We’re scanning all our photos into the computer, putting them in folders labeled ‘Grandma’s Birthday’ or ‘Summer 77’. And don’t forget to back those up on a flash drive. And then what? I have a dozen flash drives full of photos. Why not keep the physical photos as back up? Takes up too much space. Maybe you have too many photos? I know we do. Husband being an amateur photographer and all, there are boxes of photos he wants me to scan. (He can’t do it because it’s too confusing for him. It’s a lousy excuse, but I wrote out the instructions, and still had to walk him through the steps. I figured it was just easier if I did it myself. But I drag my feet, because even after I’ve scanned, labeled, and shared boxes of photos…he won’t throw out the originals. It will take more than a generation to delete paper from our lives, but it is coming. Kids just email their homework to their teachers. Everything will be done on iPads. In time, even the musty smell of old book stores will dissipate.
The pace at which our technology is expanding is both awe inspiring and frightening. I’m old enough to remember carbon paper and manual typewriters. It’s so long ago and I feel it was ‘better back then’, just like all old people do. Today at Starbucks I saw little round disks with a hole in the middle, and a USB port. They were wi-fi chargers. You place them on the table and plug in your device and it charges. I’m blown away by the technology. But then I thought, aren’t radio waves sort of like wi-fi? Does wi-fi use radio waves, or something else? And then my brain begins to hurt and I stop thinking about it.
Things are changing in my world that I do not want changed. Why do we need such technology? You know, if ISIS or Russia, or China wanted to take over the US, all they’d have to do is sabotage our electricity. No bombs required, and we’d be hostages. Just because we have the capability to do something doesn’t mean we should. We now know how to clone sheep and make puppies and fish glow in the dark. Maybe in some obscure way this knowledge will help us learn something else. But really; glow-in-the-dark puppies?
I must admit that use this technology too. I have a Facebook page, my blog, my online store. There’s even a MySpace page and some short stories floating around the World Wide Web. I love the fact that I have so much information at my fingertips. The problem is it’s all the same information, often word for word, regardless of the subject from Aborigines to Zoology. Google something. Then check the first 3-5 sites. See if the information varies much. Granted, the information may be accurate. But it may not be all the information. I still trust books. Especially encyclopedias, always an excellent unbiased source for information. But they don’t update them anymore, and so much has been learned just in my lifetime they are quite obsolete.
What are the dangers of people living online? Kids glued to their phones and pads. My grandson never puts his down. It’s been months since I’ve seen his face. Sociologically speaking we are doomed to live our lives in the dystopia of Demolition Man. Everything will be purchased at Wal-mart and Amazon, from prescriptions to kinky sex toys. There will be no grocery stores or kitchens in homes, everyone eats out. I see it coming (as do a lot of old people), the end of the world, glad I won’t see it. Thinking exactly like my Grandma did at the turn of the 20th century, and her father, and his mother. And so the world will go on as it always did. The next generation dooming all of mankind ever since man learned he was different from the other animals.
Are we doomed? Yes, of course we are. Just like the Romans who killed themselves off with lead goblets, the Mayans who didn’t make it through years of drought, the First Nations of the Americas who couldn’t beat the modern weapons of the 15th Century White men. Each great country or empire will come to an end. And most didn’t disappear so much as they were absorbed by other cultures/countries. It happened to the Great Soviet Union and Germany in my lifetime. It can happen to the US.