My wonderful honey is taking me to State College to attend a concert. As we drive down the highway, I am typing on my laptop while we listen to an audio book. A GPS guides us so we don’t get lost and my cell phone pings reminders of weekly karate classes none of us will be attending this weekend.
So many things have changed in just my lifetime. Cell phones used to be called bag phones and pretty much stayed in your car. Most phones for that matter were actually attached to the wall with a cord that tangled around you the longer you talked. Computers sat on your desk and if you did have a computer that traveled with you it was the size and weight of a full briefcase complete with its own handle.
Audio books were for those who had vision problems and were recorded on cassette tapes. Directions were written down or traced on a map with a yellow highlighter (think AAA Triptik). If you wanted to remember an appointment or activities, a paper calendar hung on the kitchen wall or you carried a notebook sized day planner to write it all in with your favorite colored pen.
Now days, computers are getting smaller with bigger memories and more apps. Phones can do almost everything the computers can, and the maps have voices of their own. During the intermission of the concert, I look down at the crowd (we had balcony seats we had picked out on-line when we purchased our tickets using our debit card – another change in recent years) and saw MANY people texting, checking facebook, taking pictures, and surfing the web as they waited for the concert to resume.
I had actually left my cell phone at the hotel as I had no pockets in my dress and forgot to grab a purse to match. Instead of sitting there bored and discontent, I took a moment to enjoy one of my favorite hobbies, I people watched. Yes, I will admit it. I gawked at strange wardrobe choices, the lady down front who carried in four bags (three tote bags and a purse), the teen packs that giggled and flirted (while texting and facebooking). I wondered at the older couples whispering quietly holding hands, and was amazed a the one gentleman who actually stood in the aisle and did stretches for a full ten minutes of the fifteen minute break.
I like my low-tech activity. It made for some fun conversation when my wonderful honey came back from stretching his legs. I got to point out my favorite outfits, groups of people and tell my made-up stories about a few of the concert goers.
With all the technology at our fingertips today, I think sometimes we need to not reach out and grab it but take the time to go without it.