Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
Yesterday on my Bible study blog I wrote a little bit about all the electronic/electrical gadgets we had accumulated over the years, especially in the last 20 years as we have become part of the digital world.
Today’s prompt has set me thinking about how astonished my parents’ generation would be at all the ways we communicate today.
My mom loved letters. She wrote them, she loved getting them, and she saved them. To her, they were tangible links to the people she cared about. Today? Letters are typed and sent into cyberspace via email or any other number of digital forms, and typically once they are read we delete them. I don’t know many people who write the kinds of letters my mom did, detailing her life and the lives of her family to the person who would receive that letter.
I’ve been watching Victoria on Amazon Prime. It’s a PBS production, and Masterpiece Theater. Victoria was Queen of England long before anyone thought about the internet. The biggest new things in the early part of her reign were the trains that were being built to traverse the island; also, a calculating machine that could compute numbers accurately.
A machine that operated on gears and levers, it was a marvel of its time. It was quite large, I’m guessing maybe three or four feet cubed, and it was the precursor of the pocket-sized calculators that were such a wonder when I was in high school.
Astonishing, indeed. Those Victorians were pretty bright 🙂
My parents were excited about the first TV set we had when I was about eight. Tiny little screen in a huge cabinet, rabbit ears, no remote control, and knobs to control the quality of the picture. It took some learning to work those knobs just right.
Here’s what the rabbit ears looked like; they were used to bring in the picture, and could be turned and shortened or lengthened as necessary.
Cell phones? Never heard of them in my parents’ day, and I really can’t imagine my dad going around with a cell in his pocket, checking it every few seconds while ignoring the people around him. I think he would have been disgusted 🙂
I think, though, that both my parents would have loved a computer once they got the hang of using one. It’s such a time saver, compared to typewriters, changing the ribbons, and using mimeographs to make copies. But then, all that was pretty astonishing too, in its own day.
These past 100+ years have been full of astonishing inventions. Most of them have made our lives a little easier, a little better. Also, they have opened up a whole new field of work for the people who build and repair them.
There are those who reviled telephones, automobiles, radios, then TV sets, and then computers as being tools of the Devil. It’s true they can be used for wrong, harmful behaviors. But they don’t have to be. There was plenty of wrong, harmful behavior in this old world long before these modern miracles came along.