Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Simpler Times? Then or Now?

I sit here tonight and think about the times were are living in. Think about where we have been and where we are today.

When I was growing up, we had ONE tv that was as big as a small dresser that we could watch 5-6 channels on. If we wanted to turn the channel or adjust the volume I had to get off the chair/couch and walk to the tv to make the changes.

Phone call? How many phones did we have/need back then. I remember we had three phones in our house. Kitchen, family room and parent's room. If it rang we had to get up or move to where it was to answer it. If a call came in while I was talking on it, that person received an annoying busy signal. Do busy signals even exist anymore? Ok, I do know that busy signals still exist. If someone were not home, the phone would ring until you got tired of hearing it ring and hung up.

Computers? I did not know what a computer was.

Today? I live in a house by myself and have 3 TV's. All of which receive 100's of channels. I own 3 VCR's, does anyone even use these anymore? I have two DVD players. I have 3 desktop computers connected to the internet that all work with one monitor, keyboard and mouse. I also have a laptop computer that is connected to the internet with a wireless connection. I am also able to print from the laptop on a printer that is connected to my main desktop pc. All of this is done wireless. I can network to anyone of my computers from anyone of them and access whatever information I might need at anytime.

I often think about a conversation with friends in college. On of their parents had just purchased a new computer and a had a hard drive of 105 megabytes. I remember as if it were today one of them saying "Why in the world would anyone EVER need that much space on a hard drive?". Today, we are buying hard drives 800 times bigger than this. It boggles the mind.

It is also worth mentioning here that in 1989 when I went away to college I had no clue how to turn on a computer and would never have considered trying it.

Phones Today? Boy do I have them. I have a phone by my bed, one on my fax machine, two cordless phones so if one goes dead I have the backup. I have a work cellular phone as well as my personal cellular phone. I have a wireless headset that pretty much stays connected to my ear so that if a call comes in I can answer it, even if I am in another room away from my phone.

The reason I mention all these things is sometimes I sit and think how much time has changed the world we live in. How we have become dependent on these new conveniences but sometimes it feels that we cannot even escape them. If we go on vacation our cell phones go with us. Anymore I take my laptop computer which can easily connect to the internet and most hotels. We are always accessible to everyone.

Where do we go to get away from it all? I suppose we have to learn to use the off button.

Lastly I think about the changes not just in my lifetime but those seen by my parents and grandparents and boy what changes they have seen. My grandmother is a regular user of the internet and sometimes I think she might read our blogs. She emails me frequently and I have even connected to her computer in Ohio to help her with an issue she was having. I was able to control her computer as if it were my own. She was able to see what I was doing and it was just as if I were sitting in her living room working her mouse for her. Boy how that must have blown her mind if she had really thought about it.

Times really have changed. Where do we go from here? Can you even imagine what is next? I often ask myself can we really get better than we have? We probably all have opinions as to if now is a simpler time or if those days gone by were. I guess I could make an argument for either one. There are plenty of times I press all the off buttons but then when I turn them back on I am ready to reconnect myself.

These are only a few of the things that blow my mind. I am sure that everyone reading this can think of different examples. This is an exciting world we live in.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great reflection, D. Having a career in the Telops/Data Processing industry was even more exciting. You talked about the computer with 105 meg, I worked on computers that filled up rooms with lot less storage than we have on our desks or "laps" today. Data storage was on punch cards, punch tape, magnetic tape and very large disk drives. I remember key punching the cards from paper documents and then sorting thousands of them that included telephone billing data....and even dropping those large stacks and having to sort sometimes by hand...oh the fun! Long distance calls were recorded on large reels of paper punched tape that was fed into a converter that put the data on mag tape. We used to have races to see who could thread a mag tape onto a drive the fastest. There were plastic rings in the back that would allow or not allow writing to the tape. We would play ring toss with those...oh, I could go on and on. I didn't work the telephone side of the industry so can't comment about the evolution of the phones but know the advances have been as great.
Thanks for causing me to relect..sorry about the rambling!!