As a kid growing up in the 80’s & 90’s, we read stories of how one day books would be obsolete and we could see people on the phone when we talked and we could even take or phones outside for a short distance if course. I remember this one short story of kids in an attic and they stumble across a book. They were mystified by it. They had only heard of a paper book. Books were only in museums and couldn’t be touched. I thought “that would NEVER be possible, ha ha ha!” As I’m writing this from a phone that has 3 different book apps.
I can remember we had penpals. You wrote in cursive the best you could, folded the paper a few times til it fit in an envelope, you licked this nasty tasting stuff, sealed it, addressed it, stamped it, mailed it. Then you waited for a week or so, depending on where it was mailed to, then maybe you would get a reply. In the mail. And you started the process all over again.
Then you had your local phone. It was most likely corded and you basically had only one in your house. You couldn’t see the number calling you, you couldn’t turn the loud ringing bell off and if you wanted to not be disturbed, you took it off the hook, it made this horrible “BEEP BEEP BEEP!” noise and then went dead. You didn’t call anybody in the next county even if they were 3 miles away. That’s long distance and cost a fortune.
Looking back now, I remember thinking I would never get out of my little small town much less interact with people in other places. I would never know what it was like in another county, state or much less, another country. I wouldn’t meet other people that had a very different background, culture or way of life. That I would always be stuck in the little country life town I was in.
Today, however, I have friends in state, across country and across the world. I have learned so much from our technology about people and cultures. I’ve spoke to a friend in Australia as I was going to bed and she was getting up. I have found friends, support and resources from all over the world.
I have an ereader for all my favorite books. I can carry as many books on it as my school library had on it’s shelves. I have the world wide web available to me on it and my phone at all times. Basically the world at my fingertips.
I have this phone where I can call anybody in the US and not pay extra. If I want to see them face to face, there’s an app for that. If I don’t want to talk, which most of you know, I don’t talk on the phone, ever, I text. I text everybody. If your busy, it’s ok, it’s just a text.
Then there is social media, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, list could go on and on. It brings family, friends and strangers together. They are places where you find out that your crazy cousin-in-law, twice removed jumped off a ship in the middle of the ocean to swim with the dolphins. Then you can see instant pictures, stats, police reports and read the obituary all within 15 minutes.