February 24, 2015 Leave a comment
A friend of mine’s son recently returned from an extended absence which basically removed him from nearly all aspects of technology, including the Internet, for a bit longer than 5 years. Upon return, observing him restore his awareness of technologies and absorb all things new developed over the past 5 years was both exciting and moving.
To be fair, the guy grew up in an Internet world, with access to online resources including Facebook, Twitter, and other social applications.
The interesting part of his re-introduction to the “wired” world was watching the comprehension flashes he went through when absorbing the much higher levels of application and data integration, and speed of network access.
As much as all of us continue to complain about terrible access speeds, it is remarkable to see how excited he became when learning he could get 60Mbps downloads from just a cable modem. And the ability to download HD movies to a PC in just a few moments, or stream HD videos through a local device.
Not to mention the near non-need to have CATV period to continue enjoying nearly any network or alternative programming desired.
Continuing to observe the transformation, it took him about 2 minutes to nail up a multipoint video call with 4 of his friends, take a stroll through my eBook library, and prepare a strategy for his own digital move into cloud-based applications, storage, and collaboration.
Looking back to my personal technical point of reference at the point this kid dropped out, I dug up blog articles I’ve posted with titles such as:
- “Flattening the American Internet” (discussing the need for more Internet Exchange Points in the US)
- “IXPs and Disaster Recovery” (the role IXPs could and should play in global disasters)
- “2009 – The Year of IPv6 and Internet Virtualization”
- “The Law of Plentitude and Chaos Theory”
- “Why I Hate Kayaks” (the hypocrisy of some environmentalists)
- “Contributing to a Cause with Technology – The World Community GRID” (the cloud before the cloud)
- “Blackberrys, PDA Phones, and Frog Soup”
And so on…
We have come a long way technically over those years, but the amazing thing is the near immediacy of the young man absorbing those changes. I was almost afraid with all the right brain flashes that he would have a breakdown, but the enjoyment he showed diving into the new world of “apps” and anytime, anywhere computing appears to only be accelerating.
Now the questions are starting to pop up. “Can we do this now?” “It would be nice if this was possible.”
Maybe because he grew up in a gaming world, or maybe because he was dunked into the wired world about the same time he learned to stand on his own feet. Maybe the synaptic connections in his brain are just much better wired than those of my generation.
Perhaps the final, and most important revelation for me, is that young people have a tremendous capacity to exploit the technology resources developed in just a few short years. Collaboration tools which astound my generation are slow and boring to the new crew. Internet is expected, it is a utility, and it is demanded at broadband speeds which, again, to somebody whose first commercial modem was a large card capable of 300 baud (do you even know what baud means?) is still mind boggling.
The new generations are going to have a lot more fun than we did, on a global scale.
I am jealous