The Technology Take-Over: What Happened to the Good O'l Days?
By Stefanie Wheeler
When I was younger I distinctly remember a time when my mom told me she didn't have a colored television growing up and that when she was really young, she had no television at all. As a ten year old with the entire TV Guide memorized and a pretty mild attitude, I was disgusted by the 1950's lack of “civilization.” Every day after school in the fifth grade I watched Timon and Pumba, followed by The Torkelsons and then Clarissa Explains It All. I used to wonder, “Wow, what in the world did mom and dad do without TV? My life rocks.”
About a year later my dad refurbished an old computer from work and put it in my room for me to use…all by myself. You can just imagine how cool I felt, but that's when I had to hear the even more devastating news that in addition to not having a TV, my parents also didn't have computers growing up. I had enough of their Stone Age stories about the “good o'l days” and decided to show them how tech savvy I was for a little chump. At this time, the internet was still dial-up but I felt like a major hot shot showing my mom and dad how to download songs off Napster and how hit up my friends on ICQ. Granted, I could have probably had my mom drive me to the store to buy the CD quicker than it downloaded, and my only friends on ICQ were my sister and my cousin, but I knew I just couldn't have survived without these things. Who could?
Fast forward ten years… where technology has nearly taken over our world. In this digital age, I think society needs a little tech therapy. What happened to letters? What happened to phone calls? What happened to seeing people face to face as opposed to on skype? What happened to e-mails that you didn't need a decoder to figure out what the heck certain acronyms and abbreviations stood for? What happened to dinners where blackberries weren't on the table vibrating every three minutes because someone “wrote on your wall”? What happened to hanging out with someone who was not having a completely different conversation with a completely different person via text? What happened to eating dinner when it wasn't ordered from your seamlessweb application on your smart phone?
Don't get me wrong, I'm one of the guiltiest when it comes to having a devoted relationship with technology, but sometimes I want to chuck my blackberry and laptop right out the window and take it back a few decades. I know we've come extremely far and that all of our toys and gadgets have become an accessory to our day to day lives, but I think we should all challenge ourselves sometimes. Take some time away from texting, playing Angry Birds (iphone reference), tweeting with every move we make, and instead enjoy life the Stone Age way with great company and good stories.