Mar 23, 2010

5 Things that Technology destroyed according to: Me.

The running gag with some of my dearest friends is this: I am standing firm on the theory that I won't ever see the flying car. Ever. Period. You can try to tell me about the hover-thingy that is all over the internet... no. I mean Flying and I mean Car. Think Jetsons. Yep, a flying car. Think that special DeLorean that we love. I mean that one. Not only have I been saying it for years, I can go on a little more and say that my kids won't see it as well. But that got me thinking... there are some things that I miss terribly. Things, objects that actually did happen, did exist... but for reasons of technology, have died and gone to heaven. Sucks.

See, technology has been so fucking awesome but in a way, it has also killed many things that we used to love. And I can think of five things that I miss, terribly. In order of preference, here are mine:

1) The Past.
Think about it. You had people from your past and had people from the present. That means that you, at some moment during the year, thought about that person or that other person and wondered how they were, what they were up to, etc. Not anymore. Now people who life should have erased from your current present (example, idiot high school friends who you really didn't give a rat's ass about; ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends, that one night stand you really want to deny) are suddenly all with you. All of this, courtesy of your garden variety social networking tool. Great.

2) Rotary phones.
You gotta give it to me. Getting that finger on that phone and hearing the dial move was ah-mazing. AMAZING! They were huge. They were bulky. But you know what? I can bet that they didn't fail as much as our regular phone these days. I miss those. Making a mistake and starting over? Classic! Hours untangling the cords? Ah. Those were the days.

3) The Typewriter.
OOOOOOOH just the memory of it and I get all hot and bothered. Sitting down at the Typewriter meant business. You had to have your shit together. Why? As much as you liked the idea of WhiteOut, any decent writer knew - YOU NEVER DELIVER A PAGE WITH IT. Your pages HAD to be clean of mistakes or, at least in my case, you had to start all over. The sound that it made... Ah. Music to my ears.

4) Regular Mail.
Remember? Besides getting junk mail and bills... you actually at one time received a letter from someone. A true letter, made by hand! The insanity! They wrote to tell you about their stories and ask about how you were doing. It took a shitload of days to get there, but when you opened your mailbox... wasn't it wonderful to get that, specially for you? Say thank you to e-mails for that.

5) Buying CD's.
Oh. Come on! Don't tell me that you still actually do that!!! Um. Nope. I am not admitting to the fact that I get music from the internet... Um. Uh... It's... people want to share it with me, so who am I to say no? Ok. OK! Between you and me, Madonna, Prince, Metallica... they all have shitloads of money. I gave them my money during my younger years. Now, it's payback time. Long live Bit Torrents, dammit.

Feel free to add the stuff that you miss!!! Much love, Me.


RestrictionsApply said...

Not to date myself too severely, but I do miss:

The Ditto Machine (Mimeograph) –
If elementary school smelled like crayons and poster paint, then junior high and high school had the distinctive odor of the purple ink used in ditto machines. Too young to drink coffee, our pick-me-up drug of choice was sniffing the slightly damp copies teacher handed us at the beginning of class. Good luck getting a ditto of something that wasn’t smeared or blurry.

Visits to the Library –
Where I grew up, the only safe place for a kid to hang out was the local library, which was really more like a cultural center. They offered free classes (cooking, dance, theater), screened movies, featured thousands of magazines from all over the world, hosted free concerts, and a bunch of other cool stuff. In fact, the thing we did least there was read. It was the place to hang out and not get into trouble. Of course, when I got older and actually needed the library to get work done, I came to appreciate the adventure of finding information. It was like Indiana Jones, except you had to sift through card catalogues and put the pieces of the puzzle together in order to find whatever it was you were looking for. Today it’s just click and boom, there it is.

Talking with people, face to face, and often –
The art of the conversation. The pleasure of other people’s company. Sitting with friends and talking through all hours of the night. Chatting in the hallways. Solid friendships are developed through actually interacting with other people, not by texting or emailing them. Ironically enough, the lack of Facebook et. al. forced you to be sociable in the human sense of the word. I have hundreds of Facebook “friends”, but only a handful of real flesh-and-blood amigos.

Jiffy Pop popcorn –
Picture this: An aluminum foil balloon tied to a pan, quickly inflating on top of the stove. Its contents? Delicious popcorn! Flavorless, mind you, so it was up to you to freely dump all the salt and butter you wanted to make it just right. Jiffy Pop meant only one thing: MOVIE NIGHT!!!

Turntables –
DJing used to be a real art form. You needed serious skills to get the party going through the wee hours of the night. You had to select the right records and the right time, or else you got your ass booed off the stage. And when scratching and mixing came into vogue, you really had to prove your mettle and battle it out with the DJs from across town. You had to PERFORM. Today, it’s just hit “play” on your favorite iPod playlist and you’re set.

Me said...

Jiffy Pop Corn! Can you believe that I noticed that loss last year? I went all super happy to the grocery store and almost dropped to the floor once I learned that it wasn't available anymore.

RIP Jiffy. We will miss you.

Jake P. said...

Fear not, Jiffy Pop is still around. The little country store near us in Northern AZ has it, but you can also get it on Amazon--12 for $24 bucks!

Good call on the ditto machine, and my dad was the single last holdout for rotary phones in America. We were also the last ones to get cable TV, but I won't say that I miss rabbit ears, 'cause they sucked something awful.

Joker said...

I still buy cds, I still read hard copy and I refuse to write on a laptop. My cd collection is absurd, uncomfortable and hogs up all the space, and I wouldn't want it any other way. Does that mean I don't have MP3s? Of course I do but until last year, I still had a car with a tape player and I loved it. To me technology has allowed people to take communication, literature, and music for granted and I'll curmudgeonly insist on doing things the old school way. Hence me writing my novel in notebooks and transcribing. Simple is not always better.

As for something to add to the list, how about videogames that only used two buttons.

How about VHS, no wonder everyone is an asshole, they're not asked to be kind when returning movies.

How about going to the beach to check out if the waves were good. Feeling hot air and looking at flags and trees to determine wind direction?

How about the layaway... now you can only get that at K-Mart.

How about polaroids and super 8's.

How about cartoons that were drawn rather than animated?

How about buckets of fake blood and makeup?

how about a good photographer rather than Photoshop?

How about porn without airbrushing?

How about Transformers that didn't suck?

How about marbles?

How about an arcade that DIDN'T suck?

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