|Judith Whitehead lives in Amherst New York|
( A suburb of Buffalo, N.Y.)
and has worked in the ophthalmology
field of medicine for nearly 40 years
Many years ago when I was growing up in a very different time and place, we had something called a phone booth on almost every corner. My mom always reminded me when I went out to make sure I had a dime with me just in case I had to make an emergency call.
The times progressed, phone calls escalated to 25 cents and there became less and less phone booths. It was the 1960's and there were no ATM machines or cell phones to either get money or call people with immediate gratification. You had better not leave the house without “cash” money just in case. I think in many ways it made teenagers growing up more responsible. You were made to think “ahead” , or you may be stranded or hungry depending on whatever your plans were.
Driving my boys to school one day in the 1990's some people did have phones in their cars, they were large and clumsy. When our car broke down in an intersection, a friend driving a special vehicle had a cell phone as he called it for us to use for emergency use. A large ariel anchored on his trunk made it possible for transmission.
Today our thoughts are posted and known instantly on a Facebook posting or a “tweet”. Many times if we had taken little time to contemplate what we were thinking at that time, it may have been better to “sleep on it” before making public what we thought . Sometimes less is more in those cases.
I must admit, I have bought into the Facebook world and find myself checking on my phone through out the day to see what friends and family are up to. Now a days you don't skip a beat on the latest news. World news, weather reports and events are immediately accessible and you can even skip the nightly news if need be; it was all laid out on public media on the web earlier in the day.
Are we better off for having such technology at our fingertips?
Families seem to spend less time actually “talking” to each other. We eat our meals out a few times a week and have noticed that children are using electronics to entertain themselves or messaging their fiends at that time,instead of facing each other to converse about their days.
Yes we are socially more connected but spend less time actually talking to our friends and family; we
send a quick text to save time to get our thoughts out there.
Meetings and greetings are made sending an Instagram without even speaking a word.
Party invites and congratulations no longer have to go through the mail service in the form of a
card with a stamp. It no wonder that the mail service continues to raise the prices of packages and
stamps--their circulation has dwindled over the years.
I for one still enjoy opening up a greeting card but notice I do get less each year in replacement of a quick message over the internet.
Our younger generation will no longer know the pleasure of sitting down and writing a letter to a friend across the country. When my husband and I dated on two different coasts, we used to write letters. Phone calls were more expensive then and were used in limited time increments. Today our thoughts and actions are sent and received with immediate gratification. It has changed our lives; don't know if for the better or not. It has taught our current generation that things can be taken care of instantly and I fear we have grown an impatient group of young people who have learned to want things done NOW.
Hana Hou, (Encore)
Judy wishes everyone a Happy Chanukah!