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Things the next generation will never experience

Of course the most significant change that the next generation will never experience the world without is access to the Internet, but with that comes a host of other changes that will render the world of today unrecognizable to the next generation.

Internet tools based in the cloud, electronic Samsung Nook tablets, and ever-advancing smartphones all contribute to a future that is more streamlined for the next generation.

The world is rapidly becoming an entirely new place for an entirely new population. Here are some of the things they will never experience.

Wired Internet

While we all know the internet has given us the beauty of social networking with Facebook and Twitter, instant access to the world’s information with Wikipedia, and allows us to make an informed decision of where to make brunch reservations with Yelp, the Internet itself is changing. The early days of the internet on a dial-up network with infuriatingly slow download speeds and a mess of wires behind a clunky monitor are long gone. It is growing increasingly clear that the Internet of the future is going to be entirely wireless. With wireless Wi-Fi already an essential for homes and offices across the country, it might seem like that has already happened. However according to the Pew Research Center, only 54% percent of households with an annual income of $30,000 dollars or less have access to broadband internet in the home.

Of this group, around 13 percent use a cellular devices to access to the Internet. Additionally, for households with an annual income below $20,000 dollars, a third have no access to the Internet and 45 percent access the Internet through cell phones. While it may seem that the Internet is an essential part of everyone’s life, a significant portion of the US population is still behind in that regard. As internet access becomes increasingly affordable and requires less hardware infrastructure to support, greater numbers of people can begin to take advantage of its benefits.

In addition to wireless Internet connectivity, much of the functionality and storage we use are moving to cloud-based operations. As services like Box and Dropbox make it easier for consumers and businesses to store and share important files with one another instantaneously, people are beginning to move away from local storage in favor of more efficient systems. It thus seems more than likely that the next generation won’t grow up in a world that relies on wired systems and instead operates entirely on a cloud-based system. Just like the cloud is replacing inconvenient wiring, the Samsung Nook is replacing the old-school printed book.

Reading from a Printed Book

As the Internet expands, so too do the spectrum of devices that people use to access it. The effectiveness of distributing printed books has proven unable to compete with the convenience of tablet readers like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. The environmental impact of printing books is massively reduced when consumers are able to simply download a novel with the touch of a button. Students of the future will never experience the pains of schlepping pounds of textbooks from one classroom to another as all of their reading material will come exclusively from their Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 or a similar device. The technology expands beyond merely textbooks and novels, as magazines, newspapers and other types of written material become widely accessible with eReading devices like Nook as well.

The costs of distributing all of those platforms are all instantly eliminated as people can access it all wirelessly with a streamlined system. The next generation will grow up knowing they only need to download the content that fits their needs, rather than sifting through unrelated content to find what they want.

Calling from a Landline

Devices are becoming more efficient with every new iteration, as the Nook tablet replaces the printed novel, the iPhone replaces the wall phone. The telephone seems like an institution in and of itself, but its days in its current iteration are numbered. According to the Wall Street Journal, more than a quarter of the households in America are no longer using landlines to place calls. The numbers are even starker when one looks at the generational differences, “the youngest households are abandoning landlines in droves. About two-thirds of households led by people ages 15 to 29 relied only on cellphones in 2011, compared with 28% for the broader population.” With 89% of the population using cell phones and only 71% using landlines, this rapid shift is likely to reach a point of total reliance on cellular technology for the next generation.

And why shouldn’t it? Smartphones and mobile tablets are allowing people greater mobility and flexibility in their everyday lives, staying connected with the information they need without holding them to a fixed location. As technology adapts to allow for more efficient data processing and faster mobile networks, the price of cellular connectivity will grow less and less expensive, allowing greater numbers of people to shift from their landline usage to primarily using mobile devices.

The future might look different, without wires for the internet, using devices like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook instead of physical books, and placing calls from our cell phones instead of a landline, but the changes are helping to make the world a more efficient and more convenient place.