The relatively recent rise in popularity of High Definition epitomises the subtleties of the relentless freight train that is technological progress. When HD came out, all but the geekiest among us were particularly enthused by its treasures – certainly not to the scale that was hyped around it. Perhaps a hint of cynicism hung in the air; possibly over-zealous marketing for an area of technology progression that had come relatively easily to its engineers? And perhaps a progression that was trying to mask the absence of any other more significant change? Our screens, we thought, seemed sharp enough.
But then our standards changed. As soon as people tried it, they were hooked. Even if they only tried it out of greed for the newest technology, and even if their initial delight was in part only to justify the large market price it courted, there was no denying that people started to rave about it.
Users of ‘The New iPad’ will see it’s extension into personal computing. We thought that the pictures we saw on devices were limited by connection and camera. And as for text, well that was obviously sufficient to read and who would even notice ‘sharper text’? As it turns out, nearly everybody.
The point here is that perceptions adjust as things come along. We feel a bit hard done by if a website or video takes more than a second or two to load. This thought, of a page which contains more relevant and accurate information than it may have taken a scholar a week to get hold of two decades ago.
I won’t get on a high horse to proclaim that people should ‘count their blessings’, the simple message is that all is not as it seems. The most innocent or benign changes can turn out to become the biggest game-changers. It all depends on how we adjust as individuals and as a community.