Friday, June 12, 2015

The older I get, the more impressed by technology I am

I'm writing this post on an airplane. This may not mean much to you, but to me it's one of the coolest things in the history of forever.

In-flight WiFi has been around for a few years, and by now the techno illuminati are less than impressed with it (especially if it's slow and/or not working right). Then there's me. I'm sending real-time Facebook messages to friends who are several hundred miles away, and I'm doing it from seven miles in the air.

How can anyone do that and not at least think, "Huh, that's pretty cool."

My dad always loved technology, and I remember him saying that he wanted to live until the year 2000 just to see the latest gadgets and how they worked. Alas, he died in October 1999. I can't imagine how incredible smartphones and tablets would have seemed to him.

Terry and I are flying back from a trip to Los Angeles, and while there I used Uber for the first time. Are you hip to the whole Uber thing? You download an app to your phone, and when you're in a big city and want a cheap ride someplace, you just "hail" an Uber car through that app, and in minutes a driver comes and picks you up.

Chances are the fare for that trip will be half what you would pay for a traditional cab.

The first time I tried Uber in L.A., I was standing on Hollywood Boulevard on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. My phone knew my exact location, thanks to the miracle of GPS, and transmitted that information to the nearest Uber driver.

He got there in less than two minutes, and the cost of the ride from Hollywood to the Santa Monica beach was $15. Seriously, 15 bucks for what would have been well over $40 with tip in a cab. (There's no tipping in Uber.)

And by the way, I knew my driver was close because the minute I requested the ride, my phone showed me a little map of the surrounding streets and a little car icon pinpointing his exact location.

I just...I mean...isn't that amazing? I'm blown away by this. It was cheap, easy and fun. Which is exactly how life should be.

Like my dad, I can't wait to how technology advances in the remaining years of my life. It's just all so cool, and if I had the money I would buy every electronic gadget the minute it comes out.

Say what you will about technology destroying the soul of our society. I'll be too busy to hear you anyway because I'll be playing with my Apple Watch.

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