Technology is evolving at a breakneck speed, and more often than not we are either oblivious to it or take it for granted. But sometimes it takes a person with a different perspective to make you realize just how much life in general has changed. A man released from jail after 44 years provides a fascinating insight into how technology has changed, and in turn how it has changed us. Also Read - Facebook for Android will soon get dark mode and coronavirus tracking feature
Otis Johnson went to prison at the age of 25, after being convicted of an assault and attempted murder of a police officer. In a video feature by Al Jazeera, the 69 year-old talks about he is surprised to see the world has changed so much, and how everything seems so alien. Also Read - Scientists develop soft contact lens that can zoom with a blink
Johnson got down at Times Square and was amazed at the sights and sounds of the place. He was first surprised to see people talking to themselves, but on looking closely he realized they had ‘things in their ears’. Also Read - Increasing smartphone usage may be resulting in growing horns on our skull; research suggests
“I don’t know the things, the phone things… iPhones they call them, or something like that. And I thought in my mind, what, everybody became CIA or agents or some stuff like that?” Johnson says. “Because that’s the only thing I could think of, someone walking around with wires in their ears… that’s what they had when I was out during the 60s and 70s.”
He was equally amazed and how technology had changed, and was especially surprised to see people walking about without really looking at where they were going. “I’m trying to figure out how people do that: control themselves to walk and talk on the phone without even looking where they’re going,” he said. “That was amazing to me.”
Johnson is left surprised by other things such as public phones, which are not only expensive to use, but also how no one seems to be using them as much these days. Supermarkets with all kinds of new things to eat and drink intrigue him as well. Talking about Gatorade he says, “The gator stuff. Pink, blue, all those different colors… I’ll drink that every once in awhile just because it looks funny.”
Al Jazeera’s video feature follows, and it is a fascinating watch.