When the latest innovation comes out, there is a flurry of excitement by the press and early adopters, and before long, without us reckoning with the implications, the new device or capability has permeated through society, often utterly transforming how we function day-to-day.
Indeed, our society has become so saturated with relatively new inventions that it is now actually difficult for many of us to imagine how life worked without not only things like the internet and laptops - those by now seem vaguely quaint - but even gadgets like iPads, our Facebook accounts and smartphones, devices that hardly existed in a mainstream fashion as recently as 5-10 years ago. And now, if our smart phone battery dies, or we forget it at home, for many of us there can a sensation verging on a sense of panic. This is not just because of the addictive qualities of these devices, but because we have come to rely on them in almost every facet of our lives, from our entertainment during our commutes, to how we connect to friends and work, and plan our days.
Thankfully for us, Nora Young has been fascinated for years about the cultural implications of our evolving technology, and as the host and creator of the CBC radio program Spark now in its 7th season, she has been our guide to grappling with these questions, and reflecting on life in the 21st century.
Spark flips things around, and poses those largely unasked questions of not merely how we are changing our technology, but how our technology is changing us - in everything from how online dating and texting is influencing the nature of our love lives, to the ramifications of us never not being stimulated by our phones, or devices, and having the chance to truly daydream.
Before coming to Spark Nora Young also was the founding host of Definitely Not The Opera on CBC radio 1 from 1994 to 2002. I spoke to Nora, at SPARK HQ at CBC Toronto. And many thanks to fellow Spark producer Dan Misener for recording the interview.
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