2012 Technology in Perspective

Originally published in The Clarion | December 12, 2012

As another year begins to wind down, human nature causes many of us to reflect on the previous twelve months of our lives. For those of you who are at least somewhat like me, many of our recollections include technology highlights, or maybe lowlights, that we have experienced in 2012. Being tied to the world of technology by necessity, not necessarily choice, it is sometimes discouraging to me just how much of my life is consumed with various technologies. Sure it’s what pays the bills and yes I am very thankful for my job; but considering all the various pieces of my life and realizing just how many of those pieces are technology-oriented, I often wonder what life would be like in a far-away land, a place where the services and gadgets that most of us simply take for granted on a day-to-day basis don’t even exist.

To be honest, nothing really extraordinary jumps out at me looking back at technology in 2012. Sure there were a lot of things that happened – companies that failed, new companies that were born, gadgets that were introduced for the first time – but not one of these really were what I would consider to be earth-shattering. Three items come to mind, all quite different from the others, that top my list. The first would be the introduction of Windows 8. By now I am sure some of you have a gadget, phone or computing device with Windows 8. From my perspective, I hope you don’t feel like you wasted your money. I have only had the privilege (tongue in cheek) of experiencing Windows 8 a couple of times. Instead of bashing it once again please see my previous articles on the subject. Simply put, I think the new interface was a poor choice for a company that is, quite frankly, struggling to hold its ground in the marketplace.

The second event of 2012 that comes to mind is Facebook’s venture as a publicly-traded company. In case you missed all the drama, the short version of this story is a pretty simple one. All of the hype leading up to its IPO caused quite an artificial market value, lots of people jumped on-board (including Facebook employees) only to see their investments take a nose dive. I continue to question the validity of such a company being a concrete money-maker when they essentially have nothing to sell.

Finally, my most favorite item of 2012 would be the introduction of sleek, inexpensive tablet devices using Google’s Android operating system. I actually came off the checkbook and purchased a Nexus 7 for myself – a purchase I have not once regretted. Since the release of the Nexus 7, a larger Nexus 10 has been released along with a new laptop computer – the Chromebook. Simply put, a laptop for $250 or less is hard to beat, especially considering the functionality that comes with Android. 2012 has been a decent year in technology, let’s hope 2013 is even better.