Never-ending revolution: how to keep up with technology

If you ever doubted how continuously and fast technology evolves, just look at how we listen to music. The phonograph was first invented in 1877 but it took nearly 50 years for the high-tech Victrola phonograph to hit the market in 1925. Vinyl LP records appeared in 1931 but it took until 1948 for consumers to really start buying them. Another generation came and went before cassette tapes became popular in the 1960s and 8-track tapes in the 1970s. In 1979, the super-portable Sony Walkman changed how we listened to music and, while the compact disc was introduced only 3 years later, it took most of the 80s for CDs to kill off vinyl and cassettes good. In 1995, the MP3 appeared on the market but it was really the arrival of the Apple iPod in 2001 that helped the MP3 format take off. Soon enough, in 2007, SoundCloud appeared and the music streaming revolution we’re currently in began.

Today, a whole flurry of technologies is changing how we work, live and play – from transportation and food delivery phone apps like Uber and Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats like Nest to DNA genetic testing, solar power and electric cars and, in the next decade, self-driving ones too.

So, how do we keep up?

While some of us get really excited by new technologies and a few are a bit apprehensive, the key to staying up to date may be in taking a more rational and less emotional approach that begins with asking yourself a few questions:

  1. What do I need? Notice, we said “need", not “want" because, while we often crave these new technologies like a big bowl of ice cream, the fact is we may or may not need the newest phone or a portable 3D printer. As with any other major purchase for you or your home, lay out the benefits and the costs and avoid any rash purchasing decisions.
  2. Who can I ask? Start with your family and friends, in person or on Facebook. They may not be experts on the technology you’re interested in, but they’ll be a good sounding board to help you decide whether it’s just a silly fad or something you truly want to invest in.
  3. Who do I trust? The internet is teeming with information and “facts" that may or may not be helpful about informing you about a technology’s true benefits. Seek out unbiased product review sites like Consumer Reports, as well as reports from respected newspapers, magazines, books, online user groups and other sites.

What technologies are you excited – or wary – about? Share your comments and concerns in the Shop Talk blog community forum!

Did you know? Billions and billions

It’s estimated that, in just over a generation, technology will be a billion times more advanced than today, with bio, nano and robotic technology a regular part of our lives. (Source)

34 thoughts on “Never-ending revolution: how to keep up with technology

  1. Hello my name is Spring?
    Please to make your acquaintance. Everyone who knows me affectionately calls me “Babygirl” or “BG” for short? I am very interested in learning more about all the newest&latest technology that’s out there to learn? As well as learning more about the technology that’s coming up in the near future as well,which I think in my opinion will change everything as we know it is today? Yes! Count me in I would like to become a member of your interesting team?
    Thank you

  2. Good reading. I am interested I. The new tech but going so fast I cant afford to keep pace. But do I need to ? I think not.

  3. While I might hear about new technology, I am not one to want every new little thing that comes along. Only because for several years I was going back and forth between Oklahoma and North Carolina to see my elderly parents did my husband insist on me having a cell phone. I’m not on mine constantly like a lot of younger people, but I now recognize their value (mine is still a dinosaur, but as long as it works why trade up to a so-called smart phone). I will admit I still prefer CDs over streaming. And, after living in the country where satellite was the only TV service available I love satellite TV. Yes, it’s a little expensive, but we do not have much extra except the Sports package and the Starz-Encore movie package (no HBO, no Showtime, no Cinemax). It does not bother our family to pick and choose what we will use most.

  4. The advances in technology. It’s great to live in this time and experience the starting point

  5. I work with a nutritionist for help on what I need to eat to gain weight, since I only weigh 94 lbs. I am a recent breast cancer survivor (within 2 yrs.) I weighed 157 lbs. when I started the voyage and can’t seem to put weight back on. My diet and eating habits have totally changed. I eat more fresh veggies and fruits, less red meat, more fish and seafood. We have started buying a new fruit and vegetable that is unfamiliar/foreign to us each time we go to the store. We have discovered wonderful new tastes.

  6. I think technology is going so fast that it not worth the money to try to keep up. Get something that you like and keep it if it get the job done that you bought it for.

  7. I am truly lost in all this technology I just like things simple and not complicated. I live a simple life and that is pretty much how I like it. Too many changes are happening to everything around us all at once. What ever happened to just talking to someone face to face?? Too much phone talk and not enough human contact. Not a big fan of technology and I am better off without it in my life.

  8. Technology is always changing. We have the choice to keep up or get left behind!

  9. I sold all of my 1600+ CD’s and put them on my computer & separate hard drive. I have a great deal of the music stored on my iPod. I’m satisfied. I don’t need the “latest & the greatest.”

  10. the change of technology is moving way to fast to keep up and I’m exhausted! One of the ways it has affected me is when I went to buy a new car, my CD player was not available so there goes listening to books on CD which I love. I used to commute to work for an hour back and forth and I love listening to books or some of my “OLD” music CD’s. I could not believe that car manufacturers were not including a CD player because people use the “Cloud” or their smart phones. So, up until about 2 years ago, I did not own a smart phone….not everyone is on the technology train. Yes I have one now, but trying to figure out downloading books to my phone/tablet to listen in the car is just too much trouble so I lost this entertainment for awhile…..

  11. I have no interest in “having the latest gadget.” It’s like Keeping Up With the Joneses. What do I care about the Joneses? I care about ME and MY finances. I only get the tech that I need–primarily, a desktop, a laptop, and an EHD.

  12. 1 remove all GMO’s from food it hurts us and it kills the bees 2 why all the tracking devices on cars trucks and all electronic items 3 why all the electronic distractions in cars and trucks 4 why is everything made these days throw away 5 nothing is made to be repairable like shoes 6 can’t they make plain simple cars and trucks like in the 40’s and 50’s 7 people are so smart they are dumb can’t even sign legal papers these days if all electricity of any kinds they would be lost couldn’t fend for them selves

  13. Changing are coming more than we have seen in years everybody are having gardens now more than ever. Technology is getting better and better.

  14. Ready to learn! Put me in the loop or on the list. What ever you have going on, I want to be a part of and learn as much as I possibly can and FAST!!
    Thanks and have a GREAT DAY!!

    1. I want to know what technologies are going to be the best to invest in for the future for the sake of my families good fortune.

    2. Yes tech is changing every day. Pick the things you want and skip the rest. Always be mindful someone might now be watching.

  15. I am not sure what to do about this mater or even if I am eating a good meal and what is the honest truth and I am going to be able to make it a change with myself and I am going to be able to live a little more longer than when I was thinking about it and I am very happy with the way it’s going to be be the next few months.

  16. Technology is changing and it is a full time job to try to keep up with the changes. The foods you are calling super foods have been around for all my life time.The only thing that may have changed is how they are grown, and the fact that you can get most foods year around because they are being grown in all climates all over the world. Man may have engineered new strains, but the basis foods are still the foods we are use to seeing.

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