5/29/10

The Children of Tomorrow

As I sit in the hospital thinking of the new life about to be brought into this world, I couldn't help but think about the implications technology will have on her life. Yep, I'm so nerdy I think about tech even when my beautiful wife is giving birth, and if your wondering why I'm writing and not doing anything it's because my wife prefers that I sit aside and wait for orders. I shall respect her wishes.

I was thinking about the future of media and the differences between this baby and the first we had almost 4 years ago.  With my first we brought a laptop, DVD's, CD's and Books.  With this one we brought a laptop, an iPod touch, and our cell phones...  In the last four years, we have digitized the majority of our media; we watch movies via Netflix and listen to music on Pandora.



Without belaboring ( unintentional pun) or glorifying an obvious scenario, it's quite amazing that the girl being born today will not understand why physical media ever existed.  It's going to be hard to explain why movies and music used to be delivered via plastic disc or tape or vinyl.  With such questions as, "Why didn't you just download it?" ,"why is it round?", and "You actually drove to a store for that?". I think the most inexplicable question our children will have about physical media is why we paid so much for it.  With the elimination of physical media we will also be eliminating or reducing the large costs associated with creating, distributing, and  giving cuts to middle men, and yes I believe the middle men will get smaller cuts in the future.

The only thing our family has not digitized is books. I'm sure that we will move in that direction at some point, but the market hasn't matured enough to make it worth my while.  We are an incentive driven family and we don't see much incentive in buying a $200 device to buy books at the same price as retail paper back. We buy most of our books second hand at far cheaper prices.  I assume that ebooks will go the same way mp3 has gone and be much more reasonable in the immediate future.  I also expect my children to have fully digitized reading habits in the next five to ten years.

A few other items I doubt my children will understand when they are able to talk with me about it.  Landlines, Purely Gasoline fueled cars, Batteries (they will all be built in), and Lady GaGa.  How are we going to explain Lady GaGa to our wee ones.  I mean seriously!

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7 Response to The Children of Tomorrow

May 29, 2010 at 2:26 PM

How did you get so wise, little brother? This is a great post - and so true. I think about it all the time. PS - just ordered an ipad and a few children's ebooks.

May 29, 2010 at 2:30 PM

College may have taught me something. The rest I picked up on the mean streets of Lebanon. I have heard that the iPad apps for childrens books are phenomenal I'm sure Gus will love them. I am waiting for a good android tablet though.

Anonymous
May 29, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Excellent post Jon. I enjoyed it.

Dad

May 30, 2010 at 10:23 AM

I totally agree on the lady ga ga comment. its like you read me and Aric's minds! lol
very nice post Jon, really enjoyed reading it. =)

May 30, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Jon,
A great analysis of changing progress in the electronic world. We are speeding along at faster and faster rates to keep pace with the world around us. Sad part is the widening gap between your generation and mine. We have not developed the technical skills as readily as your age group. I hope we can at least maintain some level of communication and share in our family's future. Keep up the great work as well.

GranPa

Diz
May 31, 2010 at 10:46 AM

I sincerely hope to never lose real books. . . unless they fix it so that I don't feel like I'm looking at a screen. I would probably quit reading. I can't look at screens as long as I look at books.

July 13, 2010 at 12:28 AM

So I just finally read this post... very nice. Although I am not quite sure how you concentrated long enough to write this while I was afoot away from you in labor?! Love you!
ps you are in the next room and I could just come talk to you, but alas.... you like getting comments on you blog.

-ME

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