back in my day….

yes I am a child of the 70’s so I am included in that email that circulates every so often about our generation and how we didn’t have mobile phones or computers and how we played outside and our parents didn’t know where we were until we slid in the door usually just before dark or dinner whichever came first.  I would go and stay with my grandparents in the holidays and at age 10 my grandpa would give me a $20 and send me off to the shops to get his cigarettes and “get yourself some sweets with the change”, in 1981 $18.90 would have purchased me a backpack full and it’s possibly the equivalent of giving a child $100 today but it wouldn’t happen cause kids can’t buy ciggies anymore and they can’t walk anywhere on their own in case they get nabbed. anyhoo the one thing I think about often is the introduction of mobile phones and computers to our lives and I wonder if they are enriching our lives or making us quite boring and a little bit dangerous. last week I drove out to see an old colleague of mine. I used to drive the same route every day and not think about it, just put the stereo on, set the cruise control and go. it’s 100kph all the way on a dual lane freeway and highway. on my way home I noticed that the lane I was travelling in was doing not more than 70kph and I couldn’t understand a/ why and b/ why the people in the lane were happy to sit on 30 below the limit. so as I overtook them I realised….they were looking at their phones. I passed four cars and in every one the drivers were either reading their phones or messaging on them – on a freeway.  what is it that makes us think that we can control almost 2 ton of metal at high-speed without watching where we are going? is that message so important? yesterday I had to pick Mr B up from work and we were trying to turn on to a busy road…the one thing that held us up was a fuel truck that was turning into our street….he had plenty of opportunity to turn but seemed to struggle turning the wheel with one hand – the other hand was holding the phone to his ear.

we don’t call anymore, we text or email or pm or facebook.  sure sometimes it’s handy but other times it’s a bit of a cop-out really and if people do actually take the time to call it’s usually not at the right time so you let it slide through to message bank vowing to get back to them.  back in the day you had to call cause the only other way was to get on your bike and ride round to your mates place and ask face to face what colour jumper they would be wearing to school the next day. if you wanted to play a video game you had to go to you local takeaway and wait your turn, having a cool title page for each subject passed the first few weeks of each school year along with covering school books with pictures from magazines.  I know I will have these conversations with my daughter when she goes to school and she will think I am nuts. the changes that we have seen in technology and the stories we will tell pale in comparison to my grandmother telling me how the ice truck would deliver ice once a week for their ice box and how thrilled she was when they got a refrigerator. or my besty’s great granny recounting how she used to travel into town by horse and cart and remembering what a big deal it was when the titanic sank – I was so lucky to have known her and heard about her life.  I wonder what the future has in store for our children and what “back in my day” stories they will tell their kids….lets hope it’s a “back in my day we had to actually steer the car with our own hands and watch where we were going….”


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