The Blessings of Instant Connection: Thanks, Technology!
If you’re “of a certain age,” like me—“of a certain age” is so much more pleasant than “old bagger,” isn’t it?—have you ever thought about how your life might be different if you grew up with today’s technology?
When my husband and I moved from Nevada to Georgia in 1985, my daily chats with my mother screeched to a halt. There weren’t cell phones in every pocket back then. There was no e-mail, no Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram. Prodigy wasn’t available yet, and there was certainly no option to Skype. There were, however, ridiculously high costs for long distance calls. For a young married couple trying to make ends meet, long distance charges were, unfortunately, one of the few monthly bills we could control. We couldn’t do without electricity or water; couldn’t opt out of food, formula, diapers, or daycare. Cutting down on those long distance calls was a monetary necessity. The result was that we didn’t call our parents even half as much as we wished. I look back and it hurts my heart that I missed out on the benefit our kids now enjoy: instant connection.
A call to my parents took serious planning. We were in different time zones, and three hours is a stumbling block. Calling during the least expensive hours (after 7 p.m. during the week or on Saturdays and Sundays) was a must, but between work schedules and weekend to-do lists, theirs and ours—especially with our three young kids at home and the accompanying activities—we missed each other more often than not and heard each other’s voices most frequently from the answer machine: “Just called to say hi. Sorry we missed you. We’ll try again this weekend. Love you, bye!” And by the time we chatted, the exciting thing I couldn’t wait to tell them was days or sometimes even weeks old and no longer so exciting.
By contrast, my kids are in frequent contact. My daughters call and speak to me every day, sometimes multiple times a day. We share texts and Facebook tags. Technology has made it easy to “reach out and touch someone” with little more than a thought, no planning required.
Just for fun, I hunted down a few old telephone commercials. See if you remember any of these:
What piece of technology do you most regret not having when you were a younger? How would having it have changed your life?
See you next week for more of the Naked Truth. Until then, have a great week!
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