Alvin Toffler published his book Future Shock in 1970, two years earlier than I was born thus, I feel I can relate to it more than younger people. My whole life has taken place during his “future”. As far back as I can remember my family used to live in a small city in a house that although it had electricity, it did not have a TV. My family bought their first one when I was eight years old. It was black and white. I remember I felt about it. It was shocking, not only for me, but for my whole community. After three years, we got a color TV, and we could hardly believe this improvement. However, we did not have a telephone until I was fifteen years old. It was amazing to see. We felt that the world had been drastically changed. We could contact our relatives who lived a fifteen hour drive away. The distance had vanished. It was obvious that technology was the changing machine.
That actually was nothing in comparison to what happened next. The spread of satellite TV channels, cell phones, the Internet, and all the innovations that came along with them was incredible. Despite the way people were rated in the Diffusion of Innovations Theory, people who were the first adapters, the early majority, the late majority, and the laggards all were forced to adapt to their new world. I was a witness and it was my second future shock. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable to live with all these new technologies. I was at the right time; young, newly graduated, and working for a newspaper that provided the Internet service. Not only was I the first one who was adapted to all new innovation in my community, but I was able to keep up with what was next. Unquestionably, I was the “future man”. As Toffler described him, I was living faster than people around me.
As I got used to all new technologies at that time my pace of keeping up had slowed down. At this point, my community outpaced me and I was not the only one who adapted to all the changes. Now I was the “present man” who was living with his contemporaries and this new “techno-social life”. Even though this new way of living was unacceptable to older people at that time, I was very happy with it. I felt that it represented me. That society was mine. It was true that there was a big change but I felt I was moving at the same pace.
Continuously, as new technologies became uncountable, the speed of new innovations rapidly increased in all directions. Old video games where you played with someone in the same room became interactive online games played with anyone in the world. Social networking sites, second life, smart phones, Ipods, ipads, kindles, etc. and I am sure I do not know what there even is became overwhelming. I am so tired of following new technologies. I wish I could stop these waves of new innovation because I want to keep myself as the “present man”. Unfortunately, now I feel like I could be the “the past man”. As Toffler described shocked people, I could be one of the older people who resist changes.
I would accept my current situation; living with what I have learned and adapted from technologies. Regrettably, I cannot stop adapting to the unadoptable extreme new technologies. The real problem is not technology itself; it is the fact that people are changing quickly and unconsciously all around me. If I choose to not be one of them, they will leave me behind. It feels like I am on a roller coaster, reaching the top, what is coming is more exiting, but, impossibly, I want to get out.