Has technology made waiting obsolete and what does this mean for our next generation of adults? There’s no more waiting in a checkout line, thanks to self-checkout. No more waiting for a tape to rewind like in the old days, or driving to the shops to buy a CD – just Shazam it and buy it on iTunes. You don’t have to wait to watch your favourite show on TV – just live stream it. Hell, you don’t even have to wait for a coffee because now you can text ahead for it.
I did try to think of something we still have to wait for – we still have to wait at the doctor’s office to see the doctor! No, wait a minute, now we can just get a Skype diagnosis for a doctors note by going to www.drsicknote.com.au. We have to wait in traffic, yes, but not really, because satellite technology now warns us where the back-ups are, and diverts us accordingly.
So just last week, the annual CES conference took place in Las Vegas, US – it’s where all of the tech gurus from around the world present their innovations for the year. The theme of the minute is VR – virtual reality. And the most anticipated VR release was Facebook’s Oculus Rift. It’s a VR headset that transports us immediately to a virtual world – on a game, or a movie and even experience wherever your friends are around the world – and it’s meant to be the most immersive experience ever – it feels like you are really there! It will be in stores and available on line in the next few months. Sure, its $600US and you have to have a compatible computer….but hey, its out there.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg sees this as the future of sharing – and he even paid $2Billion to purchase Oculus. And let’s face it; he’s got a good track record for picking what’s going to be next. Soon, we’ll be able to share not just photos and videos but real experiences and adventures on Facebook, which will be practically like being there.
What does this mean for the next generation of Millennials?
We want it now, we want it customised and we expect it to come to us. Search engines and big data have made sure of that. What we used to think of as an invasion of privacy is now expected – it’s almost offensive if we get served digital ads that don’t relate to us. We also expect not to have to put our credit card details in again – how inconvenient is that!! Now we can just Apple Pay – so it really is all in the palm of our hands.
Gone are the days of going in store and buying the next best thing if they didn’t have it in stock. We just browse to the next listing down on the Google Search results, and find it. Then to be sure we read some reviews from people we’ve never met to help us make our decision, and we’re done. And it’s on to the next thing.
Is all this instant-ness just EFFICIENT use of resources? Or are we raising a generation of adults who are going to get themselves in trouble because they are:
- Easily Distracted
Or am I just starting to sound like my grandmother? Is this simply evolution at its technological best? Does the fact we are breeding an impatient generation of consumers even matter? Has all this instantness killed the challenge of the journey? Has Google killed the art of discussion at a dinner table? Will virtual reality mean we won’t miss people on holidays anymore because we can be right there with them on our Oculus Rift goggles??
What does it all really mean for our futures? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.