What Downton Abbey Can Teach Us About Technology

Blog | 3 MIN READ

tumblr_inline_mhbnh4lqdj1qz4rgp.jpg[1]Admit it. It may be 2014 but most of us are as resistant to change as Maggie Smith’s dowager countess, Dame Crawley.

Don’t believe me? Consider how the concept of Google Glass feels so farfetched and weird to most of us. Or how your mother still doesn’t use the iPad you got her two Christmases ago. Like the inhabitants of Downton Abbey, we just can’t seem to keep up with all this technological change.

But we adjust, don’t we? We squeeze that ever-larger smart phone into our pants pocket. We hang that new smart TV over the mantel. We add that electric car to our list. The early adopters shame us into submission.
The Blu-ray player supplants the DVD player that supplanted the VCR. And pretty soon, we will have kicked it to the curb, all thanks to streaming content that lives in some fairytale place called “the Cloud.”

So why is it that we moderns still seem so resistant to certain technological changes? For the very reasons Dame Crawley does. The electric lights are too bright. The telephone is too complicated. The horseless carriage, too, well, horseless. But, most of all, there is just so much of it. And change is inherently uncomfortable. After all, some of us baby boomers are still calling that gleaming side-by-side refrigerator an “ice box.”

Yet, the changes keep on coming. Companies like Apple and Samsung have provided such a relentless stream of whiz-bang gadgetry that the technology gadget king, Sharper Image had to quietly declare bankruptcy. So, mark my words, many of us who can’t imagine needing Google Glass will be strapping one on our face by the years end and wondering how we ever got by without it.

At the end of the day, technology is our friend. It has helped to put information at our fingertips, create new jobs, expand economies, fuel globalism, upend class distinctions and overthrow despots.

But best of all, it has given up something new to hold in our hands. And that is what eventually wins us over. Technology––it is just so darn shiny!

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