Change happens and you can either marvel at it and participate or you can live life looking in the rear view mirror. I try to resist the temptation to only listen to music from my mis-spent youth and claim that the world is going to hell because it is changing too fast for me. It is changing fast for everyone and I choose to get on board. There are marvelous advances being made in technology, health care, entertainment and communications every day and we are right on the front line.
Sometimes changes come along that are worth noting:
We had our home phone taken out today. The batteries had been dead on the cordless phone for about a half of a year and no one ever thought it was important enough to go change them. If the home phone rings, no one wants to answer it anyway, it is probably just someone who wants money. We finally decided to let the politicians, poll takers, school districts and any other solicitors do a little more work if they want to find us. We cancelled the service, after all, we all have our own cell phones. We are without a “land line”.
Can you imagine that? The phone used to be the family’s connection to the world, in fact, when I was young, we had a party line, our phone line was the neighborhood’s connection to the world. You called our house, not an individual and you talked to whomever answered. Everyone knew who called, especially the neighbors, and there were often awkward moments, “Why did a Girl call, Rick?” (Or worse, “Hello Mrs. Johnson, this is Rick, can I speak to Susan?) The phone was a miracle and a curse, it was as much a part of our home as the refrigerator.
Can you imagine this, we used to argue over who would answer the phone, “No you get it, I got it last time.” Today, we actually become anxious if we leave our cell phone in the car when we go into the grocery store. I spent the night programming my new gadget, an I Phone 4s, adding all kinds of features and applications to a device that is the most technologically advanced instrument in the world, something that is designed to aid in my communications with… other people. (Talk about a let down, we have all this technology just so we can call to make an appointment to have the cable guy show up sometime between now and Thursday). We are all individually plugged in now, simultaneously more connected and more isolated. We go to dinner with people and ignore each other while we text OTHER people, the ones who aren’t with us, the ones who aren’t there to be ignored in person. It seems, if you really want to enjoy an evening out with friends, you should be somewhere else.
My new phone can find my car in the a large parking lot, it can tell me how far I walk in the morning, tell me which planets I see in the night sky, it can dial my friends just by me asking, it can help me, in general to be more self sufficient and independent. And it makes me a little nostalgic to think that my Grandchildren may never know the anticipation and surprise of the phrase:
“Here, it’s for you.”