I love technology. I wouldn't be here, writing to you at this moment, if it wasn't for technology. From cell phones, social media, the internet, video streaming, and e-readers right down to open road tolling, 3D ultrasounds, and laser eye surgery, I love it all! We have come astonishingly far in the last several decades with new developments being made everyday. Obviously, the explosion in technological advances does have its drawbacks, our addiction to it being the main one, the benefits by far outweigh the drawbacks. That's why I'm here today, on this Fangirl Friday. I'm going to tell you why I love technology and all it can do for me, in particular, and mankind, in general. So, keep reading after the jump to hear me rant about technology!!
Technology has had so many huge advances just in my lifetime, not to mention my parents' and grandparents' lifetimes. I am fortunate enough to still have both of my grandmothers with us. They are both in their early 90s. In just their lifetime, we've made the shift from calls being made via operator to the total and complete dependence on the tiny phone we can carry around in our pockets. From silent movies to the spectacles of Star Wars, Avengers, and Harry Potter. We have cars that run on electricity and the answer to any question we could ever think to ask in the palms of our hands or under the tips of our fingers. It's astounding when you think about all the changes they have seen. It is endlessly fascinating to talk to them about as well. To hear stories about what life was like when they were children and even young adults is an experience all younger people should have at some point. It really puts in perspective how great we have it today. As much as we complain about technology, we depend on it 100%. It has also made our lives so much better and so much easier.
Why do I love technology enough to write a post about it, you ask? Besides the obvious answers of cell phones, internet, cable TV, Netflix, Hulu, etc? I will tell you. First of all, I wouldn't be here writing for you lovely people without technology. With no internet, I wouldn't have stumbled upon a fantastic fansite called The Sookieverse Blog and happened upon a fantastic group of women who would later be known as the Saucy Wenches. Without the technological advances that brought us the internet, Facebook, and HBO, none of us would be here today. And, I wouldn't have met the women who have become some of my very close friends. So, that's reason number one why I love technology. But, I've got more reasons, lots more reason.
As some of you may have noticed from our Christmas reading post, my husband and I took our son, who just turned two, down to Florida for the holiday to see my in-laws. It was a great trip and an awesome change from the dreary, cold Chicago weather. But, if you've ever spent any length of time with a two year old, you know how trying they can be. Now, imagine two full 8-10 hour days of driving with said two year old. Mother Theresa would have her patience tested on that journey. If it wasn't for technology, we might not have survived. This trip was actually the inspiration for this post. We purchased a cheap tablet on Cyber Monday and filled it with games and my son's favorite movies and TV shows. So, when he would get antsy or tired or bored, he could play a game or watch his favorite movies Hulk (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Minnie (either of the Despicable Me movies), or Pugo (Pongo aka 101 Dalmatians), or any of the other things we loaded on for him. That thing was a lifesaver. Also on that trip, we used Google Maps for the fastest route, a necessity when you have a cranky toddler in the car who cries when you hit traffic. We also used the best feature Google has ever invented, which is the search on your route feature. So, we could search for the nearest gas station, rest stop, or toddler approved restaurant that was on our route. If you've ever taken a road trip, you know how incredible this new feature is. It's a pain to rely on road signs that just say gas or food ahead, but not what restaurant it's going to be. Is it something edible or is it Hardee's again? (No offense to anyone that likes Hardee's; we've just had a few bad experiences with rest stop Hardee's.) Even in planning for this trip we used technology. My newest toy is Google Keep, a list making app. I started a packing list for my husband and I, for our son, and a list for toys, snacks, etc for the car. I shared them all with him, and voila, whenever either of us thought of something to add, we could add it and it would all sync into one comprehensive list. It's my new favorite thing. We also used technology to look up movie times when Nana and Pops told us to get out of their house so they could babysit their grandson, to find the nearest beach, to see if Target had a last minute gift in stock, and to book our room for the way home. Technology, namely Facebook, also told me that my best friend was visiting her parents in Tennessee, which just happened to be on our way home. So, I got to have breakfast with my best friend, who I last saw in person when I told her I was pregnant. Without Facebook and cell phones, it might have been another two years before I saw her.
The other very large reason I love technology? E-books!! Not that many years ago, I'd have to fill my suitcase with books when I went on vacations. Now, I have almost every book I could want to read available right on my cell phone. No more do I have to either carry around a hard cover or paperback book. I don't have to wait until I can get to the book store to buy the next book in a series that I need to read RIGHT NOW. I can just hop on my phone, do a little searching, purchase, and download my newest book right to my phone. I can bring my book with me wherever I go without any additional weight. In fact, I read most of Part & Parcel on my phone in the car. Of course, I had to read it at the rate of about one page every 15 minutes because I get car sick. But, that didn't stop me! Not even traveling would keep me from the Sidewinder boys! I love not having to either carry around an extra book, or wait until I get home to continue my reading because I wouldn't or couldn't bring my book wherever I was going. It's the best.
I've already spoken a little about social media and how if it weren't for Facebook and a couple of other factors, the Wenches wouldn't be here writing for you today. But, I wanted to expound on that a a little. I adore social media. I have a Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest account. And, I will most likely be starting up an Instagram soon to follow our brand new Saucy Wenches Instagram! But, I love the ability to connect with both people you know, people you used to know, and sometimes, people you don't know, on one site. I am able to keep up with my exceedingly large family on Facebook and my out of state in-laws. I was able to get reacquainted with some very old friends, for example, my very best friend from when I was very little, who I met in kindergarten. Just the other day, we were discussing parenting challenges. You can also do some not so mentally healthy things like stalk your ex-partners or your childhood bully. Tumblr....oh my dear Tumblr. I love you so much for your ability to connect and share with your chosen fandom. And, to a point, your social justice/consciousness posts are GREAT for bringing awareness. But, sometimes, Tumblr takes things a little too far and gets a little too offended. It's a double-edged sword. I still love it for the gifs, the fanart, fanfiction, Meta ramblings, and more. Pinterest I know you can interact with people. Honestly, I don't. I just use it for the recipes mostly and sometimes organization and decorating ideas. I love it none the less. Some of my husband and I's favorite recipes I've found on Pinterest. I also love with Twitter, FB, Insta, and Tumblr the ability to follow celebrities, companies, politicians, The White House, etc. I love seeing those pages interact with their fans, sharing personal stories and pictures, memes, political opinions, reviews, all of it. Social media also, for better or worse, gives us all a voice. It gives us a place to express ourselves that isn't just in a journal or diary, on stage, or in a piece of written work. It gives us all an outlet.
The last thing I'm going to talk about is a little more broad and much more helpful to society at large than anything else I've talked about. That is the advances in medical technology. Medical technology has been growing by leaps and bounds right alongside every other kind of technology. There are DNA tests, advances in cancer and other disease treatment, really awesome prosthetic limbs, 3D ultrasounds (which are honestly a little creepy) and all kinds of other things. There are new medicines to treat once fatal illnesses like HIV, Cystic Fibrosis, cancer, and a host of other ailments. So many of these have touched my life and I'm sure you have some examples too. A simple one to start is contact lenses! I ADORE my contacts. I have a very small nose and my glasses were constantly sliding off of it. Plus, when I got glasses, at age 12, I was heavily involved in sports. Glasses just did not fit my lifestyle. But, without some sort of correction, I can't see more than a foot or two in front of my face. Contacts have saved me so much hassle, I can't even tell you. Another advance that is awesome we learned about when I was pregnant. We didn't have to rely on a blurry ultrasound picture to learn the sex of our son. The doctor's office included a DNA sampling in one of the other tests they were running. So, they looked at my blood for foreign DNA and tested that. In talking to my mom, learning the gender via ultrasound wasn't even available when myself and my brother were born. It wasn't until the early 90s that she remembers being given the choice to learn the sex, with my younger sister and brother. There have also been a lot of developments in prosthetic limbs. A friend lost his leg in a motorcycle accident over the summer. Eight weeks later he was up and walking on his new leg. Because of advancing cancer treatments, cancer patients have much higher survival rates than even 20 years ago. Cystic Fibrosis patients are looking at the highest life expectancy ever with current treatments and more advances and medications are in the works. Stem cell transplants are a treatment option for a host of illnesses. We didn't even know what stem cells were until the 1960s. Now, we can use them in transplants to help severely ill patients and we can even grow them artificially! That is incredible. And, of course, the greatest medical advancements in history, vaccines. This isn't the place to start a debate on pro or anti vax, so I'll refrain from ranting about it. But, vaccinations have saved millions of lives since their inception. That is an absolutely astonishing number. New advances are being made every day in virtually every area of medicine. I can't wait to see what else will be developed or eradicated in my lifetime.
Ok, I'm done raving about technology for now, Saucy Readers. What is your favorite piece of technology? Did I talk about it here? Let me know below!