This trend towards smallness is not necessarily irreversible. Once upon a time, technology enabled things to get bigger. The Industrial Revolution drove the creation of the major urban industrial complexes of the world. Public transportation like railroads was a way to move people faster than horses and buggies. Even the recent infatuation with SUVs could be seen as part of the age-old trend of bigger as better. “Mary Czerwinski, a senior researcher at Microsoft, is working on large computer displays that could double as art in peoples homes. The displays could post personal information on the edges that people might want to consult quickly, and that can be removed if there is a visitor, she said” (Roth 2006).
Regardless of whether the future trend is in favor of largeness or smallness, human physical and social needs and constraints shape how technology is used. What does seem unchanged is the desire to incorporate more and more technology into ones life: as technology has made the world more efficient, it has grown faster-paced, and people want to make more and better use of their leisure hours. Despite the need to make a tradeoff between power and size, technology is always more compressed and has more features than its non-technological counterparts and can result in time and space savings. An Amazon Kindle can contain more knowledge than an entire shelf of encyclopedias. Entire research databases can be stored on an MP3 player or online. Even if a limit to smallness size may be reached because of the nature of the human body and size of the human figures, technologys greater portability at least theoretically makes us a more literate society than was ever dreamed possible.
Yet some people might protest that the demand to work so much in todays fast-paced, technologically-driven world makes reading more difficult than ever was the case for our grandparents!
There is no clear cause and effect when it comes to technology. Technology may be human-generated and respond to human needs but it can also take on a life of its own. Technology changes the world, and changes us. But it is still created by human beings. And because it has become a more integral part of our lives, we demand that it is personalized, just like our homes. We use customized technology to express ourselves. Cellphones come in many different designs, as well as can be fitted into so many different skins or cases, to better express the carriers personality. One of the reasons for the popularity of the iMac was the fact that it could be ordered in different colors to suit the decor of the buyers room, as well as was a high-quality product. Once, it was thought that technology would be dehumanizing. But human elements, like the desire for customization have been adapted into the current technological framework, even while it continues to make our lives faster, more efficient — and perhaps, just perhaps better.
Mombert, Greg. “Technology: Getting too small for its own good?” Digital Trends.
August 4, 2009. October 27, 2010
Roth, Mark. Experts see computers getting larger and smaller at the same time. Pittsburg Post
Gazette. April 26, 2006. October 27, 2010..