How Technology Changed My Life

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I grew up in a generation on the verge of the hi-tech genesis. I know I am aging myself but before the mid 1980s I had never used a computer. My high school typing class--yes, they used to offer this as a high school course--used the manual, old-fashioned typewriters with an ink ribbon. And calculators were very expensive and huge. No pocket calculators in my school and that was if we were even permitted to use them. And to think that we would ever give up LPs for digital tunes is still mind boggling. Let's not even begin to talk about cell phones--those were gadgets that James Bond, Maxwell Smart, and Dick Tracy used, not the average person on the street.

The Sony Walkman was one of one the coolest gadgets one could own back in the day. It was a cassette player that one could snap on his/her waistband and listen to the music with headphones until it was time to flip the cassette over-- unless you had the cooler version that reversed the tape without flipping. Although it was quite big, it was considered the iPod for my generation.

A few weeks ago I was bestowed with one of the new gadgets of the decade--the iPod Touch. While this is not a testimony for Apple, I am thrilled to say I wonder why I never considered looking into this cool gadget before now. It allows me the opportunity to track my food, fitness, and goals on my SparkPeople account when I have access to WiFi, 3G or the Edge Network--all from a small, thin device that fits quite nicely in my purse. It is so easy to use, even for this technology-challenged old lady. I love the fact that I do not have to be tethered to a computer to stay connected to SparkPeople. The application for SparkPeople is free and is one of the best I have seen as I have explored many other apps for the iTouch. And if you don't own an iTouch or iPhone, there is also a Mobile Phone version of SparkPeople. What I love most is I no longer have to try to remember what I ate or write it down on a piece of paper only to lose it. This option totally rids me of a paper trail.

So while I may be a little behind in the world of technology, I am beginning to appreciate all the great minds who invented these new devices. To know that I never have to be stranded without a phone or have access to cash via the ATM 24/7, still leaves me in awe. I may be slow to come around, but as the old saying goes, "You can teach an old dog new tricks."

Do you own a iPhone or iTouch? Do you regularly use the SparkPeople application to track your progress? If you don't own one, would this be something you may consider in the future?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


It sounds like we were in high school around the same time, I graduated in 1979!! I laugh when I think of a calculator being a big deal, so a computer will be cheap and so common place that we will all have them and use them. Just think the first VCR cost several hundred dollars, now you can buy them the updated version at the dollar store for twenty dollars. Report
I have an iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Kindle, Nook. I am an electronic gadget junkie! I do have the free app on all of my Apple products. I am in front of a computer all day at work, and even some in the evenings, but I still love the convenience of having SparkPeople with me wherever I am. Report
I love my Ipod Touch, I use it for workouts, let it track my distance for running, have it on hand for calorie counting and logging my food! I use it for all it's worth!!!! Report
I am a BlackBerry addict! I currently use the Storm. I would love an app for BlackBerry! This would be so helpful for me. Report
i Love Iphone, it just keeps me healthier in a strange way Report
I think it is fascinating that technology has made life easier. I am thinking about buying an ipod Report
I have a G1 cell...I love that I can login to SP at any time any where...Adn the Food Tracker is GRRREEEAAT!!!! Report
I have a blackberry. But when I am not working it is not on (except if I am out and my family needs to reach me). This was a change I think was important to my life. So many people keep that with them all the time and they are constantly on it. I think as a society, we have forgotten how to relax. Turning off the phone (a novel concept) lets us be with ourselves.

On other technology, I have my daughter's old ipod (mini...very old in technology terms) but it is adequate for my workouts which is the only time I use it.

I am up to date on computer though. I need it for work, our business and, of course to Spark. That is important! Report
I buy all the tech stuff, Ipod touch,kindle you name it I probably got it. My problem is I cantwork half of it. So frustrating. I have the app for sparkpeople on my touch but never have been able to get it to work. I need to make a friend that is tech savey! Report
my children and grandchildren have been a big influence on me to keep up with the technology of today although do not own an ipod and have not plans to get one love my computer cell phone even if they are older models it sure helps to keep the family in touch with one another with new stuff coming out daily we all are challenged to keep up and work our brains Report
Thanks. I am new to Sparkpeople and was wondering if there was a way to get connected with my Blackberry. Report
I've had a very old iPod for many years (since ~2002, I think), but I very recently got an iPod touch. I didn't realize you all had an app, but I've been using one called "Lose It!" I'll get your app and compare the two for ease of use and etc. Report
I still use the ole landline and I can still remember my typing class with ribbons too! My teens tell me I don't live in the 21st century ...... I'll leave the "texting" to them. My hubby and I still haven't figured out what a tweet is, LOL! Report
That sounds like something I could use. I'll look into it. Report
My son was in high school from 1981-1984. In those days they had about 4-5 computers for the entire school. Seniors had priority, then juniors, then sophomores. (Freshmen were a part of the Junior High, now called middle school.) When he was a sophomore he said he never got any time on the computer because he wasn't top priority. He seemed interested so we decided to buy him a computer for Christmas. That was the start of his addiction, he is self taught on computers and can do just about anything (or so it seems to me.) A year later he wanted an update, I said OK if I can have your old computer. He agreed and that was the beginning on my addiction to computers. After that whenever we bought him an update I got his old one. Eventually, when he was out of school he bought his own updates.

After computers, I got a cellphone. Don't use it much, but love to have it for emergencies. Like, when I'm at a store and can't remember my grand daughters size, I phone them. HEHEHE - emergencies!

I now have an Ipod - my dear husband gave it to me for Christmas. Now he gets upset with me when I'm listening to my music and don't hear him call me. Oh well.

I'm anxious and wondering what's next?

Joan W Report
I love my Sansa fuse (mp3 player) I use it when I workout. When I first started walking I used my walkman cassette player until it wore out and then I went to a portable cd player with head phones. And now I am on my 4th mp3 player. I also love my lg 1500 cell phone. I can't imagine life without these things. Report
My husband gave me an iPod for Christmas. Useless piece of junk! It's warrantied for a year, right? Unless it's the battery. Which cannot be replaced. So when the battery goes out 4 months after I get the iPod, I have a useless $150 piece of junk, along with a useless $100 home docking station and useless exercise band. NO WAY am I spending that kind of money on anything iApple. Waste of time, waste of money, JUNK! Come on, Apple - warranty the battery or else make it replaceable! The technology IS available... Report
I'm 52 and I grew up with the kind of technology that you describe, Nancy. We didn't have much money for extras, but we did have some old record players around the house.

I got my first home computer in about 1990 and started taking courses. DOS, managing hard discs, WordPerfect for DOS, Lotus 1-2-3. Things have changed so much in 20 years that I wonder what the next 20 will bring.

I still use a laptop, but am not working out right now, so this computer is fine for me. I have a cell phone that I don't use that much (more for emergencies and talking to hubby) and and iPod Classic that I use when I'm at the gym or to listen to audio books when I have insomnia.

I certainly would consider Kindle and iPhone down the road. Love my iPod!

I love my iPhone and I use the SparkPeople app every day to record food & exercise. Report
I love my iPhone!!! The SP app is wonderful and very user friendly! I even found out that it has Nike+ installed on it (but, I can't figure out how that works)! I don't remember what I used to do before I had it. Report
I am addicted to my iPhone. I absolutely can't live without it! The Sparkpeople app is amazing and I use it all the time. It is so easy and make tracking much easier. Hurray for technology helping people make better choices. Report
I own an i touch and I love it!!!! I use it for shopping lists, online info, spark app, lose it app, music when walking/running, listening to lectures (podcasts) the contacts list is my rolodex, the calendar keeps me much!!! Report
I just recently got an IPod and I only have Christian music and an audio bible on it for now. Love it! Report
I love my iPhone and the updated Sparkapp is awesome!!! I knew they were working on an updated but didn't expect all the capabilites that were added. Report
I don't have an iPod or iPhone, however, I previously had a blackberry which I loved! I am debating which to get now. Report
High School c/o 1987 checking in from my iPod Touch.
I just love it and modern technology. I prefer
the Blackberry Tour for my emails and such but both
are totally awesome (see teen in the 80's). Positive change
is a good thing and I hope to never lose sight of the old and
the new. I think that is one of the things I love about
SparkPeople. Report
I don't have an iPod yet, but have been seriously considering getting one. Report
I have an iPhone and absolutely love it. I have the SP application loaded on it and use it all the time. Report
Ha! I'm a child of the 80's, and I still remember our first home computer - AOL, and I took a highschool typing class. :-) Technology has changed so quickly over the last 20 years!! Glad you're enjoying your iphone. Report
Sounds like a good excuse to go out and buy one! Report
I don't own many gadgets, but I know I spend too much time online and feel as though I should back down from it a bit =) Report
Remember that old stuff. You bet. I remember the transistor radios that we slipped under our pillows at night and stuck up to our ears as we walked down the street. In college I took Basic programming for computers (remember that worry about all that Basic crashing when the year 2000 came?). I learned punchcarding, and stuff like that. Back then a computer filled a room. Personal, you've got to be kidding. The telephone was only dial and a partyline at that. Dick Tracy was the only one who could call on the run. Then later when I was in college there was "Beam me up Scotty" (I still want to do that with my cell phone since I have a flip cell now). I remember the game of Pong and those other

I am retired and cannot afford the iphone, etc. I do have a cell phone which I got when my husband was ill and I had to keep in contact with home. I had a computer that was a gift (read too old for the person who gave it to me). When my husband died instead of using the extra money from the insurance for doctor bills (they would accept terms) I traded up to a new computer. I now also have an MP3 but I don't use it very often. My cell phone takes pictures which I use a lot. I can wish for that iphone but if wishes were horses beggars would ride. If I had one, I would certainly use it for Spark, but I am happy in what Spark I have. Report
I grew up on a farm where we didn't even have a phone and so I don't need all the stuff today, but I have a phone, of course. It just isn't necessary to spend so much on what will do with the basics. Report
I don't have a phone that can use the app, but I think it would be useful on the go since I can't always be home to log in and get 'er done! Report
Love the app, but still like logging in and seeing it all on the big screen better! Report
Thanks! I just sent my husband the URL to download the SparkPeople application for his iTouch!

I use a GPS system when I bicycle. I'm not a "thing" person at all, but when I got my GPS, I fell in love with it! I make sure the calorie estimate is on the conservative side, and I know from experience that it is realistic. Having this helps in so many ways. First, there's the heart monitor so I can see a constant reading - that's helped me more than once realize that I was dehydrated because my HR will be elevated. Next, it tells me how many calories I burn on my rides - which is very motivating. I also see elevation gains which is helping me right now prepare for a Century ride in Moab on Sept 19. I know that if I do rides today with an equivalent elevation gain, then I'll be better prepared for this ride. Finally I can compare similar rides to see if I'm improving (or not). Technology can be a great thing!! Report
I'm 67, took typing in school and got my first computer in 1978-hubby said "It's time to trade your car in" but I kept the car & spent $5000 (computer loan instead of car loan) on an Apple 2e + the computer desk, software, and printer. It was a surprisingly good investment - my son, who first used a computer when he was 5, now at 35 works for Google! I can't afford a Kindle and I'm waiting till Verizon has the iPhone. Both are on my Christmas list - but who knows in what year Santa will be generous!?!? Meanwhile i track nutrition on my 2 year old Mac desktop and long for a laptop or netbook (waaay down on the Santa list). Report
Thanks for this blog Nancy:) I truly enjoyed reading for I identified with every word. My DH was gifted an I-pod that he never uses but, I do for only listening to music. I must check to see if I can use it in place of PC. However, I am home with the laptop ever ready and prefer it, anyway!! Report
I enjoyed this blog entry! I am probably about the same age as Nancy and computers were not in the workplace. We didn't make copies - we used carbon paper! I've moved along with the times somewhat but I'm still way behind and that is ok. I do not have a cell phone - I think I'm about the only person I know without one. I did, however, just buy a new computer so I could use the software I had to buy for a computer class I'm taking. In my personal life it might be ok to be tech-challenged but in the working world it is a definite negative. There are a few other gadgets I use: I recently got an MP3 player - anyone remember walking around with a portable cassette player? I also have a digital camera but wish now I had waited as they have bigger viewers and are cheaper. Plus, I must admit I don't know how to use all the bells and whistles on it.

Technology has made some wonderful improvements in our lives but there has been a heavy cost. People seem to be in more of a hurry; they are used to getting info in seconds so why not everything else. Cell phone use by drivers is deadly, stupid, selfish, and needs to be made impossible. It would be nice to see things slow down a bit but that isn't going to happen. Let's just keep technology secure and out of the hands of the government! Report
I have bought at least 2 of all the latest gadgets. The sad part is they were all for my boys. They are in college and truly need the updated technology. When they have their degrees I will then get them for me. I am looking at the kindle for myself. That looks pretty cool! Report
I would use a mobile ap every day, but I have a blackberry! Please make an ap for Blackberry Users, so we don't feel like outcasts for not having an iPhone! Report
I have a basic cell phone, and even that I only use on a pay-per-minute basis (and generally my minutes are in danger of expiry before they get used).
I'm just enough older than you, Nancy, that I wrote my dissertation on a typewriter; only put the final version on a computer because my advisor insisted.
Gadgets are fine, but the technology moves so fast that each becomes obsolete too early to make it financially worthwhile for me to invest in. I have a net book and that does me just fine for keeping connected with SP; it fits in my brief case. I like privacy more than being in touch all the time anyway.
Glad you are having fun with your Apple--new way to have your apple a day? Report
Other then my computer I have no desire to own a cell phone or other annoying distracting and addicting gadget. I did own a cell phone when I was working and needed it while traveling alone but due to illness and loss of extra income I canceled it. I know that some of these new tech gadgets are the rage and "in" but I think it had produced a society that is incredibly self-absorbed and rude. My answer is no! I'll stick to my trusty computer for anything I need to do online. :o) Report
Oh, gosh... people ask me why I'm so fast on a computer keyboard. EASY ! I took lessons on one of those bulky electric type writers ! aaa space sss space ddd space... you remember. I sure do ! LOL!

Anyway, I don't have an iphone, but I'm talking to Santa and asking for an ipod touch for Christmas. I LOVE technology. I won't say it's changed my life, but it's definitely had an impact.

Every time I read about the iPhone and iPod Touch SparkPeople apps, it makes me so sad that there is not one for Blackberry. If there were (will there be?), I would be able to track so much easier. I'm so jealous of my friend who has the SP app on his iPhone and watching the success he's had with the ease of tracking...

My cell phone just has the basics on it, which is all I need. I already have a computer at home, I don't feel the need to have access to the internet everywhere I go. Report
I don't not plan on getting an iPhone or iTouch (I already have an older iPod). My smart phone does have web access, but the SparkPeople mobile website is absolutely terrible. Report
Have an iphone, love the sparkpeople app. It keeps getting better which is great. The first version wasn't the greatest but this one...wonderful! Thanks sparkpeople!! Report
I'm still using Palm technology. I'm not a fan of the Apple company though their products may be fine, I dislike the arrogance.

If the SparkApp was available the Palm OS, I'd probably use it. When I got my first Palm, I was afraid it would end up being an expensive toy but it didn't. I use it for so much stuff. It is even internet capable with wifi or bluetooth.

Love my Palm! Report
Close email sign up
Our best articles, delivered Join the millions of people already subscribed Get a weekly summary of our diet and fitness advice We will never sell, rent or redistribute your email address.

Magic Link Sent!

A magic link was sent to Click on that link to login. The link is only good for 24 hours.