The relentless march of technology…

I know that this blog of mine is geared towards photography, but something occurred just a few minutes ago that was so interesting I feel compelled to blog about it here. I mean, I’ve already posted this blog on other sites to which I belong, but posting it here gave me a chance to run out to the garage and shoot a quick picture with my oft neglected Canon p&s digi camera.

And in a way this entry is relevant to issues of modern photography as well. Digital photography has revolutionized photography. I won’t pass judgment on whether this revolution has been good, bad or neutral for photography, but there is no doubt that digital photography has changed everything. So please to enjoy…..

Being 44 I’m old enough to remember a world without cell phones. Hell, I’m old enough to remember a world where only the Bell Company controlled all our telephony communications. I’m old enough that I remember the days before call waiting, call forwarding and answer machines.

Well maybe the answer machine thing isn’t completely true. I know they were around, but let’s just say that I’m old enough to remember a time when answering machines were expensive and about the size of a VCR.

Anyway…..the daughter is home today from school; ill. Or faking it. Who can tell? She was supposed to have a two-hour stint of car driving with her driving instructor, but we have opted to phone and try to reschedule seeing how the daughter doesn’t feel well. Or pretends to not feel well. The daughter phoned the firm earlier to inquire about rescheduling today’s lesson and the woman said that she would call back.

It’s now 1455 and we haven’t heard back so I suggested to the daughter that she phone again, which she did. The daughter came into the t.v. room, where I was vegging, with this perplexed look upon her face, phone in hand, and said “Listen to this,” and she proceeded to dial the phone number. Turning on the speaker phone I listened and heard the busy-signal that we so rarely hear today in a world of call waiting, call forwarding, voice mail, etc. Instead it was that awful cacophony of noise that used to tell us that the other party’s line was engaged and that you would have to try them again later.

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The daughter looked truly perplexed and I had to explain that she was hearing a busy signal, etc. It suddenly struck me how odd her world is compared to mine at that age. Technology has truly changed the face of our everyday world. Just a few generations ago technological advances didn’t typically have much impact upon the everyday life of consumers, but this clearly isn’t the case today and for our future.

It leaves me wondering what sort of sights and sounds will be completely unfamiliar to my daughter’s children when they reach her age and how funny she will find those moments.

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4 thoughts on “The relentless march of technology…

  1. wow, never thought about that. I wonder if my girls know what a busy signal sounds like?

    You know, I too am old enough to remember those days. We had party lines when I was a kid. It was the weirdest thing to pick up the phone and hear a neighbor on the line with someone else. Made for some very interesting eaves dropping. HA!

    I remember our very first push button phone. I remember being amazed that a push button worked just as well as the old rotary. Well, i should be more specific, it wasn’t OURS as it was “rented” from the bell company. Back in those days I don’t recall anyone owning their phone.

    Okay, one more memory and I’ll leave you be… my grandfather had the neatest old rotary phone. It was huge, black and if one wasn’t careful putting the receiver next to their ear, they’d get concussion. Oh, and the clicking sound when the rotary dial spun… I so miss those style telephones. Hmm, wonder if I could find one these days? Perhaps a bit of internet browsing is in order.

    Thanks for great post Forkboy… and the memory. 🙂

  2. I, too, remember party lines. Living out in the country we still get busy signals but less and less.

    I enjoyed this little jaunt sideways from photography. Thought provoking. And kind of nostalgic.

  3. @ Kym: thanks for not busting my chops for breaking out and into a non-photographic topic. Hell, I took the picture of the phone in the garage just to make the posting “feel” like it had a minimum tie to photography!

    @ Tam: I never had a party line, but maybe you were living someplace more rural? And you’re right (and I had forgotten) that phones were rented and not purchased. That brought back a memory of when phones started to become available for purchase and I remember seeing them at out local Sears store. And my grandmother in Wisconsin still has one of those old rotary phones. Black. Weighs a ton. And definitely will cause concussion of one isn’t careful. Still works like a charm too!

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