After seven decades, I realize I am indeed a “Stranger in a Strange Land” as modern times and technology finally overwhelm and pass me by. I think it all started when young folks started wearing their ball caps backward, leading to droopy jeans, piercings and tattoos, once discrete and the purview of bikers, now a badge of a generation.
I tried to keep up with today’s technology, figuring out the basics of a home computer at least. But after that the technical stuff flew by, leaving me with my dial telephone, not knowing the difference between a BlackBerry, an Android, an iPhone, a Galaxy or a Razr (not for shaving apparently), no clue on texting and the new language required to use it, ignorant as to the use of an iPad, an iPod, a Mac Book or a Kindle.
And what is that black thing stuck in people’s ear allowing them to walk and talk as if they were having conversations with themselves? I think it’s called a Bluetooth, which some genius named after a Danish king. (I looked that up on something called Wikipedia.)
People now walk while they text or talk on their devices, oblivious to those around them or where they are going. I understand they can also record sound and video and find directions to anywhere, all in one device.
While they are talking, everyone is carrying a water bottle and has a backpack filled with a laptop apparatus, assorted chargers, electronic cords and general stuff. Who would have thought in today’s civilization we would have reverted to backpacks and portable water bottles? It’s like we’re ready to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
The big question with all of these communication devices is: What in the devil is there to talk about that requires one to own these things and be in constant communication?
I do not need to have one of these things strapped to me while sitting in O’Daniels Pub. My wife would be able to call me on a Razr or BlackBerry asking where I am and when I am coming home. I think the damn things can even track where you are.
Now, I hear Apple is developing a “watch” that will try to emulate the “two-way wrist radio” Dick Tracy had back in the mid 1940s. Nike has sensors in some of its high-priced basketball and running sneakers that transmit some kind of data to a secret site somewhere. And we laughed at Maxwell Smart and his “shoe phone” in the 1960s.
The dashboard of today’s new car rivals the cockpit of a 727. It has controls for a radio with 56 push buttons called Sirius, which feeds 22 speakers and shows you the name and running time of the selection being played; a phone that talks back to you and competes with the GPS, forever saying “recalculating,” (I still have my maps I got from gas stations decades ago); an inside/outside thermometer; a tire pressure monitor; and “heads-up displays” all beaming at you in liquid crystal brilliance. We will soon need a license to operate the dashboard.
Fortunately, my granddaughters Hannah and Sarah, not yet teens, know a lot of stuff and are a ready resource for me – and I a source of amusement for them.
If only I can find that store that sells the backward caps, it will be a start for me to get into the high-tech game.