A few months ago I posted the following… let’s call it rant, on Facebook.
Why are people so annoyed about kids having technology and stuff that “they didn’t have”. Recent technological advances are incredible examples of human innovation – stop pretending you’re better than someone else because you don’t have a smartphone or use particular social media sites.
Now while this may not have been the most civilized or mature approach to the matter, I do still agree with the sentiment.
In my mind, invention is synonymous with evolution. If a project isn’t advantageous it is cast aside and forgotten just as creatures with unhelpful mutations are weeded out and the gene pool is refined. Natural selection. Survival of the fittest. Although ‘refined’ implies that our creative world is shrinking; when in fact it is growing at an exponential rate.
On the 17th of December 1903 Wilbur and Orville Wright made 4 brief flights proving that they had invented the first ever successful airplane. Today, 1400 flights are made in and out of Heathrow airport every single day. That came to 74.3 million people in 2014. Similarly, the first photo was taken in approximately 1814 and there are now over 500,000 films (over 40 minutes), 400 million Instagram users (Sept. 2015) and 300 hours of new YouTube content being uploaded every minute.
The sheer volume of new technology being thrown at us is enough to make anyone run for the hills. So why shouldn’t you? Why should you spend you hard-earned money on the newest iPhone model instead of a garden table and chairs or a laptop instead of a board game? Well the truth is; you don’t have to. If you don’t want to keep up to date with all the latest tech then that is, of course, up to you. However the problems arise when we, as a society, turn against those drifting towards either extreme – having every new piece of tech, and having none of it. Movements like #thisgeneration (a ‘satirical’ poster series by designer, Ajit Johnson) can only go to separate to two poles even more and may even permanently damage the chances of ever settling the differences between us.
So you should embrace change. Grab invention with both hands and pull it towards us with all your strength. No one man can do it alone, but together we can bring about social, economic, technological and political changes that will shape the world to be a better place for the next generation. People have always been afraid of change and probably will continue to be. But that never stopped anyone before, why should it now?
For more inventor/scientist content: stay tuned for a post I am writing about Nikola Tesla which will hopefully be going up on the 10th of July 2016 (Tesla’s 160th birthday). Follow me on Twitter @rocketsandstuff for updates 🙂