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Postmodern Friday 5 April 25, 2008

Posted by introspectreangel in Friday Fives.


Singing Owl writes:


“Yesterday I had two separate conversations in which people were musing about how much change is occurring. The WW II generation, of which my mom is a part, went from horse and buggy to automobiles, saw the lessening, or even the end of many diseases, went from widespread use of kerosene lamps and outhouses (in the country, and most folks were rural)) to a totally electrified and plumbed society. The fastest means of communication was a telegraph. The second conversation–gulp–was about MY generation and how much change occurred in the last half of the 20th century. The person said his 13 year old had not seen a vinyl record album until a few days before, couldn’t remember a time without cell phones, and on and on.

As for the questions!

1. What modern convenience/invention could you absolutely, positively not live without?


Initially I was going to say the Internets, but I’m going to go with my cell phone for right now.  I just moved and haven’t had the cable folks out yet to get my Internets hooked up, and I’m still walking around breathing… but I make no promises I would be doing that if you took away my ability to call, text message, take pictures, or listen to my mp3’s, all of which I do on my phone. 


I’ve read some other responses to this Friday Five already, and I’ve seen several that answered question #2 with “cell phones”, wishing they had never seen the light of day.  I think that I’ve had a different experience with them altogether.  I remember when cell phones first began to appear on the landscape, and I remember hearing people say things like, “Well, this is her cell phone number and I tried her at home already and she wasn’t there, so I don’t know WHY she doesn’t pick up!”  There was an expectation that if you had a cell phone, you were available anytime, anywhere.  But as more and more people are replacing their land lines with cell phones, I think that expectation is going away.  My cell phone is my only phone, and I do not feel the slightest bit obligated to answer it if I don’t feel like talking to anyone, regardless of whether or not they think I should answer.  I think it’s awesome that the only calls I miss are the ones I WANT to miss, and I don’t have to give out my work number to anyone, which is wonderful.  I hate, hate, hate it when collections people call for my coworkers.  I think it’s incredibly rude to bother people at work with that stuff.  And the brevity of text messaging has given me a glimpse into the interior lives of my friends, both near and far, that I might not get if I had to sit down and write letters to them.  For example, I was sitting out on my porch the other night watching a thunderstorm roll in, musing about what it meant to be in the first place that is really MY OWN following the demise of my marriage, and I was sharing it with a good friend in real time via text message.  If I had waited until later, to write an email or a letter, I might not remember what I was feeling.  Being able to tell someone that I’m lonely, or that I’m confused, or that I feel elated, or that I really need to talk at the very moment that I am feeling those emotions keeps me sane and connected in what has been a very trying time.  Even if the person I’m reaching out to can’t talk right then, knowing that I put it out into the universe that I needed contact helps immeasurably.

2. What modern convenience/invention do you wish had never seen the light of day? Why?

I may love cell phones, but some of the accessories are seriously annoying.  Bluetooth headsets anyone?  Or maybe it’s the fact that people persist in wearing them when they’re not on the phone?  I love how technology has improved and streamlined our lives, but seriously, you’re just not important enough to walk around with the damn thing on all the time.  Or perhaps you’re just living out your childhood fantasy of becoming a robot?

3. Do you own a music-playing device older than a CD player? More than one? If so, do you use it (them)?


I don’t own the devices for playing, but I do own a few records and a few cassette tapes.  I was occasionally listening to them on my parents’ old stereo when I had to move back in with them temporarily, but I’ve been thinking I may look into what would be necessary to convert them to mp3.  However, I can’t really explain to anyone in words the sentimental value of these items in their original format.  The Route 66 remix of Depeche Mode’s “Behind the Wheel”…the “Interview with the Vampire” soundtrack…a Human Drama EP called “Hopes Prayers Dreams Heart Soul Mind Love Life Death”…Guns ‘n’ Roses “Appetite for Destruction”…this was music that changed my life and even if cassette tapes and records become completely unplayable, I’m sure I’ll keep them.

4. Do you find the rapid change in our world exciting, scary, a mix…or something else?


Definitely exciting.  I wish I had the money to keep up with more of the latest toys.  Here’s the thing, though – I don’t want the stuff just to have it, you know?  I’m not interested in possessions per se, and I’ve always been more interested in how technology is used as opposed to the existence of the technology itself.  GPS technology is super cool, but the coolest thing is not ever getting lost and the new friends you can make geocaching.  Digital music is awesome indeed, but sharing it with people is even better.  Not having to hike to find the nearest pay phone when your car breaks down and being able to call roadside assistance is simply divine.

5. What did our forebears have that we have lost and you’d like to regain? Bonus points if you have a suggestion of how to begin that process.


I honestly cannot think of one single thing.  No bonus points for me, I guess.

April 21, 2008

Posted by introspectreangel in life.

 Checking in, as requested.  Sorry, but it would be the understatement of the decade to say that much has been happening, but… much has been happening, and I don’t have the time to write about it all.  The lack of an Internet connection at home is proving to be a bit of an obstacle as well, but hopefully that will be remedied in just a few short weeks.  In the meantime, know that I am indeed alive and well.  Thanks for thinking of me!