Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
3,293 11/19/13 7:43 P
That is a good point about globalization Jen. Many of our habits that people in other cultures want to adopt are potentially very harmful to health and the environment.
I have certainly seen big changes in this direction in 20 years of living and traveling in Latin America. It also makes me sad that many of the lovely local habits and traditions are disappearing.
What is very scary is to see China move toward a more consumeristic frame of mind. That could have huge (global) impacts.
I love technology and take full advantage of it, but sometimes it disturbs me to see people so caught up in their devices that they cannot enjoy the moment. It has been a few years since I've been to a big concert, but I had the chance to see Oscar d'Leon live in August. As soon as he came on stage, more that half of the audience put their phones up and started recording video. It just struck me as sad. This person is a legend, and one of the last living founders of the salsa genre. Just enjoy it, put away the darn phone and dance!
I'm in my 20s, but I completely agree! I hate that stores are open 24/7 and on holidays, that we're supposed to be connected and available at all times, that fast food and chains are so commonplace. What perhaps bothers me worse is that these are American cultural norms that are spreading to the rest of the world, even developing countries.
I try to resist when I can. I do have a smartphone (though I think it's 4 generations behind at this point), but I turn the notifications off and don't check it too compulsively. I don't leave my e-mail/FB open just because I'm on my computer. I avoid chains restaurants and shop at local businesses whenever possible. We can fight against the 24/7 culture!
There are lots of great blogs out there on simplicity and minimalism - check out The Minimalists and Zen Habits.
I'm with you 150%, LOVE4KITTIES. Aside from medical advances, I question much of this technological progress' worth and wonder if it's not isolating us...
Fitness Minutes: (11,285)
3,116 11/19/13 11:00 A
I am 70, work full time and most of that is on the computer. I have to say that thinking back it seems as if I have lived two life times. One in Holland, growing up surrounded by farms, playing outdoors, having chores to do, walking to school with friends and loving all of it.
Today is different. I am amazed at all that is possible, in awe of google, love the internet, love my cell phone (which I use only for talking) love my tv, warm home. What I think is needed today is a new set of etiquette about talking on the phone in public, texting in the middle of a conversation. Those are some things I don't appreciate. However, life marches forward and I have learned along the way to make change my friend.
Fitness Minutes: (17,391)
2,116 11/19/13 10:50 A
I don't want to say I'm anti-technology because I'm obviously online right now but I do believe that all of these advances are going to be our downfall. Kids don't go outside and play anymore because they are glued to their phones or Wiis. They don't socialize because they can play one-person games or are online with others. They don't know proper grammar or spelling or punctuation because they only talk in text speak. They have no attention span because everything is in sound bites and they want to be entertained in school rather than learning. We are obese because we sit and watch TV all the time or on the computer/phone rather than getting outside for fresh air and exercise. Too much is easily accessible to anyone who wants it as evidenced by the Boston bombings. I think it's great that we are able to cure and eradicate diseases that could kill us but we've traded the ability to sit down and read a real book or talk face-to-face with friends or write letters to loved ones for "progress." Not sure it is a good trade-off.
Fitness Minutes: (89,091)
11,869 11/19/13 9:04 A
I am 58 and watched the technology explode in my lifetime. Some of it I really like, I wouldn't give up my computer and all the knowledge it feeds me. I could easily do without cellphones, I have a very old fashioned buy a phone card phone and it lives very deep in my purse for emergencies. I do belief many people do too much socializing on machines instead of in person. That said I can't wait to see what is invented next. Beam me up Scotty!
Fitness Minutes: (49,944)
3,091 11/19/13 8:44 A
I agree that we still have a choice in how much and how often we use technology on personal time. I never use my cell phone, but do carry it with me for emergencies. It is easy to get sucked into too much time on the computer. Some sites like this are so rich, you could spend hours on it each day.
Fitness Minutes: (78,465)
2,953 11/18/13 4:40 P
As KJ stated, I choose not to use all communication offered to me by the retailers. My cell phone is truly only for emergencies, I don't have texting capability on my phone. Society has become narcissistic with kids feeling the need to text or send pics every five minutes. We don't need to know everything every second of the day about everyone!
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
3,293 11/18/13 3:19 P
This was long before dot matrix...my father is a computer genius and started working with them in the 60s, so that probably had something to do with it.
I think that the first computer I remember was a Radio Shack. The printer roll was about 6" wide and it looked like silver lame.
Fitness Minutes: (89,400)
5,676 11/18/13 3:15 P
I guess people in the early 1900's also wondered whether to keep their horses or not?? I'm almost 67, have a tiny cell phone, only for emergencies, doesn't even have anyone's phone number set in it, never wanted to sit and waste time to put the numbers in. No reason to yak on it every few minutes, to tell someone that my hair is messy from the wind, or I just bought a blouse, etc. Still use a pencil and ballpoint pen, still do long division, able to diagram sentences, remember stuff from history class. Remember when Johnny Carson's "Tonight" show was on until 1 AM. Live. Steve Allen's late night show was live. We waited all week for the latest live "I Love Lucy" show, Jackie Gleason, Ed Sullivan. American Bandstand was THE show for young people to watch, every day, after school. The family had one phone, black only, had a "party line", so you only picked up when your signal, 2 rings, rang.
But was it better than, really? Less people alive back then, couples could live on one person's salary, not everyone drove around just for the heck of it. On the other hand, my husband had a liver transplant 6 yrs. ago, he would not be around now, if not for those medical advances. And, doesn't it seem like, the more ways they PROGRESS to make TV available in all kinds of forms, to take with you, or sit in the bathroom and watch, etc., the absolute WORSE television has become? Useless programs, endless, boring shows, movies, drama's, sports going on forever, telling you who did what to whom and when. Celebrities shown with no clothes on, as if that is a big deal, etc. Nonsense. I say, refuse to take part in it, nothing else you can do about it. I suppose I'll sit in assisted living someday talking about this stuff, lol.
I think those few years make all the difference. We didn't have printers (dot matrix printers were the ones with rolls of papers) in school until I was in middle school. Dot matrix printers, tape drives (then the big floppy drives a couple of years later) and PET computers were what we had in middle school. I had one computer class in middle school and stuff like BASIC was what they were teaching at the time. A couple of my friends had home computers when I was in middle school, but they were the definite exceptions rather than the rule and they had parents who worked in the computer industry (I grew up in the Silicon Valley). A couple more friends got home computers when I was in high school... One of my friends had this giant brick of a cell phone when I was in high school. His dad worked in computers. They had more money than us, and they chose to spend their money in different ways that most folks would have at that time. My family did come in a bit late on the microwave...
Things have progressed pretty rapidly for about the last 30-35 years. I think that most of us don't really realize how much things have changed or how rapidly they are changing, still. I wonder what things will be like 10 years from now...
I love my clothes washer and dryer, but... In the past year, I've taken to drying my pants (including jeans) and many of my shirts on a clothesline. I LOVE my crisp jeans and they also last a lot longer than they would if I put them in the dryer. Speaking of clothes washers, my sisters and friends all have front loading, energy-saving, washers. I think they are horrible machines. Their whites are uniformly dingy/grey and I know their clothes aren't as clean as they would get with a top loader. I have a top loader (it's 18 years old and it looks great and functions like when it was new) and I would never willingly give it up. It uses enough water to get my clothes clean and I don't have to pretreat spots on anything. My whites are sparkling white. I choose how much water goes into the drum, not the machine. It also washes my clothes in less than 30 minutes, unlike the front loaders that take at least an hour per load (from what I've seen).
Edited by: LOVE4KITTIES at: 11/18/2013 (15:29)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
3,293 11/18/13 2:55 P
I'm only a couple of years younger than you OP, and I always remember having a computer and a microwave growing up. Our printer used narrow rolls of paper that were silver and slightly shiny.
The TV lived in the closet most of the time...I think that it must have been black and white, but I don't have enough memories of watching TV as a child to be sure. I certainly had a black-and-white TV when I was in college, and e-mail was a brand-new thing.
I've lived in the developing world, so I appreciate technology and even electricity a lot. I also appreciate my washer and dryer having spent years washing clothes by hand and hanging them to dry on the roof. Good for the clothes, but I do not miss having to wear crunchy jeans!
TV theme songs...yes, a thing of the past! Remember The Greatest American Hero? I used to love that show. It had a great theme song, nice and long. I still remember how they changed the main character's last name from Hinkley to Henley after Reagan was shot. Anyway, I watched a few episodes of Greatest American Hero a couple of years ago. I was kind of shocked at how sexist it was. But, I did enjoy the theme song...
"Flying away on a wing and a prayer... Who could it be? Believe it or not, it's just me..."
So far as choosing to use stuff...there's no way I'd get away with throwing out my cell phone, as much as I'd love to do it. It is better than having a beeper, though (because you used to have to find a phone to call on after your beeper went off). My husband has two--one for work and a personal one. He actually walks around with two cell phones. It drives me crazy, but he can't get rid of the work phone and family, friends and work (which also has his personal cell phone number) wouldn't let him get away with throwing out his personal cell phone. E-mail and internet access seems mandatory for work, etc.
Everything is open 24/7/365 and we are always available to each other via our cell ("mobile") phones. We have constant access to the internet via our computers. There are new TV programs all year now (whatever happened to the summer hiatus?). Most of our food is processed.
What do you think of all this "progress?" Do you consider it progress? Are our lives better, worse or just different? Do you remember, with fondness, the days of no cell phones?
The rest of this is a bit long, so read if you wish (warning: contains reminiscing about my childhood):
I don't think of myself as being all that old. I'm in my early 40s now (okay, I admit it...mid 40s). When I was a kid, we didn't have cell phones, computers, the internet or a microwave. Our TV was black and white and we just had a few channels that we'd get with an antenna. TV dinners came on foil trays and you cooked them in the oven. If you broke your arm, you went to your regular doctor, who had an x-ray machine in the back. There was no need to go the hospital if it was a simple fracture. Your regular doctor could (s/he actually knew how and was trained to) take an x-ray and put on a cast. When I was about 6, my sister got a fancy calculator. It must have cost $100 (which was a LOT back then), but it had a SQUARE ROOT function!!! I was amazed.
A 7/11 came to town when I was about 8. It was open every day of the week and it stayed open until 11pm at night. Sometimes, during the summer, we'd take a break from playing outside/swimming and walk there to get a Slurpee. The large ones seemed huge to us (we usually got mediums), but they were about the size of today's small ones. We got our first fast food place in town (a Burger King) when I was about 10. If you had a horse, you could ride it there. They had a hitching post outside.
When I was about 11, things really started to change. We got a color TV, cable and a microwave. I thought that microwaved food was disgusting and my parents agreed. We didn't use the microwave much. I loved the color TV and the better reception that we got with cable. Oh, I also didn't have to get up and change the channel because our TV had a remote. Still, though, we didn't watch much TV because there just wasn't that much on (we got ABC, NBC, CBS, Channel 2 and PBS). Programming still went off the air at a certain time every night (I don't remember what time, exactly, maybe 1 am?) but it was a rare occasion when you'd still be awake to see them play the national anthem and then shut things down. The networks still went on summer hiatus so there was no new programming in the summers--just reruns and we didn't really watch them. One summer, when I was about 13 or so, the cable TV company somehow went a whole summer without scrambling HBO. I must have watched Star Wars 20 times that summer. Overall, though, we still spent the summers outside, playing and swimming. Family and friends gathered together frequently for barbecues and parties. Instead of watching so much TV, we read books and we got them at a place called the LIBRARY. It was free.
I got my first computer (a PET) when I was about 17 years old, but it really wasn't good for much except playing that Moon Lander game. I had an Atari (that I got used) that was much better and I had two games to go with it--Space Invaders and that Haunted House game. But, I only played it occasionally.
I pretty much went through my first 4 years of college (my BS degree) using a typewriter. I got my first real computer when I was about 21 and I was very excited that it had a word processor and 40 megabites of storage! There were no "windows" back then. I think that I learned to write a lot better using paper/pen and a typewriter than I ever would have if I'd had a computer. I had my first (dial-up) internet connection when I was about 26 and I got my first e-mail account with it. The internet was still very primitive. I got my first cell phone when I was about 29-30 years old. I only used it for brief or important calls (e.g. my tire is flat). Honestly, I think that it had better reception and call quality than the cell phone that I have now.
In the past 10 years, we've absolutely become a 24/7/365 society. Stores are open on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Independence Day. Work calls while you are at home (after work and on the weekends), driving, visiting family, visiting friends, seeing a movie... E-mails and text messages occur 24 hours per day. My doctor can't seem to do anything but give out pills for simple stuff and, if it's anything more complex, it's off to the specialist. Kids don't have to watch the scenery go by anymore while they are in the car--they watch movies, poke at their smart phones or play their mobile video games. The new "small" is the old "large" and fast food (and starbucks) is on every corner. I don't think we're better off for these sort of things.
I do agree that some of the medical advances have made our lives better (new surgical techniques such as laparoscopic surgery, advanced medical imaging, etc.) and I wouldn't give up my word processor for anything. But, I'd love to throw my cell phone away and I really don't need a microwave, 100 different TV channels (and new programming all year round) or for the stores to be open 24/7.
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