I was at home last night watching a movie, and I found the entire thing astounding. Really astounding. Not necessarily the movie, but WATCHING the movie. Why?
Because I was watching it ON MY PHONE! I know it doesn’t seem like much NOW, but in the context of my life, it was pretty incredible. More to the point, I was watching the new Tron movie. The movie was OK, but it was ironic that I was watching a movie that I had first seen back in the early 80’s (yes, I saw the original Tron, in the theaters.) If you don’t know much about the movie, that’s ok. This post isn’t about the movie, but about the delivery.
In my life, I have gone from only seeing movie in a theater, or on broadcast TV several years later. In the 80’s we go video tapes and laser discs. At first, the players were very expensive, so you had to RENT a video tape player. I remember renting them, but I don’t remember the movies we rented. Go figure. After a few years, VHS players came down in price to a couple of hundred dollars, so just about everyone got one. I still have a video tape player, and the kids still watch tapes every so often. I hope that it will last longer than the tapes I still have.
In the late 90’s, DVD’s started to show up. Better picture, sound. I bought my first DVD player for about $350. All it did was play DVD’s. My current DVD player has an internet connection, and plays DVD’s, Blu-Ray DVD’s, CD’s, and has a USB port. I can watch movies streamed directly from the internet, or on any type of digital media that I can get my little hands on.
Today, I have a smartphone, with an application that wirelessly connects to the internet, and can stream movies. It amazes me that I can do that on my phone. I can also use it to buy things, move money from my bank, pay bills, write email, keep in touch with friends, so on an so forth. And the phones keep getting smaller. On my phone now, I have about 400 CD’s worth of music. Do you remember CD’s? Now all the info fits on a 3 by 5 inch hunk of glass and aluminum and in my pocket. I remember BUYING 45’s and LP albums at the store, hoping they didn’t get scratched. I remember having a holder for 45’s that you kept all the records in, taking it to friends houses to play songs. Now I can take ALL my songs with me wherever I go. Movies too!
It seems that all generations have some type of change that made the world “better”. For my grandparents, it was the advances in travel, buggy to car, boats to planes. My parents had all sorts of changes in their lifetimes that made life better, television, space exploration and all the new inventions because of that, the first computers, movies, etc. I wonder what big thing my kids will have to tell their kids, “When I was your age, we didn’t have……”?