There wasn’t much, if any, privacy as a teenager in the 1960s. When I wanted to call my girlfriend, I waited until my parents weren’t in the kitchen and then dialed the number on the rotary phone. Then I took the slinky-like cord out into the basement hallway and closed the door. Conversation, on my part, was a hoarse whisper, lest anyone in my house discover my secrets.
I never imagined that a teen in the future would be able to carry the phone without a cord and talk anywhere. Or that “phone” would be capable of taking pictures, video clips, surf the internet (what’s that?), etc.
Communication with distant relatives or friends was via the postal system. And when I wanted to research mutual funds for investment in the 1970s, I had a stack of postcards to be sent for information. I would then wait a month or two before getting a response. Now I just Google for the information almost instantly.
If I wanted to order an item, I had to fill out an ad response and mail it in with a check or money order. I now can do this within a minute or two using the internet and PayPal.
When I enlisted in the Air Force in 1965, payday involved getting in line to be paid by cash. It later changed to a check that I would look for in the base post office. Through the wonder of electronic funds transfer, I now get my retirement pay deposited in my bank account.
If my date and I wanted to see a movie, off to the local theater we’d go. Now I get movies in the mail from Netflix and watch them on my HDTV using my Playstation3. And I can pause it for a bathroom break or grab another beer.
Physical evidence of the photography evolution is in the boxes of photos, both black and white and color formats. Thousands of our photos are now contained in a digitized format on a five inch plastic disk.
In the pre-internet days, I used to buy two newspapers. The internet changed that, with more available online news than you could even read.
Before cable TV, you had to wait until the 6 o’clock news, unless it was a catastrophic event. We now see events unfolding, live, on the other side of the earth.
Go to the library to read a book back then, or now download it on your Kindle.
Humanity is on the verge of being totally wired into technology. Time will only tell if that’s a benefit or a curse.