Oct 26, 2009

Will wonders never cease?

Whenever I wanted to illustrate to my children how things have changed I pull out the tried and true shockers….. we only had three stations on TV….. we didn’t have computers (or video games)….. we didn’t have ATMs, you had to go to the bank on Friday afternoons and get the cash you thought you needed and once that was gone you were out of luck…. They were awestruck at how we managed to survive in such a backwards reality.

We did manage and some would argue that it was better back then. But that’s only the old and curmudgeonly among us. Most agree that things get better as technology advances. It’s exponential and I find myself amazed at the immediacy and ease with which we can do things these days.

Within one day of my daughter’s wedding I had at my fingertips a myriad of digital images from all her Facebook friends. I have copied them all onto my computer and will send quite a few of them off by email to relatives that couldn’t come.

Her wedding photographer will be loading the professional photos to a website so that she can select them using a web browser instead of the proof books we used to get in the old days. Friends and family can select photos of their own using the same website

I had an IM chat with my daughter while she was in Spain on her honeymoon. She also emailed me some digital shots of the sights they are seeing, (like the one above). It was nice to hear from her and know that everything is OK. I know she’s a grown, married woman now but I’m still her mother. I reserve the right to worry about her until the day I leave this earth.

I recently purchased a TomTom and am happy to report that I can find the nearest Starbucks from anywhere in the United States. I sometimes wonder how we managed to get anywhere before we had mapquest and navi systems. I’m sure that they have freed up a lot of time for gas station attendants.

I finally got a Smart phone this weekend. All the conveniences found on my computer at home are now on my phone. It’s so very Start Trek recorder. The thing I am most excited about is to have google at my fingertips. Good for practical purposes like – How much do you tip a wedding photographer? ($40-$100 depending on how long he/she was there). Also good for the whimsical questions – Why do leaves turn colors?

The world is zipping along at such blinding speed it’s hard to imagine what will come next.


  1. Not too long ago I told my daughter to "flip it to one of the regular channels." Of course she didn't know I meant ABC, CBS or NBC?

  2. As far as "how did we survive without ____", the one I puzzle over on frequent Friday night husband pick-ups is "how did people ever pick anyone up at the airport without cell phones?". Of course it was easier pre-9/11 when you were actually allowed to loiter at the curb.

  3. I wonder daily what people in line at the grocery store did before they could call home and report on what was in the cart. I have happily accepted the digital age....I love my laptop, iPod, cute little teeny camera, Blackberry with a navigation thingy, Kindle and Nintendo DS. But....I still miss having actual printed photos of the kids and hand written notes from them.

  4. When i was a kid we had a pan system toilet...it sat there all week in a big drum and the dunny man picked it up weekly...we tore up sheets of newspaper for toilet paper...carried water from the copper to the bathtub - in a bucket - toasted our toast at the end of a long fork into the wood fire stove...had no TV at all till I was 12. Mum had no washing machine till I was 12. I am 55. I don't care how rough the toilet paper I buy is it can't hold a candle to the old newsprint we poisoned our bottoms with many things are good ---changes I mean

  5. I have kind of a love/hate relationship with the whole progress thing.
    I think those of us that remember how it used to be can appreciate things more than the youngsters that were born into it.
    I mean,every ten year old kid feels entitled to a having a cell phone.
    Back in the day,a teenager getting a phone in their room was a huge deal.

  6. I remember when gas station attendants not only had to give directions, but they had to pump the gas for you too.

  7. It IS hard to imagine what the future holds! I often think about what people from 100 years ago would think about our modern society with all its electronics and appliances. I personally could not live without my cell phone. :)

    My husband jokes, though, that the thing that folks from 100 years ago would be most shocked and mortified by would be that we now pay $4.00 for a cup of coffee. *grin*

  8. Breezy - Change is difficult. I continued calling our local drug store Arbor long after they became CVS.

    G - I remember back to when you could actually go into the terminal and meet people at the gate. I miss seeing the happy reunions.

    Rosemary - Grocery shopping is definitely an activity that benefits from having a cell phone handy. Also good for "Hey honey can you stop and get..... on your way home."

    MC - fascinating how things have changed and your story is made even more interesting because of the Australianisms like "Dunny Man".

    Sling - I know what you mean but I think every generation thinks that about the next one. "Why in my day we never had..... "

    JP - I wondered if anybody would pick up on that. We don't really have them anymore, do we? Just cashiers.

    MHP - Less than a week with my new Smart phone and I love it already. Even more ironic for me is that I spent over $100 for a navi system just so I can find the nearest $4 cup of coffee.