The other night I had one of those moments when I stop and think, “Holy crap, technology is freakin’ amazing!”.
I’d been curled up on the couch waiting an episode of Grey’s Anatomy on my iPad because SK was watching something on the TV. Then it was time to take the dog out so she could spend a half-hour sniffing every single square centimeter of mushy, freshly snow-free yard before doing her business, so I pulled up the Netflix app on my iPod Touch and continued watching it while she sniffed. Then the Short Kid went to bed, so I fired up Netflix on the PS3 and finished the episode on the big TV.
Every once in a while my mind is just blown by the amazing things our gadgets can do nowadays. I remember my family’s first color television. (How old am I again?) I remember when we got a Betamax VCR. (Yup, we had one of those.) I remember the VHS VCR we got because the Betamax was obsolete after like thirty-six hours. The Atari. The Commodore VIC-20. The wonders of the Sony Walkman (with real cassette tapes you’d have to occasionally wind back in with a pencil).
When my husband and I first got married, he had a pager. If I needed to talk to him, I had to call it and then wait until he could find a phone and call me back. Now, besides these newfangled cellphones, when he goes snowmobiling, he has this little gadget that, when he pushes a button, sends a text message to my phone saying “Okay” along with his latitude and longitude, as well as sending me an email with a link to his location on Google maps. (The same device, with a different button, will also send a 9-1-1 alert to a monitoring company who will give his coordinates to local search and rescue and call me. He sleds in the northern part of the state, much of which doesn’t have cell coverage. At $99 per year, it’s a lot cheaper than a satellite phone.)
It all reminds me of a trip the kids and I took to Staples last year. While I was looking at pens because I always do, the Short Kid started investigating the display and asked what correction tape was for. When I told him it was for typewriters, he gave me a say what look. While I was explaining to him what typewriters were, I was internally freaking out that my son didn’t know what a typewriter was. It broke my heart a little, to be honest.
An older woman who’d also been looking at pens joined the conversation and told my sons that when she was a teenager, she’d volunteered to babysit her neighbor’s children because they had a radio and she could listen to the stories. Needless to say, my children (who think being tethered by USB cord to a charger is torture) could barely wrap their minds around such a thing. They’re barely out of bed before they’ve got their iPod apps up and running, SK checking his weather app and TK scanning the CNN app.
I can’t even imagine what amazing gadgets my grandchildren will have. But I’m still holding out for Rosie the Robot, to be honest.