- Smart Phones. These have really become personal communication and computing devices - because let's get real, they do a lot more than just allow us to make a phone call. I remember the first really cool "mobile" phone I saw - it was about 1988/9 and it was a phone in a briefcase - big, clunky and the height of gadget cool at the time. I bet most people under the age of 25 would say that they would have a hard time "living" without their phones today.
- Entertainment (music, movies and TV). When I was 18, I had just purchased my first 19" color TV and along with my Technics receiver, Technics turntable and Bose bookshelf speakers - I was set for life in the dorm room. My music setup was perfect (of course, we still didn't have cable or even VHS tape players yet). At every turn, I was buying more stuff to keep up - first the tape deck, then the TV upgrade to stereo, then the stereo VHS, then the CD player, then the DVD, etc. And that doesn't even speak to the expense of either buying music or movies (at least you could rent movies). Today, there are millions of music tracks, TV shows, movies and books available with just a click of a mouse. And they are consumable either in an "audience" setting (in your living room) or a personal setting (on your phone or tablet).
- Social Interaction. I really don't know what else to call it. Today, it is possible to have an online discussion with someone that is at the top of their field (and sometimes not even know it) from anywhere in the world. Also, you can be instantly "known" around the world, truly becoming an overnight sensation. That was not possible when I was growing up. You might be lucky enough to know someone - or someone you knew, knew someone. But the only real way to have any interaction with them was either the phone or postal mail. Even in the the early days of internet communications, email could speed things up, but you still had to "know" someone (or be really good at research). With the social networks today, you can find someone, and be "connected" within minutes. Sure, private people are still that, and it's not like you can meet them in person - but it is much easier to have a chat (even if only virtually) with these people. You may not become best friends, but you can interact. And for most people under 25, this is how they communicate. Short bursts of communications - speaking through game consoles - through a few characters of text, acronyms or symbols.
These are just a few of the advancements (or not, depending on your personal opinion). All I can say is Amazing.
Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net