Sunday, March 15, 2009

Give it a minute, it's going to space!

A good friend sent me a YouTube clip of some guy on a late show program. Sorry but the fine details escape me at this time. Anyhowdywho, the guy was commenting on how impatient, ungrateful and unimpressed we, as people, are.

We live in the ME! ME! ME! instant gratification life. Everything is convenient, everything is NOW.

We live in a time of amazing technological advancements and we can't appreciate the wonder that surrounds us and contributes to our life.

Think back 20 years and try to remember what our everyday goings on were like...

Telephones.... 20 years ago, your phone was not only attached to the wall by a cord but the handset was also attached to the base by.a.cord! You were limited to how far away you could wander by the stretchiness of said cord. I remember many conversations in the hallway closet for privacy. God help ya if you dropped the handset because it would go shooting through the room like a rocket. DUCK!

You had to actually DIAL the number on a big round disc. You hated people with zero's in their number. There was no such thing as call waiting, call display, call forwarding. The phone would ring, you'd take your chances and answer it and if you weren't home, Oh well...they'd call back later. If you were already on the phone your caller would hear a BUSY SIGNAL *GASP*

I remember my first cell phone. It was HUGE! And ridiculously expensive. And all it did was make phone calls. But only if you were standing directly beneath the cell tower.

There was no texting. If you wanted to tell your friend something, you'd pass them a note in class. Or wait until you got home and phoned them {if the line wasn't already busy}

Got a funny picture of your friends barfing up jello shots at the weekend bush-party?
Gee you have to finish the roll of film, take it in for developing and wait a few days to pick it up. No posting to Facebook before the barf stops steaming.

You see people getting pissed off because they haven't got a crystal clear signal when speaking with someone or it take a few minutes to receive a text or message. WTF? You are sitting on a beach in Mexico talking and sending pictures to your Aunt in Cleveland. The damn signal is going to space, give it a minute!

TV...300 channels and nothing on. 20 years ago there were 13 channels. You had to actually walk up to the TV to turn the channel or adjust the volume. If you weren't home to watch a show, you'd miss it and wait for the re-run in about 6 months. TV's were pretty in their fancy consoles and the 12" took up very little room. If you were lucky, you wouldn't have to make geeky Cousin Lily hold the rabbit ears so you could get a good signal for Hockey Night in Canada.

Music...Remember 8 tracks {ok so maybe thats more than 20 years ago}. I sure remember getting my first portable ghetto blaster. It had 2 tape decks so I could tape from one to the other. Now you can download THOUSANDS of songs and video's to Ipods that fit into your pocket.

Computers/Internet. I remember my first computer. It was a Texas Instruments. I'd spend HOURS typing in code to make a coloured blob move across the black screen.
Only big important people had a computer. And only the geeks and freaks took computers in high school. If you had to type something out, you'd borrow your moms typewriter.

Video Games. Ugh remember when Asteroids was Da Bomb? Could you have ever imagined playing something like Wii? I think not.

Screw Google, you want information? You had to go to the library and look it up in the encyclopedia. People actually had to think for themselves.

To communicate with your family overseas you typed a letter and dropped it in the mail. It got there 10 days later.

Air travel. We love to bitch about air travel. Delays, small seats, cheap meals, stinky bathrooms etc. But think about it for a minute.. You are sitting on a chair 40,000 feet in the air and traveling at 400MPH. What a bloody fantastic thing! And all you can think about is that your blanket is scratchy and you've already seen the in-flight movie.

I worry that too much technology is a bad thing. People have stopped thinking for themselves, they've stopped communicating face-to-face, they are fat and out of shape.

If we, God-forbid, had a catastrophic event that forced us to go back to living off the land {think Little House on The Prairie} How many of Generation Me would survive?

Would they be able to catch fish? Hunt game? Build shelter? Start a fire? Milk a cow?
Grow food?

We've done and seen amazing things with technology but what happens when the plug gets pulled and the world goes dark?


  1. Great post!!!

    I tell my little guy all the time that cartoons weren't always on all day long...I remember saturday morning cartoons...the rest of the day was boring lol.

  2. WOW! So true.

    I even had the 13-channel TV that I had to manually turn by the knob, I had the big bag cell phone that was "only to be used for emergency situations," and trying to stretch the phone cord each time I talked, just to gain a little more footage away from the parents.

    Great memories.

  3. Well thanks a lot for making me feel so flippin' old! GAH! And then I felt depression about the world going dark! I need another mimosa now. Care to join me?

  4. What a great post. You made me stop and think. I had flashbacks of standing near the phone while talking to 'the love of my life' (whoever that was in 8th long ago!) I always say, wait I will google it when someone asks a question that we dont know the answer to.
    thanks for the reality check.

  5. I just read a book (Life As We Knew It - really good!) about life after a global catastrophe that shuts down all phones, electricity, cars, everything. It really made me think. I would be in pretty bad shape if I had to survive without all of life's modern conveniences, but I could do it. It's weird to imagine that when I went away to college in 1992, I took a typewriter and no one had computers. It is amazing how far we've come in such a short time.

  6. I agree with impulsive addict, don't take away the booze - oh wait, that's been around forever and will be around forever. But you make a good point. The people that know nothing about sustainable living that live in their suburban houses will be forced to eat their pets and possums while the rest of us will be just fine.

    You've been added to my notable blogs of the week. I love this post!