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Humor September 2015

The Old Gal

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By Anne Ashley

Even something as straightforward as potty training is no longer the “sit here and do that” affair it used to be (for adults or children) because potties now come equipped with iPad holders, lest junior can’t be persuaded to give up the computer long enough to learn how to give up the diaper!

As a child, I knew when we got a television with a remote control, that I had pretty much reached the top of my technical appreciation. It wasn’t so much that I couldn’t work out how to change the channels or settings with the new-fangled contraption; it was that I didn’t want to. I was never interested in how it all worked or what the gadget was capable of. I had been quite happy manually moving from one station to the other, looking for cartoons or sitcoms. Although, to be fair, in the olden days, we only had 5 or so channels to choose from and the early remote controls were nothing like the modern-day versions. On, off, volume up or down, possibly a color adjustment was about as much as we were required to contribute to our viewing pleasures.

Moreover, I could search channels for whatever I was in the mood to watch in less time than it now takes for me to figure out which hi-tech keypad works which hi-tech appliance using our new hi-tech NASA-inspired device. The last time I attempted to switch the TV to stereo, I pretty much deleted the entire operating systems of both!

On the other hand, my brother dissected every single electronic or mechanical device in the house within days of its arrival. His curiosity rendered toasters, radios, and lamps, heating blankets, mixers and remote controls, etc., etc., unusable until he was able to figure out their magic. Today I would be considered a technophobe. Then, I was just considered … well, a kid and my brother was the oddity.

Anyway, fast forward to today and everything you can imagine has a computer or, at the very least, a computer accessory attached to it. From remotely locking up your entire household, to programming alarm clocks to go off at 3 minute intervals with intensifying volume, lest one is unable to manually operate the complicated snooze button, we are increasingly becoming dependent on programming software to perform even the easiest of tasks.

Your personal phone/PC/supreme ruler can now assist with PMS reminders (ok, that one might come in handy for some husbands), vacation lists, shopping lists, favorite TV program schedules, hotel bookings, flight bookings, health tips and more – much, much more.

You can post to the entire world where you’re eating, sleeping or playing at the touch of a screen (buttons are now so passé). Although, why you’d want to is a mystery to me. I'm always tempted to text or post back that if the meal is so “scrumptious” or the night “so romantic,” the event so much “fun,” what are you doing on your phone?

Quite honestly, I can hardly muster up the interest in where I’ll be eating, sleeping or playing, let alone anyone else’s goings-on.

And it’s not just adult playthings and apparatuses affected by the hi-tech invasion …

Just recently, while attending a family gathering at a local restaurant, upon being seated the youngest members of our group were automatically given computerized ordering and game playing pads – apparently meant to pacify the dreaded monotony of having to engage in conversation with rarely seen family and friends! No adult was asked if they did not wish to see their little cherub’s face throughout dinner nor were the parents asked if their offspring were permitted to play with (and presumably, order from) such gadgets without supervision. The device was handed out as routinely as the menus.

Sadly, gone are the days where a child is entertained by a handful of broken crayons and a sheet of puzzle and games paper while waiting for the meal to arrive.

From digital thermometers for bath time to sing-along books that require at least three months’ training in order to successfully advance from chapter to chapter (and don’t even get me started on interactive story telling! While trying to navigate a state-of-the-art children’s book and participate in the storyline, I became so frustrated with the repetitive yet unhelpful “guidance” that I ended up swearing while it recorded …. Needless to say, my grandchild’s first word wasn’t the expected dada or mama) children are less and less required to use their own imaginations for playtime.

Even something as straightforward as potty training is no longer the “sit here and do that” affair it used to be (for adults or children) because potties now come equipped with iPad holders, lest junior can’t be persuaded to give up the computer long enough to learn how to give up the diaper!

How absurd that our entire lives are now monopolized by instantaneous linking between the World Wide Web and our IQs, from infancy to maturity.

Gone is the antiquated phrase, Home Sweet Home replaced by today’s more germane, Hi-Fi Sweet Wi-Fi.

 

Be sure to follow me on twitter@anneashley57.

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