Age Against The Machine


"In 2004, Twitter was a sound, the cloud was in the sky, 4G was a parking spot, Linkedin was a prison, applications were what you sent to college, and for most people, Skype was a typo."

- Thomas Friedman, The New York Times


I grew up with Atari video games, VHS players, cassete tapes and some really bad music. I remember our Commodore 64 computer with the green font and floppy disks. Cordless phones were all the rage. I even remember my dad bringing home a video camera that was basically a VCR that hung from your shoulder. Attached was a hand held camera connected by a 6 foot cord.

The older I get, the more lost I feel. With the ever changing technology, you really have to make an effort to stay on top of things. One minute you’re downloading songs onto your Iphone, and the next, your phone is obsolete and incompatible with your new laptop.

The other day, I left my phone at home by mistake. I didn't notice until almost lunchtime. I had been enjoying my day without my pocket buzzing with an incoming text message or picture. No ringing, beeping or chirping. It was nice, being able to complete a thought uninterrupted.

When i arrived home that evening there were texts, missed calls, and voicemails awaiting me. It's amazing to think this was everyday life just 10 or 15 years ago. Coming home to get your messages.

I remember when high tech meant recording an outgoing message on a machine that sat beside the phone. Upon arriving home you would see a blinking light, press play and hear messages that were left for you while you were gone. Wow!

My job requires me to be somewhat tech savvy, but outside of work, I don’t feel the need to have the latest gadgets or newest technology. Not to sound anti-technology, I am glad I live in today's world. For instance, I'm typing this on hubpages, a site that wasn't around 10 years ago. I can waste hours on youtube, and I get all of my music digitally.

Technology can be great, I’m just not sure I need my refrigerator to make service calls for me. I don’t need my car to Parallel Park for me, and I'm sure I don't need an app to help me find a stranger's bathroom to use.

With some things I just like to stick to the basics. I want to feel the wooden scrabble pieces, rather than play with a friend on my phone, I want to open a Christmas card, instead of an email. Sometimes, I even want to feel the weight of a bowling ball instead of a Wii controller.

I'm sure those older than me said the same things about television, microwaves, and power steering. I don't need any help steering! As time goes on we take these things for granted. They become part of our everyday lives and we don't know how we go by without them. Now, in a world where you can rent toys for Christmas, like video games, sometimes I feel technology has gone too far.

Yes, I’m in full grumpy middle aged man mode at this point. I just want to go out and get lost. Does anyone remember what that feels like? Unplug the GPS (or don’t update it for a few years in my case) and pull out the map. Old School.

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Comments 8 comments

DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa

I'm with you, Weestro! And I have a sinking suspicion my husband is going to get me an Android for Christmas to replace my Blackberry. Now I'll have to learn to work a new phone when all I really want is a cozy cashmere sweater.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

I'm an 80's baby but I can relate. Even though the computer's been a large part of my generation, I'm not text crazy or anything. Sometimes, it is good just to unplug but unfortunately it's getting harder with everything becoming electronicized.


weestro profile image

weestro 4 years ago from Virginia Author

That's funny, whenever my wife gets a new phone it takes her so long to learn how to use it that it's time to get a newer one.

I agree Alecia, i'm so used to all the gadgets, it's hard to get by without them!


gryphin423 profile image

gryphin423 4 years ago from Florida

-sigh- I feel the same way. The days of just getting your messages when you got home. How relaxing. And not having DVR guilt that you haven't been able to view the backlog of shows, horrors! Your hub definitely hit a cord with me!


jenubouka 4 years ago

I too feel a little overwhelmed by the ease of life these days. I think about my son when he starts school, are they really going to require long division and spelling bees anymore?

I remember when it was a treat in school when the teacher let you play Oregon Trail...


weestro profile image

weestro 4 years ago from Virginia Author

Your right Juenu, cursive is extinct now, there is no need for it!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

It is funny how dependent we've become on all our 'gadgets.' Funny you should mention cursive -- about a year ago high school seniors were asked to put their signature at the end of a test. They didn't know what a 'signature' was....


MCL profile image

MCL 4 years ago from Indiana

We refer to these things as T.O.K. - pronounced toke - Technology Overkill! I definitely enjoy your hub

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