Convenient Entertainment in the Digital Age: An Essay

The switch from analog to digital has probably, in fairness, been the main factor that distinguishes the new millennium from past eras. Nearly everything we take for granted in terms of computing, interactive media, viewing movies, small, portable devices that are high achievers in the above fields that can also communicate with similar devices pretty much anywhere, instantly, are nowhere near phenomenons that should be taken for granted. They would be considered magical and a fantasy beyond anybody’s most colourful dreams in times gone by, even if you only look back at the not-so-distant past of twenty years ago.

Twenty years ago, the predecessors to our mobile multitools were only in their very infancy, and even then were only useful for calling other phones, and were exponentially more bulky than even the most unwieldy gadgets of today. Let’s take one of the most basic units of information storage, the gigabyte. It would have been unheard of to be able to carry this around in a mobile format that could easily interface with desktop computers. Even 5 years later, when the USB began its rise, a 1GB specimen cost around 400 dollars. Nowadays, they basically give them away, ironically, with old mediums of information conveyance, such as newspapers and magazines.

Storing data such as movies or music is ridiculously easy compared to the relatively gargantuan storage methods of yesteryear, of which a large collection would fill up a room wall-to-wall. The equivalent can now be held on a small terabyte hard drive costing no more than 50 dollars. Actually, a person doesn’t even have to physically store anything in their house. Since proliferating digital mediums of entertainment is as easy as ever, services such as Netflix and Spotify allow anybody who pays a small monthly fee (~15 dollars at most) to remotely access their vast servers full of a massive variety of films and music at an individual pace.

Enjoying oneself has never been more convenient and easy, and leaving your house, even for physical objects, isn’t necessary. Most places that serve and deliver food have an online presence, and filling out a small form on their website leads to a delivery within an hour (most of the time) of any food your heart could desire, requiring no awkward conversation over the phone. Want to get the latest phone to access the entertainment services I talked about above while on, say, your commute to work? Simply go to Amazon or a similar site, look up the model of phone you want, order it, and wait a few weeks while they deliver it straight to your door. No human has to ever be interacted with, and no steps have to be taken away from the centre of your world.


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