What Happened to 8 Track Tapes?

Are you fascinated by technology? I have lived long enough to see some interesting changes. I can remember a few years back when Saturday night fever meant a mirrored ball sparkling on the dance floor and a new fangled thing called a strobe light made even my dance moves look cool. This was around the time I was proud of my 8 track tape collection.

Zip ahead a few years, okay 20 odd years. Nowadays I am amazed by my new Adobe Acrobat 7 program that has a little menu item called, “Read out loud.” One click and the computer reads the entire document. Wow!

Maybe it’s a guy thing, but I am wowed by the charge forward in innovation. From an animated T Rex, this seasons hottest toy, to the vibrant X box gaming station and the new iPod Nano that plays feature length films and can fit in my wallet.

Technology is even changing the speaking industry. I was honored to speak at a conference in Toronto recently called Finding Common Ground. Three days and 900 delegates dedicated to working together to reduce family violence. My topic was healthy masculinity and a book I co-wrote called the Healthy Relationships Program.

It was a state of the art convention complete with web broadcasting of all sessions. They video taped all the presenters and our powerpoint shows for perpetual rebroadcast over the phenomenal internet. Amazing!

While I realize that this is an industrialized world luxury to even have electricity, I still think it is awesome to think what humans have done to create tools that can help people live better lives. Even if it is only “virtual” reality it is worth giving thanks for how technology has improved our lives in ways we may not even be aware. I hope we never get complacent and take all this for granted. The power of humans to turn ideas into reality should always be celebrated whether you are Steve Jobs (apple) or grade 9 student getting ready for science fair. What really blows me away is what we think is cool today will go the way of the 8 track tape within our life time. I wonder what we will imagine next?

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