Best Of 2012: Technology

As 2012 quickly comes to an end, we're looking back at what stood out across various industries this year. Today, Camilla, one our Youth Advisory Board members, discusses some of the biggest achievements in the tech space.

Best Of 2012: Technolgoy

This year, we’ve been met by some incredible novel pieces of technology, and stellar improvements on already-existent technology. Incidentally, we’ve also been advertised (often successfully) a fair number of less-than-impressive techie goodies, but we won’t talk about that today. For me, at any rate, the best of this year’s technology spans two separate realms of possibility: the maybe-if-I-save-up variety, and the completely unpurchaseable but nonetheless faint-worthy innovations. In these categories, I’ve picked out a couple highlights.

So, without further ado:

Your world: Roku Streaming Stick

RokuDoesn’t ring a bell? That’s because this is the present you want, but didn’t even know how much you wanted it (but, now you know, you’re going to pretend you’ve always wanted one). Basically, it looks like a USB stick you plug into your TV. Unlike a USB stick though, this tiny object provides you with extensive access to online streaming episodes on Netflix and likeminded sites — and it’s (relatively) affordable. “Stream to your heart’s content,” their website proclaims.3D printing

Out of this world: 3D printing.

Obviously, this is not a viable Christmas present, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an ‘I always WISHED this existed’ sort of dream. It’s exactly what it sounds like: you print in three dimension. It's of incredible use to architects, and apparently also in constructing dental crowns. For those of you who don’t build buildings or teeth, the options seem limitless now but after a week of printing origami-like designs, I’m not sure this gift…


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The Newsfeed

“I’ve been using Apple products for years. Although Samsung technology is probably better, I am so used to Apple that I would probably not switch.”—Female, 18, PA

Major financial institutions are still trying to figure Millennials out, so Prudential conducted a survey to gather some much-needed intel. The Great Recession-era adults are pessimistic about their financial futures: 79% don’t believe that “comfortable retirement” will be a possibility when they’re in their 80s and 70% think “it’s impossible” to save the recommended annual amount to make it possible. Ypulse found that saving for retirement falls behind other, more imminent financial priorities. (MediaPost)

Teens are rallying around the issue of gun control in increasing numbers. A recent survey from Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords (conducted by Ypulse) found that gun violence prevention is the top issue young people expect the candidate they vote for in 2018 to take a stance on. Six in ten 15-18-year-olds said they’re “’passionate’ about reducing gun violence” and 72% of 15-30-year-olds agreed that politicians who don’t do more to combat gun violence shouldn’t be re-elected. (Mic)

Need proof that the future of STEM is female? Just take a look at children’s drawings. From 1966-1977, researchers asked 5,000 students to draw a scientist, and about 99% of them drew men. Fast forward the same study to 1985-2016, and one-third of children drew a female scientist. But we still have a long way to go to break gender stereotypes: 14-15-year-olds “drew more male than female scientists by an average ratio of 4-to1." (CNN)

Digital consignment store ThredUp wants to open 100 IRL stores. They’re expanding their physical footprint from two to ten stores this year, with more planned for the future. Why are online-only brands increasingly building bricks-and-mortar? (Think: Glossier, Everlane, even ThredUp competitors like The RealReal). Creating experiences with guests from a common check-out up to an in-store event builds “trust” and “awareness.” (Glossy)

Are Instagram and dating apps “crippling” relationships? Psychotherapist Esther Perel thinks so. Ypulse data shows 27% of 18-35-year-olds have used a dating app, 12% use them weekly, and nearly eight in ten use other social media apps weekly or more often. All that time scrolling past potential partners creates a new kind of loneliness: Instead of feeling “socially isolated,” they’re “experiencing a loss of trust and a loss of capital while you are next to the person with whom you’re not supposed to be lonely.” (Recode)

“We should be nice and good to others because we would want the same in return, being rude to someone doesn't make the situation any better.”—Female, 21, MI

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