Modern technology has advanced at a rate that continues to amaze even the most enthusiastic gadget nerds. Over the course of about two decades, technologies like wireless Internet have completely revolutionized the way we live. These advances have changed the culture of companies, schools and even normal social interaction.
While many people often make the comparison between the days before wireless Internet and the present, fewer consider the many changes these technologies have created along the way. For example, most people have completely forgotten about the telephone connection to the Internet, or perhaps they have blocked it from their memories after years of therapy! This inconvenient predecessor of wireless internet used to be the only way you could get online not too long ago. If you wanted to check your email, you had to connect to a modem that was connected to your home phone line. No one else in the house would be able to make or receive a phone call while surfing the web, instant messaging friends (probably with AOL Instant Messenger), or playing online games. And remember that horrible screeching noise you had to hear every time your computer tried to connect to the internet? And how about all the time you had to sit and wait for each web page to load? It sure is much better to be able to connect to the Internet using fast, quiet, and reliable wireless Internet!
Another intermediate step in the Internet revolution that is now obsolete is the cybercafé. It used to be that these cafes lined the streets of various urban places. They were a new hot spot to be seen while sipping a latte and checking your email. For those who are simply too young to remember: an internet cafe was a store that had computers inside that could be rented by the minute to access the Internet. Sometimes there was also a proper coffee area, where you could order a coffee or a muffin to chew on while surfing the net – you had to be careful with the keyboards of course!). But now that you can buy a small laptop for $ 300 and then take it to any library, cafe, or airport and go online without a hitch, these internet cafes are simply irrelevant. Plus, in most public and private places, you can access wireless internet for free! And then, over the last decade, cybercafes began to become unprofitable and, one by one, they began to close in cities in the United States. People now bring their own personal computers to cafes, or they may even find it more profitable to install wireless Internet in their homes, where they can access it 24 hours a day.
It really is amazing to think about how quickly technology changes the world around us. All of these changes have occurred in about 20 years, or a generation. One day, dial-up modems and internet cafes will look like relics from a long time ago, like horse carts or petticoats.