Yesterday, I went to buy my seventeen year old son a new phone. Just a few months ago, I purchased a 4G iPhone for myself and was blown away with all of the things it could do. My son selected a “Sky Rocket” and suddenly I felt like my phone was almost obsolete!! Now I’m not hear to plug the latest phone but instead I would ask that you indulge me while I take a walk…a long walk …down memory lane. Now this whole reflection phase started when my son looked to me after viewing the music applications on his new phone and said “boy has music come a long way.” He has no idea. It seems like only yesterday that we bought furniture to house our stereos and albums. Careful not to place them too close to a heating unit to prevent them from warping, the records would be stacked one right after another and finding a song was first having to go through all the vinyl to find the record. There was no search option or easy retrieval. And whoever thought we could put every song we ever purchased on one device. I remember thinking we were pretty hip when my mother carried out our eight track tapes in a mini suitcase only to be downsized later to cassettes. Remember cassettes? You would be listening to the latest and greatest only to eject them from the cassette player to have the tape get caught in the machine. You would them spend the next thirty minutes wheeling it all back in.
But let’s get back to the cell phone…it would be easy to shrug it off to the younger generation saying that they have completely lost their minds about this whole cell phone hysteria but I must admit I have often panicked when leaving the house without my phone…what if someone couldn’t email me, text me, Facebook me, MySpace me, Linkedin me…let alone not call me. Remember when you would wait for a doctor’s appointment and be forced to read a magazine…not anymore…we can purchase something, read, answer mail, talk to someone without using words, check the weather, make a friend with someone you don’t even know, and read the philosophy of a friend of a friend on how their little Johnny pooped on the big boy potty. Times have changed.
Remember when your parents only had one car, summer camp was a bat, a ball and a warning to be home for lunch, dinner required more than a five-minute run in the microwave, you watched television and saw all the new products on the market before going to the supermarket, Pong…a game that never included killing people or calling women whores but you would amuse you for hours, and hold onto your seat….do you remember the library and the Dewy Decimal System?
Sure I love the conveinces of today but are we really better off? Divorce rates are higher, you are constantly trying to determine the tone of a text message, your political views, religious beliefs, and your personal pictures are now available for some creep in Iowa to view. And, how are kids expected to sneak off now when they can’t really tell their parents they are going to the library. In fact, with a push of a button, I can locate my kids by their phone.
I am sure my children will have their own memories and funny stories to tell thirty years from now. Technology will of course continue to grow and we will continue to adjust to the easier more comfortable lifestyle. But I have to tell you…I miss watching my mom make cookies with flour and sugar and not just cutting the plastic wrapper off. I miss the sound of a worn diamond needle scratching across the vinyl record of Journey, Styxx, or Boston. I miss the memories of my dad cursing and fussing looking for quarters while driving down the Parkway to visit my grandparents…who could of guessed that a square block would allow us to sail right through the tolls. I really can’t believe the 80’s were thirty years ago!! Yeah things have really improved…or have they just changed? Kisses Bellas!!