Digital Details

 

I remember the first cellphone (then called a car phone) that my family purchased. It was a teal phone with a retractable antenna that looked more like a giant computer mouse than a phone… area code 860..

That was also in the days where you only had to dial 7 numbers instead of 10 because most families had one phone number, not one phone number for every member of the family. Hence the coining of the phrase: “You could be dead in a ditch somewhere and I would never know!”

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s-l300.jpgI’m pretty sure that was before the age of digital cameras too, so the phone’s sole purpose was for use in the car in case of an emergency or if you had to make a business call. No one brought those big bulky things in the house. 1. Because they got TERRIBLE reception.. and I am not talking Sprint in a small town bad, I’m talking “Hello this is Samara from the ring”  bad.. mainly white noise with a TINY bit of talking but a lot of “can you hear me nows?”

Why on earth would you use your CAR phone in the house? That is so ridiculous.

And usually the only people taking business calls were the big shots, like Gordon Bombay in the first Mighty Ducks movie, but he was super reckless and drove out onto the ice with no regard for other people’s safety *cough* texting and driving *cough*. What a jerk.

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I mean, who really needed to talk on the CAR phone in the house when a cordless phone was all the rage?… unless you’re Zach Morris.

It was also way easier to eaves drop / 3 way call on the house phone.. all you had to do was wait until it was ringing and pick up the other receiver… at least that’s what I have been told.. I never did that..

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Usually you were on the phone to orchestrate some way to physically hang out with the person on the other line, ride bikes, go play mini golf, see a movie, go swimming, trap someone in a lie… the possibilities were endless.

Once you made your plans, you just went and you DIDN’T ask to take your mom’s camera to capture going to get an ice cream cone because “developing film is expensive”, plus it would take like TWO WEEKS to get it back, and half of them would be total crap because you couldn’t preview them. It is also worth mentioning that by the time you got them you would have done a TON of additional mundane activities that you didn’t care to document.

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Who really cared that you were eating tater tots, then going to a movie, then sitting outside? That was not something to “waste film on”. Today is a whole different story…  Yes I am guilty of occasionally instagramming my food.

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Life in the 90’s was a constant surprise. It’s hard to imagine now not knowing what someone’s kids that you haven’t seen in ___ years or ever look like, but that’s the way it was. You remembered people from your own memory or the last picture you had of them, so when you saw Aunt So-and-so or Cousin Whats-his-face after 10 years and they looked totally different, you were genuinely surprised.

When you asked them “What have you been up to?” you genuinely didn’t know, so you didn’t get bored halfway through their rehash of your stalking and pull your phone out to check your snaps.

Remember how cool the Jetsons cartoon was? VIDEO PHONES, what?!?! Too crazy to ever be real. See your grandparents who live HOURS away right in front of your face while they’re not actually in the room? Stop it.

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Fast forward to 2017, a world where my two year old nice thinks that if the person is not in the room, they are in the phone because that is the way we most often communicate with her.

Don’t get me wrong, it is absolutely fantastic that I don’t have to drive 4 hours every time I want to see her and my sister and my brother in law, but to me it is also weird that a two year old has been exposed to more technology than I had been exposed to until I was in my 20s… because it didn’t exist.

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My niece is living in a world where the phrase “I’m hanging up on you” doesn’t make literal sense (unless you have an office phone, which I am pretty sure are more of a security blanket than a necessity with programs like ring central available).

By the time she is working in an office, keyboards may no longer have keys… maybe there will be no offices because 90 percent of jobs can be done from home.

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By now, you can probably deduce that I have a love / hate relationship with technology. On one hand it makes it unbelievably easy for me to reach out to friends and family I am not able see in person regularly and catch up, but in another way it makes me wonder what the world will be like in 5 or even 10 years.

I have an irrational fear that despite the warnings, the world we live in is hurtling towards “Wall-e”, you know that horrifying children’s movies that was a lot of propaganda but slowly becoming our 2017 and beyond reality.

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You know, when the human race has become so sedentary and addicted to screen time that their skeletons can no longer support their blubbery bodies and the earth is so overrun with garbage we all like on space station and even a ROBOT has more curiosity than what is supposed to be a person… I know.. It’s a totally irrational fear. *breathes in and out slowly through a paper bag*

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But really no it’s not. The prospective future of the earth being overrun with garbage is here. It’s just not something people post about because it’s not pretty and they can’t monetize it, yet. Since it’s not in the screen, it obviously is not THAT big of an issue, and that brings me back around to the Wall-e blobs.

Technology is great. If you just ordered the best sandwich you’ve ever had and feel compelled to post it so others can go try it, I will probably like it, just sayin’.

My point is, digital details are not THE details. Following a screen blindly into your own peril may not result in the human race floating around a space station on inflatable furniture with dissolved jelly bones, but it allows us to turn a blind eye to a lot of not great things that are happening without 1000 likes.

I’m not an activist by any stretch of the imagination.. I’m bad at recycling,  I eat red meat, I use dyer sheets and I watch a LOT of TV, but I am trying to do a better job of opening my eyes not just my apps to see what is going on in the world.

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