Technology

Things we don’t do anymore

Every week after seeing Crazy men, I feel nostalgic for a simpler time in life. Go back to a time when things took longer to get done; which meant you had to think and try a lot harder about what you were doing. She couldn’t just pick up her cell phone and send a quick text message to her best friend to share a funny story. If you were near a phone (that is, a LAN line), you usually only had 2 ways to reach it: at home or at work. If she wasn’t available on either number, she was out of luck. By the time you located it, either the story was no longer as fun as you thought (which is often the case) or you had completely forgotten about it.

Although I believe that advances in technology have dramatically improved many aspects of our lives, I feel that it has caused a certain amount of undue stress and anxiety. In this “always-on” society, we are often overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things that we have to manage on a daily basis. I, for one, have a complete database of accounts and passwords; and this is after discarding several that I no longer use.

All of this made me think of things that we no longer do (or hardly do). And the surprising thing is that much of the following list became a reality only in the last 10 years. We seem to be getting a lot closer to catching up with the Jetsons.

Ten things we no longer do thanks to technology

  • Ask others for their phone number. These days, if you tell someone you’re not on Twitter or Facebook, they take a look at you.
  • Write letters. I can’t remember the last time I got a letter in the mail. In fact, a personal email message is almost a thing of the past. A tweet or text is now the accepted (and often expected) means of written communication.
  • Make phone calls. Thanks to the accepted means of written communication mentioned above, even verbal conversations that do not take place face-to-face are losing popularity.
  • Take traditional portraits. One of my sister’s former boyfriends recently contacted my mom and gave her a photo to give to my sister. In fact, he had gone to a portrait studio, taken a photo, and made copies. My sister and I couldn’t believe what we were seeing. It would have been a lot faster, cheaper, and less archaic if I had obtained your email address and submitted it online.
  • Read the newspaper. Of course I am talking about the printed version. Check out your local coffee shop or bookstore and see if anyone has a piece of paper on the table. Honestly, I’d have a hard time browsing a print newspaper these days. If I’m reading a story on the cover, I’ll probably lose interest if I have to turn to page A7 to read the rest.
  • Place a classified ad in the newspaper. Thanks to Craigslist and all the other online classifieds sites, you no longer have to call your local newspaper and verbally place an ad (not to mention paying a small fortune for it).
  • Send out invitations and thank you cards. I have had an Evitar account for over 6 years and have not sent a printed invitation in that long. If any of my proposed guests don’t have an email address (yes, there are some “such people” out there), they might get a phone call or not get an invitation.
  • Record TV shows on VHS tape. There will probably be someone who reads this and doesn’t even know what a VHS tape is.
  • Call 411. When I got my iPhone, the sales rep was explaining all the different charges and fees that I could see on my monthly bill. He told me the price of calling directory assistance and then emphatically stated that I should NEVER have to do that anyway. At first I was surprised by his presumptuous tone, but then I realized that he was right. Google put many phone operators out of work.
  • Keep up with the joneses. This may seem less obvious. But let’s think about it. People are more interested these days in how many Facebook friends and Twitter followers they have than what kind of car the jerk next door is driving in. I don’t give a damn about the promotion you got at work. Show me how many visits you’re getting to your website and we’ll talk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.