Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Thanksgiving Reflection of ICT Use at Home

Thanksgiving break marked the first time I was able to spend time with my family at home since June. This is because I lived in Madison over the summer to work an internship while taking a summer class. Reflecting back, I definitely notice more ICT use after taking the bulk of this LIS course. There were four memorable instances that are noteworthy in my reflection.

First: after a flight cancelation and then a flight delay, landing in Newark late Wednesday night was a long-awaited relief. My parents picked me up outside of baggage claim in their new car. I noticed this car had a giant GPS system on the dashboard. We didn't use the device because my dad flies out of Newark every week to work in North Carolina and knows the fifteen minute route to the airport like the back of his hand. Still, I know my mom utilizes the GPS as she drives up to Connecticut to visit my little brother, Teddy, at his high school. I remember thinking this this GPS was a bit redundant because Siri has the same application. I then realized how using a handheld device is not the safest and appreciated the GPS.

On Thanksgiving, I then watched football and enjoyed turkey dinner like most of us. The second time I noticed ICT use at home was when my mother brought her computer into the living room with my older brother on Skype. He has lived in Germany for about five years now and was only able to celebrate with us briefly via video chat. I am thankful that I was able to at least see and converse with him while he was so far away.

My 93-year-old grandmother joined my family for Thanksgiving. She is hard of hearing and I vividly remember hearing her use her cell phone to call one of her friends and loudly wish her a happy Thanksgiving. I was very surprised how literate and apt she was with using such a modern technological device as a cell phone.

Lastly, I noticed ICT use at home in a fun way when my little brother introduced me to a new application for my iPhone called Trivia Crack. As you can imagine, it is a trivia game that connects Facebook friends in friendly competition. I proudly won the series against my little brother (who scored a 34 on his ACT and was no easy opponent). Still, I am not the champion of the game within my house. My dad is an absolute freak of nature at the game and confidently knew the answers to the most obscure trivia questions on 18th century Russian literature, for example. An Ivy League education evidently pays dividends when it comes to trivia apps on ICT devices.

After this bit of reflection, I am appreciative of the knowledge I have learned during this course as I am able to relate my life at home to the information society at a much deeper level. After learning about the frameworks that lead to the information society and then more in-depth about the current information society in which we live, I think it will be interesting to experience the next series of ICT device evolution first hand. Will Moore's Law hold true? Will devices be unimaginably fast in the foreseeable future? Despite path dependence and the piecewise innovation in ICT devices that is said to be upcoming, I still believe I can only be surprised by the next invention and how it affects my family and I.

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