I was reading an article the other day about how the world will be in 2050. It talked of cars that fly,houses on other planets and even robotic medical care! Hmmm. Robots providing care. I am not sure how I feel about that. Call me old school, but I think sometimes advanced technology takes us down the wrong road, or maybe I was just born in the wrong era. Follow me here.
Growing up in the late sixties, I played outside until dark with my friends. We rode bicycles, played catch, made sand castles in the sand and colored in coloring books. I learned social interaction by playing with others. I didn’t text message, instant message, nor video chat.
As a young woman in college, I wrote letters, using pen and paper, to my parents, expressing my homesickness in each note home. I remember asking my friends for a “stamp” so I could mail it. I can recall receiving letters back from my dad, and the excitement I felt the moment I saw the envelope addressed to me in his handwriting. We didn’t email.
I remember as a young adult of mailing pictures back and forth to my siblings, taken with an instant camera. We shared our lives through the lens of a camera. My brothers would mail me pictures of places they were stationed in the military; far away lands I had only read about. I mailed back pictures of the new “boy” I was dating. We never video conferenced.
I can recall sitting at a “word processor” which replaced my old typewriter, trying to figure out how to put together my resume. The funny machine seemed odd to me, so unlike the machine I had used in typing class. There was no spell check, grammar check or “pre-filled”sections. It required me to think, use a dictionary and put my best effort forward with each stroke of the key. There were no “online applications”.
So times have changed and technology has advanced just in my short 40 something years of life. I no longer write letters. I email. I don’t call my friends, I instant message them. I don’t even own a camera, I use my iphone to capture moments. I shoot the pictures to a social media site that allows my siblings, friends and family to “follow” my life. I rarely talk to childhood friends, rather I read their tweets. I no longer call my tennis partners for a game, but rather we play Xbox live, sitting miles apart , yet engaging through our television sets.
Sometimes at work, an elderly man will ask me if I have talked to his son in California. Without thinking, I reply, ” Yes, he and I went back and forth yesterday “by email” . The older gentleman looks at me with a confused look as he repeats’, ” By what? email? But did you talk to my son yesterday?” I often wonder what the world was like back in his day, the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s…..I would think it would be something along the lines of The Walton’s…..
My world back in the day was about human contact, human interaction….nothing modern,fancy or advanced. People drove into town, talked to each other on the street, sat down at the dinner table at night, held hands to pray, and talked. TV was limited to three stations that signed off the air at 10 PM as Walter Cronkite bid us all a goodnight. We hugged each other in person, not using (((hugs))) imitations…….
We have come a really long way since those days……..or have we?