Friday, March 1, 2013


The DVR broke this morning.  I was in the middle of Bones (because you can't have too many rotting corpses early in the morning) when I walked out of the room to take a phone call about a more real-world problem (an update on my hit by car dog from yesterday).  When I returned, regular TV was playing.  Odd, but maybe the cat stepped on the remote.  However, when I tried to reload it, I found it was gone along with all the other shows that record on the bedroom DVR.  When I went in the bedroom to check I found the box to be dead as a door-nail   This amounted to minor personal crisis since I had planned to spend the morning in my PJs on the couch (it's cold outside).

Personal crisis aside, it made me think about how frustrated we get when we can't do something that up until a few years ago wasn't even possible.  As in, the days before technology changed our lives.  For example, remember commercials?  Because I don't.  We pretty much never watch anything "live" anymore.  It's always what we want, when we want it.  We will actually wait 20 minutes until after a show has started to watch it on the DVR just to so we can fast forward through the commercials.  Even if it means we have to find something else meaningless to do for 20 minutes.  Downside, I never know what movies are coming out.

Remember before everyone had a cell phone and carried it with them everywhere all the time?  It used to be when you had to make a phone call you had to go home, dial the number, and hope the other person was also home.  If they weren't you had to choose a random time to try again, or maybe, if you are lucky, leave a message and hope they call back while you are still home.  These days we pretty much expect to reach anyone at any time and get annoyed when they don't either answer or call back in 5 minutes or less.  I have a friend with a job that does not allow employees to carry cell phones on them.  I'm still getting used to waiting until lunch or after work if I need to contact her.  I know I could just call the business if it was truly important but in a world of unlimited texts and more cell phone minutes than I could use in a lifetime most of the "reasons" I need to call her are actually not critical.

Perhaps best of all remember trying to find information or answers before the internet?  Imagine trying to plan a vacation or a trip without online references.  Going anywhere would require the use of actual maps and calling for directions.  Which, you better do before you leave the house because you don't have a cell phone. And when you finally arrive at the hotel you didn't book online your biggest concern might be whether or not local calls are free and how much you would be charged if heaven forbid you needed to make a long distance phone call.  Now all we worry about is how many sockets there are in the room for when everyone needs to charge their cell phone, iPad, laptop, and video camera all at the same time.

These days you can now find the answer to almost anything in mere minutes with the use of Google and Wikepedia.  It might be a useless fact for mere curiosity or the answer to a question that would have previously required an extensive literary search at a public library (to which I don't even have a card any longer).

This is probably about the time you are wondering if this blog post ends with wishing we could go back to the simpler times and slower pace of days gone by.  It doesn't.  I love my iphone and my laptop and I'm not sorry I spend a good portion of my life attached to them or with my hand on a mouse.  I'm not sorry I haven't used an encyclopedia in years.  I'm not sorry I packed up the last of our "regular" phones while cleaning today since we disconnected our land line this month.  I'm not sorry we live in an era of information, technology and constant communication.   I was a little sorry that the DVR broke, but when Jerry came home, he fixed it.  We will now return to regularly scheduled programming.  Without commercials.


Sara said...

Can't live without my tivo. No way.

Melinda Wichmann said...

Great post! With all the crappy weather we've had in the upper Midwest lately, the first thing I do is make sure my phone is charged, my laptop is charged, etc. I DO remember "back in the day" when we were not so plugged in.

Diana said...

Love all the new technology. When I took Stephanie to college they wanted the parents to sit thur a class on " keeping in touch with your college student" Really? Between email. Text and cell phones,it's never been easier. I didn't go to that class. Lol. Cells phones - love them. I can remember waiting all day at home for the doctor to call me back when I had a problem with my kids. You couldn't leave the house because you might miss the call. Pay at the pump gas- whoohoo. You use to have to take your kids out of the car to go inside and pay. Drive thur pharmacy - the best. Do you know what it was like to have to take your vomiting child inside so you could get medications?

Nicki said...

I love pay at the pump gas!

Sarah said...

We haven't had a land line the entire time we've been married, so almost ten years now.

My annoying because-I'm-spoiled-by-technology issue is pretty ridiculous. Most of the time I am online I am either on my iPhone or iPad, so if I ever happen to actually sit down at our regular computer to type something, it drives me nuts that Word/gmail/whatever will go so far as to point out my typos but won't actually correct them!

Nicki said...

And it won't put a period after a double space!