Thursday, January 6, 2011

I read an interesting article entitled "Things Babies Born in 2011 Will Never Know". It's fascinating to see how things change even in the span of a couple of years. I remember being in awe of my mom's old 8-track player and 8mm family movies (on big reels!) as I played my fancy new tapes and cds and watched Beta movies. And now you would be hard-pressed to find a VHS movie as even DVDs are being phased out. I was not surprised to discover that I'm in the minority (10%) of Americans who still have dial-up internet and therefore still have a home phone line. I still don't have a smartphone (although I try, unsuccessfully, to stop lusting after one).

It's bittersweet to watch the time pass. I love the way that technology can connect us all, and yet, something is lost in this new "community". I've reached the age and stage that I sometimes feel like an "old fogey", a little intimidated by it all. I remember being frustrated that my mom couldn't handle the simplest technological feats (she still hasn't hooked up the DVD player we got her LAST Christmas), but now I'm the one not quite sure how to venture into the new world of devices and online communities. I hate to have to ask for help, especially as my son at 3 years old had to reset my cell phone for me, and my daughter, at 2, is fluent on iPod touch applications (with no instruction by me).

What will you miss from the list, and what are you excited about?


  1. Oh, excellent question. To be honest, I think most of the things on this list are outdated already - and I'm not sad about most of that either (seriously, who is going to miss the fax machine?). And those that aren't obsolete are getting there. Some not fast enough for me, honestly - if my house could be entirely wireless, I would think I had gone to heaven already!

    Still, there are things here I would/will/do definitely miss:

    - The separation of work and home - I do have a smart phone, but my work email is NOT on it. I don't want it to be. I like having my worlds separate. I do have my work IM set to text me if someone sends me an IM and I'm not online, and all my co-workers have my number and so can call or text me anytime they need me. But my office is still blissfully intent on leaving people alone during private life time.

    - Encyclopedias - just because I'm a book nerd. I know they're already way outdated, but there's still something awesomely sentimental about them. If I ever have the space and opportunity to rescue a set that someone is dumping out, I probably will - just so it looks pretty in my house.

    - One picture to a frame - seriously? I'm not sure this really will go away. Digital photo frames are cool - I like mine - but it's not as lovely and heart-warming as the regular framed prints.

    - Hand-written letters - I have one friend I still write letters with, and I treasure that tradition. And handwriting as a whole is something that I DO think is very valuable regardless of technological advances, and I was apalled to find out kids spend so little time learning to write anymore.

    - Talking to one person at a time - absolute pet peeve of mine is someone answering their phone or texting someone else when we're in the middle of a conversation. SO FRIGGIN' RUDE. I seriously hope this isn't true, but it does seem that the next generation is not offended by it at all.

    - Mail - I love getting Christmas cards and birthday cards and unexpected treats in the mail. Junk and bills can all be online, I don't care about that - but the personal connection of mail is still important to me. The mail service may all be privatized by then, though.

    - Hiding - We introverts, sometimes we need to hide from people and just be alone. I really, really hope that doesn't entirely go away...

  2. I'm like you on the hiding thing! I also appreciate the separation of work and home, but that is always a hard boundary to enforce with all the connectivity these days. I had a stranger call me on my cell phone with a work issue the other day and I still don't know how he got my number.

    I would miss real books. I have a Kindle app on my iPod but find that I don't use it much as I like the feel of a real book in my hands. I like making notes and marking pages. For that reason, I also stil do hand-written to-do lists instead of all computer/phone reminders.