Growing up in the 60s and 70s was certainly fun and different than today. One of the things that has changed greatly is how we talk over the phone. Back then, we had the rotary phone that we wound back for each number, and waited for it to tick off one number at a time.
Then, in the early 70s, the push button phones came out and we were all in heaven. Most of them were that ugly yellow and had the headsets attached with a long, curly cord of course. Long distance calling was expensive, and we always had to keep track of our time so as not to get in trouble when that bill came in.
Now, mostly in antique shops, these phones are all a thing of the past. Today, we have cell phones to talk on the phone anywhere and anytime for as long as we like. The youth of today have not experienced the lines for waiting to use a pay phone or having to stretch the cord all the way around the corner to get privacy. Nope, those days are long gone.
Yet, the very technology we use today was developed in the 70s. Who knew it would change the world forever. In some ways, not for the good. The convenience of having the phone with us has taken the place of privacy and intimacy. The ability to text has replaced our need to speak to each other. I couldn’t even begin to understand all of the three or four-letter acronyms out there (some of which stand for something that could make me turn three shades of red from embarrassment).
Cell phones have made our world smaller and yet have been instrumental in pulling us apart. Add the ability to surf the web, shoot video, high-quality photos, and then share them instantly with the world, well, let’s just say we’re doomed…
Twenty years from now the phones will be seamlessly integrated into our clothing and connected continually through a powerful AI. Or, perhaps, implanted in our arm. Who knows what the next greatest thing is going to be, but it’s bound to change the world again.
The god of technology is taking over our culture to a point we don’t even talk to each other at dinner. Lately, the Mrs. and I have been working hard at putting the phones down at dinner and focusing on each other (and the food of course) instead of checking out the latest Facebook posts. It takes effort and discipline for certain, but when we’re done with our meal, we feel closer than we ever could have if we’d just sat there staring down at that device.
Technology can be a great tool. It can save lives and bring people together. If used without restraint, it can also be a tool for destruction in our lives. Setting those boundaries may be tough, but if we do, we’ll all be better for it.
If that’s you, and you have a hard time focusing on a good conversation at dinner, I want to challenge you to jump over that line and put that phone in the pocket. Open up a conversation with someone you’re close to (as long as they participate along with you of course) and see what happens. They may be your spouse, a friend, or your kids. It may take some time, but I know you’ll be glad you did.
Wishing you all a blessed week!