Friday, June 27, 2008
Birthday Shout-Out & my Ode to Technology
I couldn't very well post today without wishing my sweetie a happy 31st birthday. I give him a hard time about being "into his 30's," yet every year as I watch him get a year older, thinking wow - he's getting old - I inevitably catch up to him in the next couple years and think hey, maybe it's not that old. Funny how that works. Anyway, love, hope you have a wonderful one. All your girls at home love and adore you.
Now, I have a list of random things I've wanted to post about, so here's one of them: My "Ode to Technology" or maybe "A few things to make your kids realize how deprived you were growing up" or "Am I that old?" (this will be a good one for my hubby)
I've just been thinking about all the technology that has come about or at least become mainstream in MY lifetime. Not the lightbulb, or the automobile, but nonetheless, these are things I don't think any of us would live without. So, here are a few things I'm so thankful for*
Obviously you wouldn't be reading this right now wihout the web. My first recollection was my junior or senior year in high school & we got on it in the computer lab. I really had no idea what it was, but it seemed neat. Then, in college, chat rooms and e-mail and registering for classes online - wow! Now, if my speed is anything less than cable internet, I have to take lots of deep breaths to keep my patience.
Here's what I think a future conversation with my kids might sound like-
kid: "So... if you didn't have the internet, how did you do your research papers?"
Me: "Well, we had to go to the library for hours at a time and look at all these books called ENCYLOPEDIAs and actually photocopy articles from magazines. Pretty crazy, huh?"
kid: "Yeah. So without the internet, you didn't even have e-mail?"
Me: "Nope. Makes treking to school in 5 feet of snow uphill both ways look pretty weak, doesn't it? We actually had to mail letters or more popularly, talk on our CORDED phones if we wanted to contact someone"
Wow. Aren't they amazing? We got our first in 2002. We had a 35mm underwater camera for Hawaii this past May and I kept checking the back after I had taken the picture to see if it looked good. I am SO used to my digital! Digital cameras have completely transformed picture-taking. I can just snap away (and do) usually taking over 150 pictures a month! My kids are probably going to be overloaded with all the pictures I have of them -especially the everyday kind, but they are my favorite and I'm so thankful we can all be so carefree with our snapshots, that we can check them after we take them, and that we can SHARE THEM (this is a subtle hint to family & friends that never share their pictures)
So, here's another future conversation:
kid: "So, didn't you guys have cell phones growing up?"
Me: "Not really. The first ones came out when I was in college and they were huge box-y looking things."
kid: "So, what did you do if you were like at the mall and needed to be picked up?"
Me: We actually had to find a pay phone (do those exist anymore?) and put money into it and call our parents."
kid: Bummer! (OK -maybe it probably won't be that word, but you get the idea)!
We have gone through some hard times financially in the past - and we have lived without cell phones before - but we would probably budget better in our food department than live without our cell phones.
Ok, so they were around when I grew up, but to compare a computer in the early 90s with the ones we have today would be pretty rediculous. Back then, I used the word processor and played silly games like pong and frogger. Now, they have computers with a TERAbyte of hard drive space. Amazing! I know by the time I have the technology conversation with my kid, a terabyte will be small, but wow. It sure is amazing.
So, there you have it. It really makes me feel as though I've lived in another time when I think about all the things I grew up "living without." Maybe they will re-name the period I grew up in the "semi-dark" ages. And I will be able to tell my kid how lucky they are to have the things they have just like my dad would tell me about writing his 100+ page thesis paper on a typewriter. And don't get me wrong - I had a fabulous childhood "living without," but I can't wait to see what they come up with next.
*WHEN THEY WORK - funny how when they don't, they just make our lives more difficult