Monday, May 20, 2013
My youngest son and his girlfriend live in California. My husband and I live in Pennsylvania. Technology - the Internet specifically - has made it possible to "see" and "visit" with them weekly, sometimes more often. Also, the technology of the airlines makes it possible for us to go west to visit them once a year and for them to come east to visit us once a year. If we had to drive (technology) or go by train (technology) we'd probably only do that a few times in a lifetime. If we had to go by horse and buggy, we'd probably never see them again.
I can call family and friends at any time and find out how they're doing. Both of my sisters live in other states. Two of my best friends also live in other states. But via phone and Internet we can communicate and keep up with what is going on in each other's lives and our family's lives.
My other two children and their families live in our area but on opposite ends of the city. Again, we can call at any time to see how they're doing and what is going on.
These are things I LOVE about technology. But there's also a down side.
I absolutely can't stand it when I'm visiting with or having lunch with someone and they're distracted by phone calls or texts. An emergency is one thing, but most often it's just frivolous chit-chat. I either don't answer and let who ever is calling leave a message. Or I answer, tell them I'm visiting with someone and I'll call them later. I want the person or people I'm with to know that they're important to me. I'd like the same consideration in return.
As I was driving home from my daughter's house the other night, I saw two friends walking together. They both had a phone up to their ears talking to other people. Really?!!
A year and a half ago our computer system at work crashed. The back-up reports said we were backing up successfully, but when we went to retrieve the information there was nothing there. The good news was we GOT to start from scratch. The bad news was we HAD to start from scratch. It took six month, a typewriter, lots of technical support, and lots of overtime to get us up, running and back to some kind of normalcy. Obviously it's easier and much more efficient to be computerized - LOVE. But when something like this happens - HATE.
I remember my dad telling a story about how when he was young there weren't many cars around. He and some friends were playing and one of his friends got hit by a car. Cars didn't go very fast then and his friend wasn't hurt badly. But the kids' reactions were, "Did you see that car?" In dad's lifetime, he went from barely any cars to a man on the moon. Amazing!
When I think about how far we've come just in my lifetime, it's mind boggling. I remember the first cruise my husband and I took. We bought phone cards so we could call and check up on the kids. Phone cards were "high tech" at that time... better than a roll of quarters. Now everyone has cell phones. When I was in school, it was paper and pens. We were thrilled to send my two oldest children off to college with electric typewriters. My youngest son went to college with a desktop computer. NOW my eldest grandson has a laptop, an ipad, and a smart phone. I can't even begin to imagine what it will be like for my younger grandchildren.
Like I said, I have an ongoing love/hate relationship with technology. I guess that if you can keep it in perspective and not become obsessed with it, it can be a great tool for keeping in touch. I'm saying this as I'm typing on my laptop and have been on the computer for the last hour...