Thursday, June 8, 2017

Now and Then

When I was a kid we lived in Greenville, South Carolina and before I was old enough to get a "real" job, I pushed a lawnmower around our neighborhood and cut grass for people.

I ended up with quite a few yards to take care of. Around the corner lived a pair of elderly twin sisters, they had a huge yard and I cut their lawn front and back for five dollars, every other week on Saturday.

I had another which was right across the street and about half the size, I cut this one for two bucks every week, I made enough money to buy my gas and to save up for a bike, gasoline was a whopping thirty cents a gallon, I'm estimating this number by the fact that it was thirty five cents a gallon when I got my first car.

Back then I kept up with my customers, their grass cutting schedules, addresses, their needs, and the amounts paid for my services, I kept this all in my head, I had a good memory back in the day.

This carried over to my job with the water company, I remembered the locations of things like our water meters, I could tell you the type of meter in the box and most times the meter number before even opening the meter box, I remembered readings, calculations, prices, and details about my customers all over town.

I attribute my good memory beginning with my grass cutting days, and training my mind by remembering everything in my head.

Just before Cindy and I moved to California, we had a neighborhood kid (he was between 10 and 12 years old) stop by to ask if we needed our grass cut. Our yard was not that big and I usually mowed it in about half an hour, I was on crutches at the time and depending on our teenaged boys was like depending on any teenager who has their own car and a girlfriend.

I let this kid give me a bid, thirty five dollars is what he quoted, I about died right there, I couldn't see paying this and told him I couldn't go for that right now, he whipped out a cell phone from his back pocket and started typing, I asked what he was doing, he said "I'm putting in your address and what I quoted so I will remember that I have already been here".

Back then we remembered stuff or wrote it down, now most kids (and adults) have a cell phone and keep their information, schedules, friends and families birthdays,.......just about everything they need to remember on their phone, if we lose our phones then we are lost.

Spelling was important back then, but now our phones, computers, and tablets do all the spelling for us, spell check is my friend and even though this is a good thing it seems my spelling is getting worse.

In my opinion we are not getting our minds trained to remember things, our phones do all of this for us, is this a good thing or not?
Now and Then Computer technology
Cindy and Dixie on the computer
Don't get me wrong I have no problem with progress, but how many of the kids in our upcoming generation will be able to function without social media or a phone attached to their hands? I touched on this in a post a few years back, Green Beans and Mule Farts if you want to look back.

Kids mainly communicate through social media or texting now, back then we gathered in groups, went places together, sat on the porch, or drove across town to see that special girl.

Now they gather in places like Facebook live, upload selfies and send them to one another, sit in their computer or gaming chairs, and text that special girl.

Back then we spent a lot of time running around with that special girl, physical contact was common, because we were communicating face to face, but now they see each other mainly on a screen, but also now teenage pregnancy is down.

People don't communicate face to face anymore, our kids social skills are becoming limited by the gadgets they possess, we are being limited by technology in a sense, because some of this technology does all the work for us, while making our memory and minds weakened at the same time.

Don't get me wrong Technology is a good thing and I do enjoy what I am doing here.

I am happy that we can catch up and communicate with people all over the world, back then we were limited to a small group that was mainly family, and it was days or weeks for a message or letter to arrive, now all messages arrive in an instant.

There are pros and cons here and opinions will differ, my opinion is that technology is a great thing, but it should not be relied on to the point that we can't walk away from it.

Do you think our upcoming generation is too dependent on technology, and is this a good thing?

44 comments:

  1. Technically this always happens with new tech. Back in the early days of electric stuff, there was people against refrigerators. Can most people go without one now? Probably not

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True Adam, who knows what technology will bring in the coming years, it's kind of scary when it is evolving quicker than you can keep up with.

      Delete
  2. I'm thinking technology is good, to a point. I also think it is creating a trainload of physical and emotional cripples.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes this is what I was thinking also, technology is a good thing just not to the point where we are stranded without it.

      Delete
  3. I can remember when I was working and voice mail came to be. I can't tell you how much time this saved us in our busy lives. Instead of getting orders to do this or that, I could actually give those orders to the person that would be doing the work. I say technology makes life easier, but it needs to be in smaller doses. Kids need to get outside and unplug for a bit and do something else beside sitting in front of a phone or computer.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sandee, that's it in a nutshell, getting the kids unplugged long enough to be kids, that's basically my concern.

      Have a great weekend on your cruise.

      Delete
  4. I think it may be too much, but everyone will figure it out, stuff does change, and it changes faster and faster these days. But $35 for a 1/2 hour job for a kid...no way! $20 tops if he does a good job. When I was a kid I did most of the yard work, and my dad agreed to feed me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Joe, and that was around 2008 also, I sure thought 35 bucks was a lot for the job.

      Like you the work I did around the house was for room and board so to say, now days kids think they are to be paid when helping their own parents.

      Delete
  5. It's great having all this information at our fingertips and mobile, but it does create a dependency. I also wonder about how relationships have changed for kids who mainly "hang out" by texting, snapchatting, and such? There are certainly dark sides too - cyberbullying comes to mind - and texting while driving. Technology should balance with responsibility, but there are no guarantees that's the case.

    $35 to mow a half-hour lawn? Probably cheaper to buy a goat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Abby, that's a point I didn't touch on, the dangers involved in this, the cyberbullying is a bigger problem than we realize, and Lord knows the numbers of distracted drivers due to texting and messing with their phones.

      We have to learn to leave the phones alone while driving, and as for the bully it's not that easy when the ones being bullied won't ask for help, kind of like in real life, we need to find a way to make them comfortable enough to ask for help.

      Excellent points Abby.

      Delete
  6. Technology has its place...the work place....but I think we need to decrease its use in our private lives. That said, I would really miss being here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Delores, being able to decrease it in our private lives is the thing, I don't think any of us are addicted to the point that we can't do other things, it's the ones who cannot pull their eyes away long enough to acknowledge people sitting in the same room.

      Delete
  7. The problem I often see is that jobs can't be done now when the system goes down. I've not been able to do banking three times in the past year because their computers or printers haven't worked. I've also left stores when I haven't been able to use a credit card due to their computer problems. Honestly, it just seems like doing any sort of business has been complicated, not made life easier.

    But I do love the Internet!😉

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true Bijoux, it is a shame when a business cannot continue to operate when the computer system goes down, you would think a store should be able to calculate a sale without a computer, or a bank teller to count money, I know it's not that simple, but it could be. Good point on this, thank you.

      Yes the internet is impressive.

      Delete
    2. Another big problem when a system goes down in many stores is the tills will not open so sales are lost, because they are all automated. If it is just the banks so credit cards can't be used, people can still pay with cash if they have it, but when the store system crashes, we checkout persons have to just stand around waiting for someone to fix whatever went wrong. If the problem is an electricity blackout, there's nothing we can do at all. In such situations, knowing how to add up and make change is as useless as mud pies when you're truly hungry.

      Delete
    3. It has gotten to that point hasn't it, the systems we have in place is what ties our hands, no one has a backup system for when the computers go down to keep everything moving.

      Delete
  8. If it wasn't for the addiction factor, there is a lot of good from the technology. Like you said, we can communicate with people all over the world with one click. That is a good thing. When I see people at ball games who stare at their phones the whole game--and they are adults-- is when I feel sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Patti, yes this is strange to me, I noticed a few people watching the race on their phones when Cindy and I went to the race to watch it in person.

      I had to laugh at my daughter a few years back, she and a cousin were here for Christmas, they were in the living room texting on their phones, after a while I asked my daughter who she was talking to, she was texting her cousin sitting in the same room.

      Delete
  9. Technology is...sorry, what was I saying?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Fran, now this is why we all love you :)

      Delete
  10. You're preaching to the choir. Yes, I think technology is a wonderful thing, but I also think people... especially young people... are getting entirely too dependent on it. It's one thing to use electronic gadgets as a tool, but another one entirely when someone is unable to perform a simple function without that tool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen Susan, our children need to learn how to survive without the gadgets, the world doesn't stop when the power goes out.

      Delete
  11. With the amount of money kids think they should get paid to cut grass and shovel snow it's no wonder they've now become a service adults provide.

    I really do worry about kids depending too much on technology and they are becoming more anti-social because they aren't interacting enough other than on line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jean, a perfect example of what you are saying is a nephew looking for a job, was telling me of places he had applied, I told him to stay in contact with the companies, show up early when applying, and to dress nicely, he said "that's not how it works, you apply online and then wait for them to respond"....no wonder he was out of work, just my opinion.

      Delete
    2. No. That really is the way it works now. Even years ago, when I was job hunting in 1999 and 2000, I'd got to places and ask for application forms and was told to got to such and such Job Centre, there were so many different ones, you'd go there and add your name to the list and either call in every day or check their website to see if anything on their books would suit you, then you ask them to send in your resume. it's the worst way in the world to get a job, or in my case, not get a job. What happens is so many hundreds are applying for the one job, companies can pick and choose, where many more years ago, there were more of the labouring type jobs and you could get one the day you left school.

      Delete
    3. Hi River, isn't it funny how quickly things change, I'm glad it's not me looking for a job because I'd be so lost in how to do it.

      Delete
  12. I must admit I yearn for the days before all this technology made our lives so complicated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Stephen, a simpler life would be ideal for me, some technology but not completely technological.

      Delete
  13. On our recent mini-vacation, Casinopalooza 2, my 22-year-old son Genius was at wit's end because his phone was losing its charge, and none of us had a car charger that fit it. He had to wait until we got to the hotel to use his dad's packed-away charger.

    The kids at school used to text each other while sitting side by side at the lunch table. They don't know how to interact with people. At least Genius's generation can still do that a little. His younger brother's crowd, not so much, even though there's only four years difference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Val, I have seen the kids panic over a charging cable that just doesn't fit.

      I mentioned to Patti above of a situation where our daughter was texting to her cousin during Christmas, while sitting in the same room.....

      Amazing how much difference four years will make in how prepared our children are for life.

      Delete
    2. Imagine a world of standardised charging cables....

      Delete
    3. Now that's a good idea...

      Delete
  14. ...too dependent on technology...?

    Yeah probably, but to slaughter a metaphor we've already bitten that apple so there is no going back. Frankly, up until I got a smart phone last year I easily remembered a whole host of family phone numbers. I can still remember a couple but I am increasingly dependent on the contact list storied in my phone.

    As for spelling, I've always depended on spellcheck. The one silver lining is that after misspelling a word enough times I tend to remember the correction.

    Lastly, if what I have read is correct futurists strongly suspect technology, like computer-aided memory will eventually be integrated into the human brain. I'm not sure how I feel about that but it will probably occur after I'm gone so I'm not really worrying about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right we have already bitten the apple, like you my phone book was once in my head but now....

      I do worry about the future to a point, I wonder how my Grandson will make a living and what he will be able to do if the computers were to suddenly go down.

      Delete
  15. When I saw a four year old working the iPad like an expert, I wondered what they were/would be missing with this new technology. For a start handwriting has gone out the window. A lot of truth and wisdom in your post Jimmy. I don't suppose the generations coming will realize what they will be missing. They will be deep into this new technology, and we have only seen the tip of the iceberg.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Grandson can work any electronic device quicker than I would be able to find the power button, it's scary.

      You are correct, handwriting will be a thing of the past, and the future generations will not know what they are missing, it is sad in my opinion.

      Delete
  16. Greast post, Jimmy. You said everything that is in my mind. I have recently tried switching off the phone, but when I wanted to check a number I had to switch it back on. What on earth are we dong with ourselves? The nearest thing to rebellion for me is to abandon Facebook etc. I CAN live without it and have proved it. I would miss my blogging friends though if I gave up the computer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good morning Valerie, I can do without facebook also, but with blogging we can communicate and still have time to do things away from the computer.

      Rebellion by walking away from the computer wouldn't really work, everything is so computer oriented now that we would have to create a social media page to announce that we were rebelling against social media...

      Good to see you my dear friend.

      Delete
  17. Yes they are too dependent on technology and no, that's not a good thing. What's at fault? Technology itself. Everything is online, there's no getting away from it. Look in a phone book, there are fewer numbers and more websites. People are told they can find such and such a www...whatever. so they do. But that's a big failure for the older generation, many of whom don't even own a computer and wouldn't know how to use one. There are classes available, but they cover the basics only, such as email and how to open a website, but if you need to get around that website and find out more from it, many older people are completely lost. And telephones now, with their automated messages, don't get me started.
    One more thing, what will happen when things break down and no one knows how to fix things in the real world because all trades etc have not been taught for yonks. There are no apprentices anymore, with the hands on training they used to have in making or fixing things.
    Social media? It has its place, but in my opinion, that place is not 24/7. Real face to face is so much better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right every thing we do is connected to a computer, hardly anything is not done online.

      Speaking of the older generation, yes this is an issue for them, our son actually built a computer for Cindy's Dad, a nice one at that "so Papa can get online and play some games if he wants" Cindy's Dad was really appreciative but the computer is still in the box, has been for a couple of years now and will remain there.

      Training people how to do manual labor jobs, like when I worked at the water company, if a mainline burst we dug it up and fixed it, I don't see how all of this generation with their computer degrees will be able to do that either, I agree we need people who can do "real world jobs"

      I really have no problem with social media, I would just like to see kids outside playing like we used to and for people to spend part of their days away from their devices.

      Delete
  18. Alas, one cannot help but stay updated with new technology. Its affecting all our lives in more ways than one. The good old days of having pen pals and writing letters around the world. And today, two people sitting in the same house text each other -because its all just more convenient to talk. Same goes for the work environment, send an email when you can just walk to the person to have a real conversation. Its even going to get worse I think, with all the futuristic tech being developed now. Kids don't play outside anymore, when there's TV, Youtube, video games, and other social media to catch up on. Sigh.

    Greetings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right it has gotten to where it's easier to text a message or send an email rather than talk face to face with someone in the same building.

      Yes it will get only worse, as you said with the futuristic gadgets and technology our kids are losing all incentive to go outside and play.

      Good to see you.

      Delete
  19. $35 for a half hour of mowing? I'm switching jobs!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure how many jobs he got but he was sure proud of his bids :)

      Delete

I am glad you stopped by, feel free to join in, tell me what you think, or just say Hi, thank you for commenting.