I took this picture this afternoon of Fran and Rhiannon showing off Rhiannon’s (well, our, actually) new toy — an iPad — to my father. As we sat together and talked about, and explored, all that the iPad could do, my father began to talk about how when he was younger, television was such an innovative technology. “My next door neighbor had one, and kept telling me I should buy one, as it was the wave of the future,” he mused. I asked him how old he was when he saw a TV for the first time. “I was in New York, and they had one at a store near Times Square,” he replied. I said, “Was that in ’45?” He nodded. Dad met, and married, my New Yorker mother in 1945, when he was only about 22 years old.
I was about that age when I first encountered a cool new form of technology. I was a senior in college in 1982, when the chairman of my department acquired an Apple II. I remember when a group of students went over to his house and we spent the afternoon playing on the computer. Later on I visited him by myself, and we ended up doing the same thing. Not too different from my Dad visiting his next door neighbor to watch TV — or the four of us, now with Rhiannon in her early 20s, sitting down together with an iPad.
From television to the personal computer to the tablet. What will be the gotta-share-it technology for the next generation?