Spring is in the air.
This past weekend I celebrated my birthday, and that’s always a time in my life for me to reflect.
Over the course of my life time I have seen many changes with technology. I grew up with a black and white TV that used rabbit ears to receive programming, and a record player that played 33, 45 and even 78’s. Now people have flat-screen TV’s as big as a wall, iPods, Dolby surround sound system, and more. It’s sometimes hard to image the changes.
We used to spend ours riding our bikes, hiking the side of the Hamilton Escarpment, and playing baseball or something in the park, knowing the one rule we had was to be home by the time the street lights came on. We didn’t have cell phones to check in every 30 minutes or so, but our parents always seemed to know where we were and what we were up to. I remember coming home after being somewhere I wasn’t supposed to go and being asked about what I did that day. I tried to answer as “accurately” as possible without divulging too much, but eventually the questions become so directed that I knew we were caught.
Nowadays if you want to know where most kids are, they’re in front of their TV, computer, or gaming console, or listening to their iPod. Spending time outside of the house consists of going to the mall and hanging out. Parents can no longer let kids just take off and do their own thing.
Even what adults do is different now. A couple of decades ago you’d never think of going to dinner with your telephone. If you were sitting down to a family dinner and the phone rang, you ignored it. There weren’t answering machines or call display so you would know who to call the moment you had finished wolfing down your meal. If it was important they would call back; if it wasn’t, you didn’t miss anything.
Today a family dinner consists of children and parents all at the table with their phones sitting in front of them. People don’t think twice about answering a text message or a call in the middle of a meal. How about those that go to restaurants and not only use their phones but bring their DS’s with them? What has happened to conversation at the table? It’s been replaced with modern technology.
Our circle of friends is no longer those within a 10 mile radius where you meet at the local bowling alley or community center. Our friends extend across the globe. We think nothing of spending hours talking to a person that we’ve never met in person but who has some common interests. We look forward to that communication whether it’s by email, messenger, phone, text, or through a gaming console.The world seems like a much smaller place than when I was small.
I have grown to enjoy what life has come to offer us. I love the ability to spread my wings and meet many diverse people from so many different places. Yet, I miss the simple things of being able to sit and visit with people without the distractions caused by cell phones, gaming devices and iPods. I think this year is a year for me to incorporate days of technology silence into the hectic life of the technical buzz. I’m going to take time to pull out a board game of Scrabble or Yahtzee instead of just playing online. I’m going to go out with friends and we’re going to enforce a policy of communication-technology silence.
So if you’re ever in the neighborhood and want to relax and forget about the world of technology, just let me know. I’d love to join you for a visit, or a game, or a relaxing meal, when we can talk to one another instead of “everyone else.”