Tuesday, February 10, 2015

     


*The writer of this blog is 71. She researches online, texts, emails, has her own blog site, has published two books online and spends an inordinate amount of time on her devices. 

     


     Recently, my daughter sent me an article written by a 20-something about the effects of  no technology on past generations. As I am part of that past (ugh), I feel compelled to respond to the 20 questions posed in the article. No worries--only one or two questions at a time. Stay tuned for a daily response from a poor soul who grew up in the age when trending was the first televisions to inhabit the American household. I even remember gathering with my 8-year-old neighbor friends to sit smack dab in front of the black and white screen to watch Gene Autry complete with commercials by Gabby Hayes for Puffed Wheat “shot from guns.”

Questions one though three:

1.  How do people make and cancel plans with no I-phone, texting, emails? 

Answer:  The telephone.

     Yes, Virginia, we had telephones then. We picked them up, dialed the number, and we actually spoke to the person at the other end. We made our plans, and canceled them via the squawk box. Yup. Now those phones weighed about two pounds and had cords that stretched two stories for those of us who wanted “private” conversations. Our parents used to yell at us to get off the phone, and sometimes the “party line” would be talking at the same time, so we would have to hang up and wait for them to get off. Imagine--waiting. Waiting is a concept that the present generation cannot fathom. I am the world’s worst waiter, so I can understand, but guess what, waiting is a life skill. Waiting is an unknown span of time during which we must entertain or distract ourselves. In my day, we read a book, filed our nails, day-dreamed or talked to whoever was present. Our thumbs hung loose, and our bodies were not tensed up because our device has frozen.

  1. How did you know who was calling before you picked up the phone?

Answer:  We didn’t. 

     The element of surprise has vanished. If my boyfriend was calling three weeks after I feared he’d dumped me, I was relieved to learn that he had been sick with chickenpox and thrilled that he was calling to say he missed me. If Grandma was calling from out of town, she couldn’t see my eyes roll when she said, “Have you been a good girl?” 

     Granted, we didn’t have to worry about the obnoxious mean girl calling to harass us, and we didn’t have to deal with solicitations from the local fireman selling tickets to the Fireman’s Ball. Caller ID is a great invention, and we use it all the time. To be honest, I really hate the phone. If I’m going to talk for more than two minutes, I want to spend time face to face with that person, and not on Skype where my face looks like a zombie.

Conclusion:

     In the past, we were forced to learn patience, and we enjoyed the element of surprise. 
Am I the most patient person on the planet. Of course not, but I do love a surprise.

Stay tuned for questions 3-5.