Friday, September 3, 2010

Tech&Com: A Long Distance Love Affair

Technology and communication are the chicken and the egg, which one comes first? Who drives who to succeed? Is it a healthy co-dependent relationship? Even though I don’t larp, the evolution of technology and communication has played out in my own life. I am one of the most technologically challenged people to be born into my generation. I am also severely lacking in communication skills. I barely know my way around a word document let alone a website, and I’m somehow biologically resistant to returning calls. Maybe if I had taken this course before I would have had a historical excuse to blame my lack of relationship upkeep on. And then in the span of 6 months, my communication world underwent the same kind of transformation Great Brittan took when it went from the Dark Ages to the industrial revolution. While I’m not exactly an empire to be reckoned with, international communications came to define both of our existences. Great Brittan found itself a great source of natural resources in South America and I found myself a man.
Suddenly I can appreciate how people give value to technology; our personal needs drive technological innovation. Great Brittan needed a way to stay in touch with its colonies and so the telegraph came about. I wanted my relationship to continue, and so, Skype came into my life. I now had this great need to use more and different technologies -and my father’s frequent flier miles- to allow my relationship to continue to grow and expand. It’s been two years now and I’ve covered in that time what was done in 200 years of technological innovation and communications advancement. I’ve mastered calling cards, Skype, how to send a message from a phone into an email inbox and even peaked when I set up my own internet!
Now thanks to the innovation of some good immigration lawyers my foray into long distance communication is coming to an end. But I don’t think ill regress into my stone age communication techniques of two years ago. I won’t have any need for Skype anymore, just like not many have need for the telegraph, but my communication style has been significantly affected by the technologies available to me. While technology gave meaning to my relationship, its existence is due to people before me whose communication needs spurred the innovation. All politics aside, it’s a perfectly healthy co-dependent relationship.

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