I am sitting in the Portland airport on the way to Foo Camp, and I just watched the guy sitting across from me with his laptop (maybe mid-forties) call his 10-12 year old son over to help him connect to the free wireless network. Kids today grew up with high speed and wireless technologies and have never lived in the pre-Internet age or even the dial-up era. This is a key reason for the success of sites like MySpace where these kids can interact in an online environment that is just as natural to them as interacting in the physical world.
The airport is also an interesting study in how people interact with technology. I am watching an older man peck at his Apple laptop keyboard with two fingers while simultaneously completing a newspaper crossword puzzle. Is this the ultimate in multi-tasking or is he cheating?
Gadgets are everywhere at the airport … laptops, cell phones, iPods, BlackBerries, cameras, and more. Even ten years ago, people reading books, magazines, and newspapers would have greatly outnumbered those using gadgets to pass the time. It is interesting to look around and observe how our culture is evolving toward technology-related pursuits over their low-tech counterparts. The airport seems to be an interesting location for this reflection.
Either I am particularly reflective today, or I just got to the airport WAY too early and have too much time on my hands (grin).