Friday, February 8, 2013

Falling Ahead with the Times

The 2000's are calling and they want their phone back

The other day Auntie and Uncle Jim were on a double date with friends Geoff and Christine and Auntie became the laughing stock of the dinner table. 

While we were waiting for our salads to arrive, the subject turned towards cell phones and everyone pulled out his phone to compare Apps and show off some photos.

I miss my Walkman so...

Well, there was Auntie with her ancient little Samsung phone, the one that she'd bought about 10 years ago with the little silver bear charm hanging on the end, right next to the antenna.

"That's your phone?" Geoff asked accusingly mixed with peals of laughter.

Well, I never!  You'd think I'd been carrying around two tin cans and a string in my purse.  Well, I guess compared to their shiny new iPhones, I was.

Ah well, Auntie took all the laughter in the spirit that it was intended:  ridicule.

Good old
How had I fallen so far behind the times?

The funny thing is that in all other ways, Auntie is quite the modern miss.  I have three blogs, a facebook page and two twitter feeds. I even saw PSY's Gangnam Style video on YouTube when it had under 100,000 views. Now it's nearing 1.3 billion.  Where did I go wrong?

Bad old
With laughter still ringing in my ears, Uncle Jim kindly offered to buy me an iPhone 5 and Auntie readily agreed.  This zip-lined Auntie into the modern age and now I can't put my phone down.

The truth is that these days it's hard to keep up with all the new ways of doing things.

Do you remember record players?  Auntie does.

After listening to one side of the record, which took about 15 minutes or so, you had to get up and flip the record over to play the other side.  Television offered the same chance for vigorous exercise. If you wanted to change channels, you had to push the cat off your lap, get up out of your easy chair, walk across the room and flip a knob.

While watching TV and listening to records were both good ways to get exercise, now we sit like statues and manage our video content and MP3 files in our Clouds so there's no need to flip anything except your lid when your WiFi goes on the fritz or your download speeds are too pokey.
Back in the good old days when iPods had click wheels
I often think about all the things in life that are both old and good:  fine wine, architecture, grandparents, and unwatched episodes of your favourite old-time TV shows.

And how about everything that's both new and good in life like kittens,
"A ground breaking advancement in the field of obsolescence"
apples, friends, and new episodes of your favourite modern TV shows?

Sometimes, it's fun to find a happy mix of both like this nifty USB typewriter that Uncle Jim found on the internet.  If you have an old Underwood typewriter lying around, you can convert it into a keyboard for your iPad.  Imagine being able to hear the "clickity clak" of the typewriter keys and all those "likes" you'll generate when you update your facebook status to  "just got a new typewriter!"  Just make sure your don't slap your iPad off its stand when you should hit the "enter" key instead.

Uncle Jim is in many ways a thoroughly modern man and owns an iPad but strangely, he's never owned an iPhone.  After a bit of delicate questioning, I learned he has a little disability that plagues many people of his generation:  his fingertips aren't pointy enough to use the keypad.  Poor Uncle Jim!

All is not lost though. You'll be pleased to know that while we were in Hong Kong, we bought some nifty finger cones that are all the rage there.  Wearing these cones on your fingers over night will reshape your round fingertips in no time and they're guaranteed to make them pointy enough for an iPhone keyboard.  Fortunately, the cost of the cones is covered by his health insurance. 

Good old. The house phone from the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh

Of course this doesn't mean that we can't hold on to things from the past that bring us happiness and joy like old friends, antique tea cups and vintage Pucci dresses.

We should just be open to new things and new adventures that will enrich and improve our lives.

As one of my favourite animated characters, Edna Mode would say, "I never look back, darling! It distracts from the now."

I couldn't say it better myself! 

Stop fighting girls!  There are plenty of those to go around

Yes, "Like That."  All is well in the modern age - for now...