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22 August 2012

How times have changed...

Social media has a huge effect on life today. Whether it's Facebook telling you what our glorious Olympic athletes are up to with their month off or celebrities modestly posting about themselves on Twitter, whether we like it or not social technology is having a bigger impact on people's lives than ever before and bringing people from all over the planet closer together.

There is one particularly exciting adventure that social networking has had an enormous role in connecting us to.  In the wake of Olympic fever it has, in my opinion, been greatly underestimated.

The story begins way back on July 20th 1969 as families around the globe sat in their living rooms, gathered round their tiny black and white TV's waiting for the moment when Apollo 11 carrying Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins would land on the moon. This event, at the time, was the most highly televised moment in history.

On Earth: The moment Apollo 11 landed
On The Moon: The moment Apollo 11 landed 
Nowadays sitting in the living room with your family watching in awe as the biggest moments in history unfold is a thing of the past. The accessibility offered to the world by social media and social technology has made it easy to see the greatest moments of our time happen from a wide range of devices, at any time of day, on the move and in an enormous range of geographic locations.Below are a few examples of how recently some of the greatest pioneering feats of human endeavour have been made readily available to a global audience.

Last week Felix Baumgartner base-jumped from the edge of space back down to earth and you could watch it live on Facebook.

Three weeks ago our world finally landed a fully functioning robot on another world, this robot "Curiosity" tweets photos ever day from 34.8 million miles away back to the NASA app on your phone.

And using the NASA app on my own phone, I can live stream the many cameras on board the International Space Station which is currently in orbit around our planet.

Its amazing how technology and social networking has opened the doors for us to gain access to more information than we could ever have imagined. And all at the click of a button or a swipe of the finger. If you consider the what the reaction of that family huddled around a low resolution, grainy, black and white television back in 1969, may have been to you walking in with a retina display iPad showing a full HD, astronauts-eye-view of the moon landing. Then, for kicks, pulling out a mobile phone that is streaming pictures from 34.8 million miles away. Surprise is probably not the word...

How times have changed.

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