I decided to dedicate this month’s Journal to the world of technology, and how it has impacted my/our lives, especially since the pandemic – though the changes started a while before with the move from Windows XP to Windows 10.
It has been a seismic shift for so many of us, and a shift that will be permanent, I think. The speed of change that has been forced on us has been hard to keep up with.
I considered myself quite ‘tech-savvy’ before Covid hit – I’d been running websites since the mid 1990s, both personal and about the developing hand-held computers … the forerunners of mobile phones. I was interested in the personal computer dimension more than the phone aspect, as I was disabled and housebound. So I bought the very first iPod Touch.
The operating system was the same as the first iPhone, which made life easier later on! Seen here with earbuds and several iPods, crammed with music.
By the time mobile phones really took off, several operating systems were familiar to me!
I’d also had a keen interest in the technology of CDs, DVDs and their tape-based forerunners. I’d been a Walkman user since the early 1980s, and a keen user of digital music ever since …. taking music with me wherever I went.
Music, podcasts and radio recordings were loaded onto my iPods, and played through speaker ‘docks’. Of course the ‘docks’ usually needed to be plugged into a wall socket – so not really portable!
So by 2019 I was well equipped with digital machines, and quite familiar with a range of home and online services and personal players. I’d even ditched my old Nokia phone, and moved to the iPhone, starting with the iPhone 5!
We had just bought our first smart TV, and our PCs and laptops were all hooked up to the internet. I’d been posting to the photographic website Flickr since 2012 – so I guess I was quite well prepared when Covid hit us as 2020 began!
Now the world changed in ways we weren’t expecting, and the pace of change accelerated. Shopping online was something we were used to – living remotely it was always an essential for us. So we had some existing accounts we could use. But with lockdown it became essential to order everything online, even the weekly grocery shopping trips were forbidden! We were all now prisoners in our own homes.
We were luckier than most, in having a good sized garden for a little exercise. But being in the ‘shielding’ group, at least initially, we couldn’t ‘stray’ further. And the links to the outside world by phone and mainly by Wi-Fi broadband became increasingly important.
Online banking, online shopping, emailing – all had been part of our lives before – but they became the only means of conducting our lives.
Perhaps the biggest technological ‘leap’ came with the development of the smartphone Apps. There is now an app for almost everything! I didn’t expect to be conducting banking business, or paying bills by smartphone. I was used to using the computer for financial transactions … but surely not my iPhone? But yes – it has become possibly the most essential piece of technology most of us need to function in 2023!
It has been an accelerating (and very expensive) journey through the Covid years! And now, in what we call our “post-covid” year(s) I find myself fully equipped with an iPhone that can ‘talk’ to the world, read the news, alert me to the next refuse collection, or local roadworks, pay bills and play music, listen to the radio or watch TV. A watch that can monitor my health as well as tell the time, tell me the weather and alert me to emails, iMessages and so much more. Airpods that can give me all the quality of sound reproduction I could get from a speaker dock, and silently so as not to disturb Mike.
All told, 2019 seems a long time ago, and another way of life!
Flickr holds Elisa’s online Photo Gallery
© 2023 Elisa Liddell