Monday 14 December 2015

What Memories Are For

I am an old guy and although there are aspects of technology that I have embraced, it is not something that comes naturally to me. I appreciate the benefit of instantaneous communication with personal cell phones. You can talk or text to your family or friends, you have access to the World Wide Web and basically all human knowledge. Well, except for the stuff that GOOGLE doesn’t want us to see and since we will never see it, we won’t miss it. Right?

What I have trouble with is the why. Why do you want to be available to all of your friends all of the time? Why do you need to know the name of Joan de Arc’s mother, right now? What can possibly be important enough for me to ignore the person I am sitting with for some comment by a celebrity that I follow on Twitter? Why will you ignore a phone call from a parent but take a text from a “facebook friend””

As I said, I have lived on the planet too long for this stuff to make sense to me. When I was growing up, my friends would phone me and I knew that they were at their house and I was at mine. Sometimes my buddy that lived next door to me would call and I told him I would talk to him across the alley. You see, our bedrooms were facing each other and it was a simple matter to open the window for a conversation. I think we actually made tin can phones and stretched the string across the alley so we could talk. Normally though, I would get a phone call and we would arrange to meet somewhere where we could talk or play. I don’t care enough for any celebrity to spend any time following what he or she is spending their millions on. More to the point, why are they wasting their time twittering updates on their lives to complete strangers.

I miss not being able to go to a library and looking up things in an encyclopaedia. You might start reading about Alexander Graham Bell but end up reading about Barnabus, Bats, bloomers, baseball, band saws, Bobby Darin and how the colour blue is made. That might have been because I had difficulty focusing on the task at hand, but it was fun none-the-less. You would learn so much more than you ever intended and looking back, that might have been the intentions of my teachers. Find something this kid is interested in!

I guess today’s equivalent is those highlighted links that lead you to surf around the web. Similar I suppose, but I am old school and in forty years the kids from today will be lamenting having a choice to click on those links. In the future the computer will decide what will pique your interest and switch you there when it senses you are drifting.

Yep, I’m just an old guy wishing he could travel back in time for awhile. That is what memories are for.

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