Technology…we want more, more, more…with a rebel yell…she cried more…

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Artemis playing her own game on my ipad. My son on his laptop while we are watching TV.

One of the things that I will rely on while driving around the country is technology.  I will have my laptop, my ipad, my ipod, my iPhone and yes, my brother even said he will buy me a SPOT for my bon voyage present.

I think that technology is very cool these days.  Heck, I have even downloaded games for cats on my ipad for my sons kitten Artemis.  She loved playing the games.  I can show you, I even took pictures and a few videos of it.

We’ve come a long way in the last 40 plus years.  When I was a child we had a record player and one TV.   One of my brother and I’s favorite records  was Bennie and the Jetts by Elton John.  I could barely reach the repeat button on the record player, but I would push it over and over again so we could listen to that song, over and over.  Our TV was a color cabinet style, which was hooked to an antenna that was on top of our garage.  I remember during big wind storms the antenna would sway back and forth and I always thought it was going to take out half the neighborhood.  But if I remember correctly, the neighbors antenna was the only one I ever saw go down.  But it only went down because our little metal shed blew away, into the antenna.  ooops. Learned a lot of bad words from my dad that night.  Lucky we had a good relationship with our neighbors.

As the 70’s went by and we got into the 80’s, so came the Walkman, and the smaller TV’s.  My dad’s parents would never buy us any presents unless it was our birthday or Christmas.  Which was ok, because then the gifts were more expensive.  One year my grandma asked what I wanted for Christmas.  I told her I wanted my very own TV for my bedroom.  My grandma said she would buy one TV for my brother and I to share.  Then we got to the store and as my grandma, my dad, my uncle, my brother and I stood in front of the little TV’s my grandma said, well, you kids shouldn’t have to share, I’ll just buy each of you your own TV.  I thought my dad was going to blow a gasket.  There was a comment made about spending someone’s inheritance, but I’m not sure who said that, my dad or my uncle.  And to top it all off, when we made it to the check out counter with the two TV’s, the store was not going to take my Grandma’s check because the check number wasn’t high enough.  They had to call her bank to verify she had enough money to cover the purchase.  All the while my dad was yelling at me that we were embarrassing my grandma and that we didn’t need two TV’s.  My grandma kept telling my dad and uncle that she wanted to buy these for us, and I kept saying that we needed those two TV’s.  My poor brother hid around one of the shelves in the store acting like he didn’t know who the hell we were.  Needless to say, we got the two TV’s.  Those were great TV’s.  I even took a drill and drilled a hole thru my closet into the TV room to run cable to my TV.  I did not ask permission, nor did my parents even know I did that until I moved out of the house.  But hey, I wanted cable in my room, I didn’t want just rabbit ears like my brother had.  Yes, I was that child. It’s what I call…self-reliant.

When we lived in Alaska in the early 80’s we did not have cable.  We had one radio station.  We would come home from school for lunch, and my dad would also come home at the same time.  Mom had lunch ready for us every day.  We would all eat at the table together in silence and listen to Paul Harvey.  (And this is the rest of the story)  The last year that we lived in Alaska came the VCR’s.  We even had a video store in our house.  In reality it was a shelf by our front door with movies on it and an old coffee can that people would throw their money in when they rented a movie.  We didn’t get rich with that business, but we did get to watch a lot of free movies!!

So after the 80’s came the 90’s.  That’s when those new fangled CD’s came out.  My ex husband had just about every CD imaginable.  Wait…I think I still have over 300 of them in my possession that I got in the divorce.  Do people even buy those things anymore?  Then came the brick phones.  ahhh, the brick phones.  My ex and his best friend were the only ones I knew of to first have those phones.  We would all be out at the club and they would have those phones with them, hanging off their back pockets of their freshly ironed jeans.  They would only be able to call each other from the club because the rest of us were already in the club.  Plus we weren’t stupid enough, or rich enough to buy a $400 phone, with a $200 leather case and pay $7.95 a minute.

Now the technology is insane.  It’s 2016, and we have more electronics in this house then I can even count.  Everything is wireless.  Everything!  Well, except my printer.  But as my son and I have sat on the couch, watching TV with our laptops on our laps and our cell phones next to us, I said, hey, we should look into a wireless printer so we can print from here.  Two words come to mind when I think about that statement…lazy ass.

As a child we were outside more, we used our imaginations, we did all sorts of crazy stuff that our parents never knew about and we got ourselves in and out of trouble.  We learned how to McGyver things.  (Don’t know the reference? Use your technology to google it.)  Do I believe we have gone a little overboard with technology?  My answer is yes.

On a recent camping trip we all had our cell phones with us, we all were taking pictures with them and a few of us received some texts on them too.  My phone was completely out of service.  I felt a huge sense of….relief.  Yes, relief.  I didn’t have to worry about anything except for what was going on right then and there.  I got to pick mushrooms with a friend, I got to help start a fire that kept us warm the rest of the night, I got to really talk with some really cool people.  I think it’s nice to unplug from technology every once in a while.  I don’t think that I should be able to be reached every second of every day.  My brain needs to have a break…my soul needs to be able to re-connect with nature and with people.

I’ve often thought how this new generation of kids would handle not having all of these gadgets to keep their minds busy.  My son tells me they would be fine.  But wasn’t it last week that he told me our internet was weak and we needed more, whatever it is, so we can run more devices on our wifi.

Now I’m wondering how much technology I truly need on my adventures.  I definitely need my SPOT so people know where I am and I can hit the panic button if needed; I need my cell phone, no explanation there; I need my ipod for when I don’t have radio service or I want to listen to my own play list; I definitely need my laptop so I can write; and my ipad is fun to play games on.

Ok, now I’m truly wondering if anyone will know how to cope if all this technology just disappears…will you?

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