Twixt two worlds. That’s how I feel.
Want to contact me? Dial my landline number – I realize we SAY ‘dial’ even though we don’t – and I might talk to you using a harvest gold rotary desk phone. Missing is the sense of immediacy to answer but the connection is good enough to take care of business if I do. Or use a cell phone to call, text, message or see me while you talk. The amalgamation of sounds the iPhone emits elicits the need to know who it is and answer in the moment, though I can’t figure out what drives that urgency.
Want to watch a movie? I can travel to a drive-in to see a vintage movie, sitting in a car tweaked in ways that would amaze even the Jetsons while watching the fine big ol’ cars – antiques now? – of former times. Clothing, hairstyles, accessories and furnishings on the outdoor screen pull me back to life at a slower pace. Or we can choose from thousands of offerings at just a touch on a remote to view on a big screen in a living room, complete with surround sound. No rooftop satellite dishes or wall-threaded cables required.
Want to eat out but go as you are and eat in the car? Once upon a time carhops took orders, delivered them back to the vehicle, then removed the trash along with the window tray. It wasn’t fast but it was handy and the car was full of family banter. Now we can order with our phones and pick up in a flash to avoid the drive-thru brouhaha. What’s the hurry?
Want to visit a baby, maybe relieve the parents for a few hours? Used to mean lots of goo-goos and ga-gas, nursery rhymes, clapping games and floor time. Meal time and diaper changes were just part of the fun. Not much tops a baby’s laughter. Now there are apps for keeping little ones occupied and even one coming soon that will alert caregivers to need for diaper changes. W-H-A-A-T? What could be going on that requires an app for that? Or maybe the question should be what is NOT going on! What happens to the eye contact, wiggles and squiggles, tickles and chatter that lets a baby know they are in a loving, nurturing environment, one that offers a variety of learning opportunities with humans? As a toddler grows, will there be a chance for the tot to communicate with parents/sitters that a change is needed? That is a clue a child is ready for potty training.
That’s all we need… another distraction to diminish already dwindling child-parent interaction.
In reading about the diaper app, I learned it tracks several things for parents. This could be a mind-easer when sickness or disease makes the technology a big help in child monitoring. Technoligy has a way of sneaking in and taking over, though. It’s worrisome that we succumb so effortlessly to diminishing our humanity and saving time for…?