It is absolutely astounding how quickly we become addicted to technology. Our high speed Wifi has been down for 8 days, and we finally got it back up over the weekend. Thank goodness my IPad has 3G capability. Otherwise, we would have been unable to make some tax deposits to the government which can only be done on-line, and we all know what an understanding bunch the IRS is.
This situation got me to thinking about the things that we did not have growing up, but have become quickly addicted to. The list is almost endless, but I’m just going to mention a very few in this blog. We did not have air conditioning when I was growing up, but we did have a big attic fan that moved the warm air around the house all day long. I would leave my bedroom windows open at night, and the air would suck the curtains over my bed like a set of ghosts hovering over me. Of course the windows were open, the doors unlocked, and the keys were in the car because crime and drugs were virtually non-existent. These days I keep my heating and cooling man’s phone number on my speed dial because I figure that I can survive about three hours without a functioning cooling system.
We did not have cell phones. As a matter of fact, I remember our first phone in the house. We were on an 8 party line which meant 8 families out here in the sticks shared the same line. Each family’s phone had a distinctive ring. Ours was two short rings followed by one long ring. If you were a child and you were using the phone when an adult from another family picked up the phone to use it, you would hear someone say, ” You young’uns get off the phone. I need to make a call”. And we would hang up pronto. Now days, my cell phone attached to my hip seems as essential to me as my billfold and pocket knife.
We did not have GPS, and this is the one that I am going to close on for today. All of our tractors are equipped with GPS units. The tractors actually lay out and plant the rows of crops in unerring straight lines. The inside of our farm tractors look like the cockpit of a jet. In my day, we had to use a row marker and a steady hand to plant our rows. My Dad once commented that some of my rows were so crooked that we were going to have to bend the plows in order to cultivate our peanuts.
I read a book a couple of years ago titled, One Second After. I encourage everyone to read it. It tells a fictional tale of what happens in the US if something destroys all of our computer and GPS systems in an attack. I wonder if anyone under 30 years of age even knows how to read a map? I fear that many of the skills and talents of our ancestors are lost to antiquity. I am happy to say that I am still of the generation that can identify and live by the words of the old Hank Williams, Jr. song, A Country Boy Can Survive. In that song, Hank says,” I can skin a buck, I can bait a trot line because a country boy can survive”!
Well, this old boy can survive, but I would prefer to keep my creature comforts and technology that I have grown accustomed to!