Year in review: The new, the old and the ugly
As a new year begins, people are often filled with high hopes and aspirations, which often fade soon thereafter. What can you do to make this year different?
Friday, January 7, 2011 - 18:36
After a tumultuous year for our country, we have made it to 2011. Most people would now take this opportunity to look back, reminiscing about the happy times and continuing to gripe about the bad times, but I want to talk about now.
I am not sure what is in store in the coming year, or the journey I will take, but I do have an idea of how I want this next year to go. I must start out by telling you my new year's resolution is going great so far. I woke up early this morning and went to the gym before having a deliciously healthy breakfast at Bojangles, also known as the best fried chicken biscuit in North Carolina. More importantly, while I was there, I noticed that there was a local newspaper stand positioned where customers leave the restaurant.
It caught my attention because I feel a little pained to think that within the next few years there may no longer be newspapers. When I noticed this, I saw a glimmer hope that maybe the local newspapers had discovered the secret to revival, but by the end of my meal, not a single paper had been retrieved. The future for news and media appears to be going digital with products such as Kindles, iPads and items like the Nook. It seems that one day my kids will look back fondly on their digital reading machine without much thought of the forgotten newspaper.
In the year 2011, there will be great battles for consumers' money, and my favorite remains: Amazon versus iTunes.
As I discussed in an earlier post, I have abandoned my cable in exchange for a mystery box known as the Roku. The Roku uses Amazon as its source for purchasing and renting television shows and movies. I have to say, I am impressed with Amazon. It is a great website that represents everything that is good and evil about our modern culture: it provides the speed we crave while giving in to our laziness.
It is still important not to forget the role Apple has played in the way we live today. The iPod and its software, iTunes, capitalized on the ideas put forth by the people of Napster and other "music piracy sites." I enjoy the wonders of business and applaud this company for finding a way to give us music the way we want it, legally and for a profit, while at the same time becoming one of the most popular brands in the world.
With all of this said, I do understand the fast-paced nature of the world today and how all of the technologies we have increase the ease of communication and movement of information. But I can only hope we find a way to hold onto some of the past. When I try to understand the reasons why we are leaving behind items such as newspapers, I want to believe it is for the benefit of our environment. However, I feel that sometimes we should explore other options instead of losing an important part of our history.
As I have shown, even I cannot make up my mind as to whether I am ready to embrace the new reality we live in or if I think we are moving in the wrong direction. I have made up my mind in support for new technology that serves a greater purpose for 2011 and the years that follow. As we ring in the new year, we are in the midst of our second try at electric vehicles, a push for mass transit by the government in the form of revitalizing railroads, and even something new with the example of the Chevy Volt and its unique on-board generator.
My hope for this year is that we begin to embrace the technologies that can really benefit our society. We have the power to make a difference. Let's make 2011 count so that next year we can celebrate the accomplishments that really made a difference.