On Sunday, Teenage Daughter was telling me and her brothers that she knows of a family that has one television and no cable. Apparently, they don’t have a computer or any other electrical distractions either. There was a pause in the backseat for deep reflection on this revelation when Eldest Son finally said, “That’s flipping Amish.” “Yeah”, she added, “Isn’t that sad?”
Then, the library’s Internet lab was closed this morning because the air conditioning was on the fritz. You just wouldn’t believe how distressed patrons look when they can’t use their favorite computer, never mind that we have other options here such as 50 other computers located throughout the building. It’s all about what you’re used to.
It all makes me think how addicted to technology we’re becoming and I’m not sure how I feel about it.
It all started so innocently. First, we got a cord free phone. No more need to be tied to the kitchen while talking on the phone – feel free to roam while gabbing away. Then, there was call waiting and caller id. We all though that it was so amazing. Suddenly, the social world of telecommunications was your oyster.
Now there are cell phones everywhere, including places they ought not to be. Teenage Daughter is the proud owner of a Verizon NV phone, allowing her to type her texts easily with a keyboard. About 100+ times a day thanks to our unlimited plan. Calling someone is so 15 minutes ago.
Then there’s other electronics to consider, such as computers and electronic gaming. I remember sending my very first email. What a momentous day. I had a new online existence. Apparently, texting has taken over that task for the younger crowd because my teens tell me that they never check their emails.
In Eldest Son’s case, that’s because he’s too busy playing World of Warcraft (also known as World of Warcrack) with 9 million other people, including more than a few middle aged men living in their parents’ basement. Kind of like Dungeons and Dragons on a massive scale online. He’s definitely moved up from his Game Boy days. The mind reels.
On the other hand, where would I be if I couldn’t post to my blog or locate my kids quickly with their cell phones? I also like to keep in touch with people via email and I do all sorts of other tasks online. Technology does indeed have its place.
Every now and then I do get nostalgic and remember when computers took up half of a room and phones stayed in one place and had rotary dials. I told youngest son that we didn’t have personal computers when I was growing up and the only electronic game around was Atari Pong. He thought about this for a while and then said, “Did you have washers and dryers or were they not invented then either?”
See what I mean? It’s a whole new world out there and it all runs on electricity.