Computer Mouse Faces Extermination
As I watch my own children grow, I sometimes find myself fascinated as I witness them interact with technology. They are a part of generation that has never experienced life without the Internet, cell phones, or Google. Technology is so much a part of their lives that they don’t even look at it as technology. They look at it as life.
It’s such a different world than the one I grew up in. I suppose every generation can make these comparisons, but it seems so much more pronounced with this generation. I’m considered part of Generation X and didn’t get my first computer until I was a teenager. Back then, we actually had to learn how to program computers to get them to work. There was no Internet, no Microsoft Windows. Just a green screen, a keyboard, and a ‘CPU’ awaiting my command. My how things have changed. Today’s kids are less inclined to interact with computers at all, preferring to use tablets like the iPad and smartphones like the DROID.
This evolution has led to pronouncements of pending death regarding a piece of technology, that when first introduced, was quite revolutionary. The computer mouse fundamentally changed computing. This pointing and clicking device helped to remove the need to learn how to program a computer and instead allowed people to navigate and easily operate software programs which not only ran the computer, but ushered in a new era of productivity that revolutionized our culture. The computer mouse brought computers into the true mainstream and changed the world forever.
But times are changing. The new generation hardly even uses a mouse anymore. Touch surfaces, like those on tablet computers and any number of ‘screens,’ now allow your finger to accomplish the job of the mouse. My children – they hardly ever use a mouse. Heck, they hardly ever use a computer these days. Schools are now installing iPads, rather than laptops or desktop computers. Traditional computer sales are on a downward spiral growth trend. Big computer companies, like Hewlett-Packard, who didn’t see this trend coming are now in serious trouble.
We are witnessing a transformation of computing, away from computers that sit on your desk or on your lap, to ones that fit in your purse or even your pocket. A byproduct of this trend is less and less need for the computer mouse. It won’t be too long before the mouse becomes a “remember when” discussion topic. Kind of a sad moment. That little computer critter changed the world. It’s too bad my kids won’t even miss it.