Today, everything has to be done faster and better; communication, transportation, shopping, work, education, and even socializing are speeded up. In short, the whole way of living is accelerating. The growth of technology seems like a big help. But does it really benefit our every day life? And how does it influence today’s American family life? Ironically, technology exists to help and relieve us from time-consuming tasks, but since technology is growing so rapidly, we have to adjust to a new accelerating lifestyle.
Indeed, for the last thirty years technology has been developing swiftly. And it didn’t take very long for several technology devices to enter the American households. The first word processor appeared around 1970 and a year later the first silicon chip came on the market. Four years later there was the first personal computer. In less than ten years, eight out of hundred American households had a computer. However, in just two years this number doubled. And in 1994, there was a computer in more than one out of every three American homes. Meanwhile, computer speed was increasing at a rate of 55% a year. And more and more people started to use e-mail and the Internet.
This increase in e-mail and Internet use follows from the higher need for fast and easy communication. Already in the 1980s, hundreds of thousands of cell phones and fax machines were sold. And ten years later this number had increased to 7 million a year. Electronic pagers are popular, too: in 1997 about 2 million pagers were sold.
Of course, these technologies are very convenient; they bring us what we need and want faster than ever before. But many families have become more and m...
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...f swift technology growth, the elderly people are looked upon as irrelevant – even by themselves. Consequently, most of the elderly people are expected to look and act young and not dwell on the past by accepting the new technologies.
So, technology might help us save time in several tasks, but it doesn’t relieve us from stress. As families are becoming more dependent on technologies and try to keep up with its accelerating development pace, they start to apply the swiftness to their way of life. The youngest generation of the family rushes through education and relationships. The older generation also accelerates relationships and furthermore the pace at work. And the elderly try to stay in touch with the fast changing society. As the technology growth influences the pace of every day life, fastness will carry on and dominate, while the hyper family continues.
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