I was sitting surrounded by my children while we were discussing intelligent electronics.
“So, when I got my new I-Pad…” said my son-in-law.
“What, I exclaimed, it’s only now that you got a new I-Pod? I have my I-pod for a long time, so why didn’t you get one before?” I asked.
“We are talking I-Pad, he explains, not I-Pod! That’s something else! ‘A’ instead of ‘O,’ Now…I should show you the Kindle, you can read, listen, it turns pages automatically, and…”
Do I want to see the Kindle? I really don’t know!
“I can shoot a video with this!” continues one of the 21st century people.
“Oh, yes? Maybe I can too, I should try it!” came the fast reply.
“Now, says my daughter, if one of you has the same I-phone like mine, we can connect and talk and look at each other without any cost, no matter how great the distance!”
Where will all this lead? I ask myself.
This whole conversation makes me feel so “left behind” and in self-defense my mind drifts back to the century gone by.
Ideas, objects, inventions come and go and then find themselves obsolete. Here in front of me on the book-case stands an ashtray, completely unused. It’s not a particularly pretty ashtray, but it has been part of my living room for a long, long time, and may last until tales about cigarettes will be told by grandparents only. Maybe it will grace some shelf in a museum one day…Take the shoe repair shop in the central Carmel. From my childhood I remember a jolly shoemaker who even made a pair of boots for me which were my pride and joy for many years, I hardly dared to wear them for fear that they will wear out.
I remember watching him while he made them, he hammered, and drove in nails, and while working he explained to me exactly what he was doing and told me a joke in between.
Now that shoe repair shop on the Carmel is so completely modernized, shoes are being repaired by machines, and the man takes his money without telling jokes.
I do miss my old shoemaker! He would be 150 years old by now or more!
Next to the ashtray I have a stack of tapes. They are meant for my walkman which I used to fasten to my belt while I listened to music.
I expect a question from my grandson soon:
“Grandma, what’s this?”
Walkmen made their exit about the time my grandson made his entrance.
I don’t use the walkman now, because my electronic kids bought me an MP 3, before I graduated to my I-Pod which I realize may not be the last word! My children continue to discuss I-Pods and I-Pads and I-phones and loading down and loading up. Soon Skype will become obsolete; until now I thought that Skype was the greatest, provided it cooperates, because sometimes you have the picture without the sound, and at other times you have the sound without the picture. And there are times when you haven’t got anything!
Talking on Skype with my cousin in Chile, he complains that he sees only half of me.
“Move to the right a bit, he instructs me.
“No, no, just stand up!” he decides, “When I talk to you I want to see all of you And smile! I want to see you smile!”
After moving me around to the left and to the right, and up and down, I certainly don’t feel like smiling!
He then decides that I should stop moving but start moving the camera. That’s the time when I suggest we talk on the phone next time! Old fashioned but reliable.
Last night I suddenly had no internet. I tried to phone my server who initially promised 24 hours service, but Easter is Easter and maybe he is celebrating on an island in Greece.
I went to bed quite troubled, thinking what would happen when I get up in the morning to no internet? I would feel cut off from the world, no messages from friends and relatives, in fact not knowing what goes on in the world! Of course I have a radio, in fact I have two, and a TV, also two of them, but having no internet means deprivation of the cruelest kind. I never had this kind of worry 20 years ago. But neither did I experience the joy of having the internet back where it should be next morning! I have no idea where the internet disappeared to, nor do I know where it came back from. In truth I really don’t particularly care as long as it stays around!
My kids have gone back home and I am blue waiting for words of comfort from you.