That dark perspective came to my mind as I traveled to the University of Connecticut last week. While I was waiting to speak, I browsed my iPhone (invented 2007). I then walked up to the microphone (invented in 1964) and spoke to some 500 students, as well as thousands of others watching via digital livestreaming (invented in 1993) and thousands more who would watch later on YouTube (launched in 2005). The entire event was filmed on a series of digital cameras (invented 1975). When I finished, I tweeted about how things had gone (Twitter launched in 2006).
By the time I got back to my hotel, I had a pretty bad headache. Luckily, I took a couple of Advil (first made publicly available in the United States in 1974), and that alleviated the pain. Then I watched a show on Netflix (launched in 1997) after searching the reviews on Google (launched in 1998). Finally, I used my electric toothbrush (first invented in 1954), climbed into bed, and read a book I’d ordered from Amazon (launched in 1994).
The next morning, my security escorted me to the airport, where I used my digital ticket to scan in (a service that only became available to consumers in the 2000s). Then I walked past the televisions showing CNN (launched in 1980) and Fox News (launched in 1996), plunked myself down in a seat, and began checking my email (made publicly available in 1983) via wireless internet (the Wi-Fi 802.11 standard was established in 1997) on my MacBook Pro (this version from 2015). Finally, we boarded the passenger 747 (first flown in 1970) and took off while I watched videos of my children on WhatsApp (launched in 2009) and listened to Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto (finalized in 1721, but only made available for digital streaming via the iTunes store in 2003). When I finally reached my destination, I ordered a Lyft (launched in 2012).