iPhones and streaming and Ebay, oh my.And what I don’t miss from the past century.
By Annie Korzen
I admit that technology has showered us with all kinds of conveniences, but sometimes I miss the days when you could easily hear the other person on the phone. That’s just one reason I still prefer my landline. Some others: I cannot misplace, lose, drop or break it. It is unlikely to be stolen. I don’t need to insure it. And, best of all, it doesn’t follow me around when I take a walk in the park.
I do own a smartphone, mind you—how else can I discover which aisle of Trader Joe’s my husband has disappeared to? And I enjoy playing Words with Friends while waiting for the bus. But an honest-to-goodness phone conversation? That can wait until the comfort and privacy of home, thank you.
I do occasionally check my emails if I’m out for a lengthy period. I did that while getting my roots done, and the hairdresser said, “Oh, wow, I didn’t know people your age used smart phones.” I lied and said, “Of course we do. I use mine constantly!” just to put this ageist twit in her in place.
I do both DVDs and streaming, though that little red Netflix envelope has become a latter-day scarlet letter—so not cool with the Youngs. They watch movies on their laptops, or even on their phones. Horrors! My idea of a good time is to lounge on the sofa before a 55-inch screen, munching on some cherry pie, and watching Enchanted April for the umpteenth time.
I enjoy putting photos online, but I also cherish my collection of hard-copy photo albums: actual books with actual pages that I turn with my actual grandson (who snuggles beside me, riveted by goofy baby pictures of himself).
Lest you dismiss me as a total Luddite, there are many things from the past century that I don’t miss at all: TV antennas. Mimeograph machines. Carbon paper. Typewriter correction tape. Paper road maps (ever tried refolding one?). And, most of all, cutting and pasting: Literally. Cutting a document with scissors and pasting it somewhere else with Scotch tape. Plus I’m very grateful for the modern miracles of Skype, Siri, and Arthroscopic surgery.
My happiest hi-tech moment came last month. I bought an antique mah-jongg set in a thrift shop for ten bucks, then figured out how to post it on eBay. It sold for $900. Wow! This digital stuff is pretty amazing. Now all I need is about a hundred hours of tutoring from any random 12-year-old.