Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Digital World

When I was growing up my mom had a large, black, rotary dial phone next to her bed in addition to the main phone the rest of us shared in our downstairs hallway. I thought that clunky old rotary phone was the cat's meow because you could use it while lying on a bed. I mean, really, how great was technology, right?

My children don't know what a rotary dial phone is. The only place they've seen one is at a museum. They know a world where cell phones and cordless phones rule. They know they can email me from Daddy's phone. Elisabeth has four discarded cell phones among her collection of very favorite toys.

When I was growing up pictures where taken on rolls of film that you had to wait days or weeks to have developed before you could actually see them. Unless, of course, you were lucky enough to have have a Polaroid camera (I wasn't) and then you could see your pictures instantly (or, after five minutes, which seemed instant at that time).

Anytime someone takes my children's picture they immediately run behind the photographer so they can see the photo on the camera's display screen. And the picture is always on ready display because nearly everyone has a digital camera. Including, now, my seven-year-old daughter-- and she knows how to use it ("Let's review the pictures now, Hank, OK? ")!

We've gained a lot as a society but, sometimes, I feel as if we've lost a lot also. Remember the days when if you weren't available at work whomever was trying to reach you would just leave a message with a co-worker? On paper? They wouldn't have a five alternate numbers to try before giving up or, as a last resort, be able to email you anytime, anywhere.

Even more incomprehensible these days, if you tried to reach someone at home and they weren't there you had to simply try back later and hope you reached them. Frustrating, sure, but wasn't life a bit calmer and simpler before having three different voice mails to check and analyzing a caller ID log? Wasn't it more relaxing when you weren't expected to be reached, and respond, instantly?

I can't talk, really. My family and I have bought into all the digital devices that are supposed to make our lives simpler. It's just that, at times, I wonder if they really do.


it's me, Val said...

I think about this all the time, too, Cait. Especially the cell phone thing. I catch myself thinking the exact same thing at times . . . how much simpler it really was when we didn't have cell phone or answering machines (if you were REALLY lucky, had an answering machine!). We survived quite well. There's times when it would be nice to just go back to that. It never will, so I guess Ill have to hold on to nice memories :)

As far as the polaroid goes, I still have one! I love mine! You can do polariod transfers with it and create some pretty neat pictures with a polaroid. I like them. Luckily I can still find the film too!

And I will forever hold on to my film camera that I had before "going digital". To be honest, I think the quality is about 100 times better, but the ease of digital overrides it. I don't think film will ever totally go away because some photographers appreciate that good quality and loyally stick with it. Unless "they" can prove that digital photos will survive hundreds of year and make the quality better, then maybe we'll see film go away.

Anyway, just blabbing now. I know that wasn't really your subject. Leave it me, liking to blab!

Great post.

Alexis Jacobs said...

This is an awesome post, and so true. I sometimes envy the lifestyle of the Amish and the simple lives they lead. But then again technology brought us together :-)

AlexanderTheGreat said...

No cell phone here, hehe.

Also, you really can't beat the quality of a good SLR camera because of the higher resolution, larger aperture and better quality lenses which collect more light, which means the exposure time is less, cutting down on blurry pictures due to less jitter. You can get digital SLR's now but they will cost just as much and are just as bulky.

On the flip side, I do appreciate how things like the internet allow us to instantly shop for things, make travel reservations, share large amounts of information (pictures), etc.

SuperMom said...

Actually, though I love my Canon Powershot a LOT, I'm still coveting the Nikon D40x (a digital SLR camera). I actually think I'd use both a lot, but we'll see how generous Santa is feeling this year (and once again, shows how much I don't actually practice what I talked about in my post, LOL).