K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Dec 12 2012

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Talk is cheap but it’s still a gift

I just got an iPhone. I know this isn’t earth-shattering news to anyone, and as a previous Blackberry user, the jury’s still out on whether or not I even like it as much. I’m giving myself some time to get used to all the new features, and I tried out my Facetime feature this morning with my sister who lives in Rhode Island. Aside from the fact we both looked astonishingly bad on camera, it was great to chat face to face with her.

I was reminded of a day in 1964 when we were young teenagers, spent at the Worlds Fair in Queens, NY. For those of you who are old enough to remember (and those of you who weren’t even born yet), that particular fair was the talk of the time, and people from all over the world gathered to see the latest and greatest in modern technology. I remember waiting in line for what seemed a very long time to do a Picturephone chat with my sister at the Bell Telephone exhibit. I think we waited at least an hour in line and were then escorted into two separate booths. There was a table with a phone and a conical, modern-looking module right next to it. We were prompted to pick up our separate phones, and low and behold, we were seeing each other on the module as if we were on TV! It was a futuristic experience, and we both marveled at the thought of a day when we would all be wearing stretchy space suits chatting with each other in our Jetson-like houses.

What amazes me more than anything is that we now take this type of technology for granted. I guess it’s because I was around before all of this was even invented, and that I come from an era where technology was more like this:

I love the idea that we can now operate systems in our home remotely—open doors, turn on lights, etc. And that we can be notified when our appliances, which are interfaced with our phones, need service. Certain “apps” can read labels, tell us what paint color is on the wall, and get information about a product instantly. I can video chat with my clients in my office, rather than burn gas or hop a plane for a long-distance meeting. And that saves on energy costs and carbon offsets, which is wonderful, and satisfies my ongoing quest for sustainable solutions in the home. So I don’t want to take any of this for granted, and every day could bring us closer to a smarter, greener planet. I hope we continue to use this amazing resource wisely, and remember that it’s a GIFT, just like a face to face, one-on-one conversation with a real person, which can never replace a smart phone, appliance or car. There’s no “app” for that.

Sending you all the very best of the holiday season, and hope 2013 is a happy, healthy and prosperous year for you and your loved ones.

Patricia Gaylor

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 at 6:00 AM and is filed under Inspiration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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