Sunday, April 5, 2009


Hey Bill- you want to beat Apple/IPhone at it's own game-- here's what you do.
Produce a stupid cell phone with numbers on the pad that the "over 50 crowd" can actually read. There's really a lot of us and more coming every day. There is a great article in the NY Sunday Times by Michael Winerip about this very thing. "Somewhere between the cellphone and BlackBerry, I stopped. I pay my bills by mail, not online. I listen to music on a CD, not an iPod. I e-mail, I don't I.M. or friend people on Facebook or Twitter. "

I'm amazed at the technology I have seen in my "short" lifetime. I worry that this younger generation will never lay on the floor on their tummy's and visualize a radio serial.

I remember the morning our phone system shifted to dial and I called my Grandmother at 6 a.m. so I could be the first person in our family to use the new phone.

Our DuMont black and white T.V. and what a kick it was a short time back to discover that our granddaughter loved the old black and white "I Love Lucy" reruns.

And then I introduced her to "The Nelsons".

To quote Michael again" Some progress is progress, but as you get old, you come to feel, a lot is just change; no better, maybe worse. I watched my mother, who died a few years ago at 92, lose interest in the next new thing. She'd been born with radio. TV---particularly color TV---was more than she'd ever expected to see in her lifetime, and I couldn't get her past that. She couldn't see the point in cable beyond basic, because all she needed were three TV stations. Couldn't see the point of the DVD player my brother got her, since the three TV stations had movies. Didn't need a CD player since the radio had music. I was born when TV stations ran test patterns from midnight to 6: A.M. E-mail, the cellphone, 400 cable channels -- it's more than I ever expected to see in my lifetime. It's more than enough. As my mother used to say, how much information does one person need?"



PAT said...

Nifty post! I remember crank phones. We had one that looked like a regular desk phone, but it sat on a box with a crank...we were also on a partyline.

I do not want a Kindle. I can't imagine it being the same as curling up with a good book!

Blue State Cowgirl said...

I love a good gadget as much as the next person. But I keep coming back to the basics. Books, radio, conversation, real experiences.

Gadgets are okay, until they start interfering with the experience they are meant to enhance. Or those they have nothing to do with.

I'll never forget driving across country with my 24-year-old niece. While Monument Valley unfolded before us and the Grand Canyon appeared below us, she never looked up from texting her friends about where she was.

Now I'm all for sharing the experience. I looked, smelled, tasted, reveled in our travels. Then blogged later that night.

But I had to ask her, on some existential level, if you never actually saw Monument Valley, but only your phone keypad, can you really truly text about it? At the risk of having a crotchety "Kids Today" moment, I guess she wanted the experience to be completely Virtual. I'm told some video games take you through Monument Valley on screen. So maybe she experienced it that way.