Technology and the Good Old Days

Technology has come a long way in every area of life.

There was an interruption in my access to the internet on Monday of this week. For one whole day my internet was out. If someone would have asked me before if I would miss access to the internet, I would have said, “No. That wouldn’t bother me a bit.” However, I learned that it did indeed bother me. Then on Tuesday the keyboard on my laptop started to act up. This is not good for a writer. In fact, it is very annoying. I will be taking my laptop to the store to have it sent in to be fixed later today.

In light of these technology struggles, I have been reminiscing about the times when I did not have to struggle with things like the internet and laptops. Many people call those times the good old days. In some ways they were better, and in many ways they were not.

One thing that’s vastly different is the phone. There wasn’t any call-waiting, caller ID, or voicemail. The phone had a rotary dial. I remember dialing a number and then messing up at the end and having to start all over. I didn’t think anything could be better than a touch-tone phone. We also had to remember phone numbers or write them down. When you got a phone call, you rushed to answer even though you didn’t know who was calling. I grew up with a 3 minute limit on phone calls. I remember my brother getting on an extension phone and telling me that my 3 minutes were up. Quite embarrassing.

My grandchildren would be aghast to know that we didn’t have video games. We had bicycles, trees to climb, friends to play with, and board games. There were no iPods. I had a record player and vinyl records. I could also listen to a radio. I’ll never forget my first transistor radio. I also remember having an 8 track player in my car, and a portable 8 track player in my college dorm room. It’s an experience while listening to music to have the music fade out, then hear a click as the tape changes tracks, and then have the music come back in. We just got used to it. Then along came Walkmans. Those were great because they played cassette tapes and were easily carried along. It was really high tech when cassette players were able to play both sides of a tape automatically.

When my older two grandchildren were 6 1/2 and 4 1/2 we ate at a 50’s themed restaurant. It was funny how they were captured by the black and white televisions. It was also Christmas time and the restaurant was decorated with silver aluminum Christmas trees with the color light wheels. I remember those well. I can still hear the sound the branches made when we removed them from their paper sleeves. As for black and white televisions, my parents didn’t get a color television until I was in 10th grade. I was mesmerized by the beautiful colors.

Another thing about televisions was that if you wanted to watch a show you had to watch it when it came on. There was no taping it (or recording it) to watch later. I hated it that Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color would show on Sunday evening while I was at church. I remember going through the TV guide on Sunday afternoon and looking for shows I wanted to watch during the next week. We also watched only one channel at a time. My kids can remember the time when we only had a 19 inch TV without a remote control. That TV would NOT die.

I was also very glad when my parents finally got a dishwasher. When hand washing dishes it was very annoying to have to stop washing in order to clear out the dish drainer by drying and putting away the dishes already cleaned.

Yep. Those were the good old days. Black and white TV, no video games, no iPhones, aluminum Christmas trees, washing dishes by hand, 8 track tapes, etc. Technology has come a long way in every area of life.

However, those days were great in many ways. I could walk to school without worrying about some predator stalking me. I played outside for hours–even in the snow. I spent a summer in the small town of Godley, Texas with my grandparents. I roamed all over the town without a care in the world. Times seemed to be simpler then and not as hectic.

I love technology and how it helps us in so many ways every day. I’m just glad to have grandchildren who can help me learn how to use these new fangled contraptions.

Author: brendagmarler


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