media and technology.  Without the past discoveries and innovations we wouldn’t have the advanced technology and the future gadgets that we have today. We also would not be able to see what has failed in society and figure out what will be successful in the future.

History tells us that before the evolution of media, messages were sent by word of mouth. You would not be having a conversation with someone who was not within your walking distance.  We had and still have letters, but those also must somehow be transported.

James W. Carey in “Technology and Ideology: The Case of the Telegraph” reminds us not to forget history and how the development of the phonograph brought us to where we are today in regards to communication. The most important message Carey emphasizes is that the telegraph allowed for the first time the “effective separation of The First Phonographcommunication from transportation” (Carey 3).  Can you imagine having to physically walk up to every person you want to converse with, every time you have something to say? Forget about running late or changing plans, you have no way of addressing these issues until you are face-to-face.

This also leads us into what we can imagine for the future.  Our parents and grandparents have their heads spinning when they see how enthralled our generation is with technology and media. Imagine how we are going to feel when the next generation has even more and advanced versions of what we have now.

To get information and news we no longer have to turn on our TV’s. We can have news, weather, danger, and gossip alerts set on our phones.  Also if we are out and don’t know the answer to something we can pull out our phone or tablet and do a simple Internet search.

This evolution of media and technology not only advances and improves our society, but others as well. Think about countries that may not have the finances or resources for smartphones and other tech toys, as long as they have one base source of communication, other countries that do have the resources are able to lend aid.  We are now in quicker and easier contact with communities in need.

We are where we are today because of what our past ancestors have created for us and left us to improve on. The future will further develop what we have left for them and the trend will continue throughout the generations to come.

-J

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