Chicagoans take advantage of portable electronics for entertainment while in commute on the ‘L’.
As rapid advances in technology rises society becomes increasingly dependent on the convenience of portable electronics in their everyday lives, urges Stephen Opoku, Computer Information Systems Technician for Steve’s Computer Rescue. “Information superhighway or the internet is one of these advances that is constantly changing. Faster, cheaper and accessibility are the results of the rapid advancement in technology.”
Technology continues to excite us with its never-ending changes which instantly enable people to be informed on what is going on around the world as well as entertained from anywhere with just a click of a button.
The ‘L’ (CTA) and Technology
Everyday thousands of Chicagoans commute to work, school, etc. on one or more of Chicago’s 8-‘L’ routes—Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Purple, Orange, Brown, and Pink—as a cheaper, more convenient alternative of traveling in one the country’s heaviest bumper-to-bumper traffic cities.
Although much time is spent in commute for the average Chicagoan those who opt to use the ‘L’ are not limited to what they can do to entertain themselves due to advances in technology making traveling a less painstaking experience. “People are relying more and more on technology,” says Leon Hegwood, a 7-year Rapid Transit Operator for the CTA. “I’d say about 8 out of every 10 people I see riding the ‘L’ have some sort of portable electronic.”
“Due to the popularity of the internet and constant demand for information, a new challenge of making sure that the internet and it’s contents; information and entertainment, is always accessible and available to the information hungry consumers,” says Opoku.
Cell phones are hands down the most popular electronic used on the ‘L’ whether it is being used to make a call, listen to music on Pandora, check email, text, or just surf the web; its multifunctional capabilities makes it a very popular choice. “Over the past 7-years, I’ve witnessed cell phones become an epidemic,” says Hegwood.
“Wireless providers are working together with mobile phone makers to deliver faster and powerful devices that are able to access the internet anywhere at a broadband rate in order to deliver information and entertainment”, says Opoku.
The iPhone with its surplus of applications that enable Chicago sports fans to stay informed on the latest stats for their favorite team or Google maps that can help a tourist find exactly where they need to go. There is an application for just about anything a person would use a home computer for.
The most recognized mobile brands include:
MP3 players are next in line in popularity on the ‘L’ simply because it enables people to escape from their surroundings. Lets face it, the ‘L’ is not the most desired place to be, however, being able to listen to your favorite songs or catch up on a podcast can help make a commute that much more bearable.
Selicia Walker, a student at the Chicago Art Institute says, “I ride the ‘L’ 3 days a week; approximately 2 hours a day. I listen to my iPod to and from school. It helps the train ride feel quicker and allows me to relax.”
Popular mp3 players include:
An e-book is an up-and-coming portable electronic device that is designed to read digital books and periodicals. They are generally light weight, deflect bright lighting, and have a long battery life making it a great device for on the go reading. Books as well as periodicals can be heavy and bulky with print that may be too small, however, with an e-reader no matter how many pages to the book the weight remains the same and the text can be enlarged to the readers’ desired size.
E-books are a good investment for many Chicago students who commute to school on the ‘L’ and want to get a head start on homework.
Today’s society has the freedom to be informed on what is going on in the world from almost anywhere. People are no longer confined to their home televisions, computers, or stereos to receive news or to be entertained. Chicago and many other cities are moving towards having a Wi-Fi access all across, suggests, Opoku. “This means that you can have access to all and any information on demand from your portable devices. The ‘L’ and technology go hand-in-hand as both are quick, convenient, inexpensive, and help keep people connected everyday.