It’s funny to think of it now, but there was a time when connecting with distant relatives was time-consuming and — if they lived in a different state or country — somewhat of a rare occurrence. Long-distance phone calls were expensive, and to keep in touch with fifty people in a month would have been very expensive if they didn’t live close by. It’s just one of the ways technology has changed the way we view the world — now, social networking effectively reduces the distance between us. Technology proves the old adage that “It’s a small world after all.”

 Here are just a few technological advances that have improved our lives, and why.

1. Smartphones

When we used to go see a movie, we often had to look in the newspaper to see when one was playing, and whether we even wanted to see one. Now, we can simply look one up on our phone, pay the ticket cost, and head over whenever we feel like it. If we’re driving around a new city on vacation, we can map our route out exactly, so getting lost isn’t even a question.


2. Facebook

With Facebook and other forms of social networking, we often forget that for the most part, contacting our aunt across the country to say hello is stress-free and mostly made at no cost to us. In fact, many people are in contact with so many people on Facebook, that they grow tired of hearing about the lives of everyone so many times a week! Twenty years ago, this concept would have been almost unthinkable.


3. Home Security Systems

When you know that your home will be taken care of — authorities contacted the moment someone breaks in, for example — life becomes much easier. When customers are looking for a home security system, from places like Vivint.com, the costs are now so low and potential benefits so high that customers never have to worry about their home security again, according to a Minneapolis home security system expert.


4. Songs as Files

We can all remember what it was like to lug around a case of CD’s and a disc player whenever we wanted to listen to our favorite music. It was time-consuming and a hassle. We forget that with mp3 players and other technological advances, we can listen to far more music far more easily.


5. Laptop Computers

And if we’re of a certain generation, many of us can remember when a computer took up an entire room for a company. The fact that we can now easily do our work on computers on a small desk, or even on an airplane, is nothing short of a technological miracle. To do so fifty years ago would have seemed impossible.


6. Electric Cars

With electric cars beginning to fill a large share of the auto market, we’re also seeing lowering monthly costs on gasoline — as well as reducing the amount of pollutants in the air. In what will certainly be an interesting technology to watch, it may be that the market will shift toward electric models of cars as a standard vehicle