Change is not always a bad thing

Published 2:35 pm Tuesday, March 7, 2023


Contributing columnist

As we grow older, we realize how much the world has changed. While we often gripe about this fact, a wise man once told me that old ways won’t open new doors. That’s good advice. Still, it’s amazing to think how the world has changed since the 1980s when everyone had a mullet and wore parachute pants. Wait. Was that just me?

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Yes, things that used to be part of normal life have changed drastically, or have all together disappeared. None has changed more than the way we take pictures. I still remember the whole painstaking process of taking and developing pictures back then. I would be filled with anticipation as I dropped the film off at the store and two weeks later, I would go back to open the pictures only to find that I had my thumb in front of the lens on every picture. Today, I have grown so used to having a camera at my disposal that I take pictures all willy nilly of everything from my lunch to strange bumps that grow on me. You know, just to have a record in case it ends up killing me.

I’ve always been the curious type and wanted to know everything. Back in the day, that meant taking a trip to the library and looking up a book in the card catalog. It took effort to learn something unlike today where I find myself Googling everything from Meatloaf recipes to how to train my dog to bring me snacks just because I can.

Everyone seems to be busier than ever these days unless you’re an Encyclopedia salesman. Those guys have plenty of free time these days. Still, it’s hard to believe that we used to find time to stop our lives and sit down on a specific day and time to watch our favorite Television show. I remember when I bought my first VCR, and I was able to record my favorite shows and watch them later. I felt like George Jetson for sure. Of course, those days came with their own set of frustrations. I may or may not have taped Magnum P.I. over someone’s graduation video. I was taught the meaning of patience when watching Fonzie jumping the shark only to see those heartbreaking words on the screen, “To be continued.” No, I couldn’t just push a button and stream the next episode as I do today, I had to wait a whole week to see if Fonzie lived or died. Spoiler alert. He lives.

Once upon a time, we had to remember everyone’s phone number. I couldn’t tell you the phone number of anyone today if my life depended on it. That’s my phone’s job. Speaking of phones, I remember watching Miami Vice as a kid and being amazed that they had a phone in their car or when the pulled out that giant brick from their coat pocket that passed as a mobile phone back then. I purchased my first cell phone in 1999. I used the first 10 minutes of the 200 that I had for the month calling all my friends and saying, “Dude, you will not believe where I’m calling you from.”

I’ll admit that I have come to appreciate the modern conveniences of having technology at my fingertips. Gone are the days of pulling out the cartridge of my Nintendo and blowing in it to make it play. Now I can lose at Mario Cart to a stranger in China instead of my friends. It seems that I depend on my phone for everything from taking pictures to solving those math problems that I swore that I’d never need to know how to do. In fact, I’m having people over to stare at their phones later if you want to come by.