1975 and Otis Johnson was living the life. He had a beautiful family including his beautiful twin nieces Tracy and Tanja who visited him often.
Unfortunately in the same year, Otis was found guilty for attempted murder of a police officer and was later sentenced to 44 years in prison.
Fast forward to 2015
Otis has served his jail term and is now out trying to pick up pieces of his life again. But this time, things are very different. He’s got no family, no friends and can’t seem to wrap his head around all of the technology that exists today.
Otis shares his first reaction on sighting mobile phones and earphones:
I got off at Times Square and I saw the new things that had happened. I saw that everybody or majority of the people were talking to themselves. Then I looked closer and they seemed to have things in their ears.
I don’t know those things.
I wondered if everyone had become CIAs or agents. That was all I could think of.
Some people are not even looking at where they’re going, trying to walk and talk on the phone at the same time.
That was amazing to me.
Otis’ story is both sad and enlightening at the same time. His experience shows the crucial impact of technology in our lives and how it’s becoming as basic as water. It is common knowledge that a month off everything related to technology is somewhat risky because you may come back and find yourself out of touch.
In recent years, amazing technologies have been developed – drones have replaced the delivery man; with wearable technology, you’re as good as your doctor in terms of diagnosis; cars are now being (3D) printed… e.t.c.
Imagine life for Otis now. A 70-year-old who can’t keep up with the innovations outside prison and is without family and friends. What a lonely life that is.
The government should create facilities for inmates to not only develop their vocational skills while serving time, but they should also be given the opportunity to get familiar with the most common technologies used outside of prison.