I am 32 years old. I remember growing up with a lot of television. We did not have cable, ever. I was a child during the time where the rich kids had cable and the rest of us didn’t. Now, I still don’t have cable, but I am in the margins of the population. I know “we” are evolving past Netflix and Amazon Prime but my point is that television is a GIVEN, and has been since my own mom was born in 1957.
The memory of Non-televisionary life does not exist for me, or for most of you who are reading this.
But, if you are of a certain age and older, say-30 and up, you remember a technological time that will never exist again. A childhood with no devices. The time when the internet didn’t exist. I imagine that our historical counterparts are the generation born before cars were invented but came of age right as they became available to consumers. So there was a clear memory-line. Before Car and After Car.
I have been coming across instance after instance where I tell my 12 year od daughter to listen to me and change her zombie-like attachment to her technology because she will turn into a new, semi-robotic human slasve-species if she keeps this up.
That is incredible “Dinosaur Talk”. But there it is. Call me Dino.
On NPR’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” this week, a guest of the show, comedian Bobcat said that he hated when people his age acted proud that they didn’t know how to operate a phone or computer. His clincher of a joke was saying “If you don’t know how to use a computer, just DIE ALREADY!”
And that’s been haunting me, especially when I see old people driving boat-of-a-cars, knowing that as they die, and our parents generation dies after, WE (older Millenials) will be the last frontier between the Old Culture and the New Technorapture.
It will be our duty then to preserve some memory of human function without machine.
I am trying now, but I see the futility. Yet, of course, I refuse to die. I will and have adapted, swept into the internet with the rest of you, almost without a choice, yet achingly, knowing that it is a choice…Because I know better.
I knew better. I knew different. What I am struggling to define now is what about MY CHILDHOOD is so different from the technology infused childhood of my daughter. What of those differences is the most important…
Thats a post for another day. Right now, I’m writing about this because-and I guess this is a quintessential component of child-rearing, I feel all too aware of my own mortality.
In parenting, we prepare a new generation to take over once we die. I guess what sickens me in my own selfish way is that my childhood cannot be replicated. Society can never go back to the pre-internet era, and therefore, perhaps the wisdom of the pre-internet era generations will not be valid anymore. I’m of course arguing the case that it should be even more valid, but I have my doubts. And I have the sinking feeling that this is what everyone thinks, regardless of the century they are in, as they get older.
“What will be left of Me when I am gone?”