It’s weird, but even over the last decade or so technology has changed so much that what recently seemed like cutting edge now seems so old timey. There are so many things that I remember having to do that I can’t even imagine doing now. For instance...

Remember when we had to deal with phones of the past? Make long distance calls at night because the rates were lower? I used to call my sister at 11:01PM so we could talk a little longer without it costing an arm and a leg. Or if we were away from home, we’d call collect and hope our parents would accept the charges. It sounds crazy now, but we did it all the time. And we dialed those calls on rotary phones.

Speaking of dialing, remember when we thought that dial up internet was futuristic and awesome? Even though we’d get a busy signal for hours when we were trying to reach somebody. And it took 10 minutes to get online. And when you did it would buffer for minutes at a time. But it was still the coolest thing ever.

You might remember there was a time when we had to take time to find out answers. We didn’t have the answer at our fingertips, we’d have to actually go to the library or check encyclopedias and dictionaries to get answers to our questions. And when it came to school reports we’d have to spend hours at the library. Remember those microfiche machines? That was our research technology back in the 1970s.

Remember when we had to wait forever to get something we ordered? When you ordered something through the mail or from a catalogue, it took so long to get it that you almost forgot about it by the time it was delivered. Not anymore. We live in a world of instant gratification. Same day delivery, next day delivery, and sometimes we have to wait 3 or 4 days, which now seems like forever.

Remember when we had to get up to change the channel? Remotes have been around for a long time, but when I was a little kid you had to get up and change the channel. Yup. Get up from the couch, walk to the TV and turn a dial on the set. The only good thing about that is that there were less than 10 channels, so channel surfing wasn’t really a thing.

Remember stressing out when we were late? It’s still stressful being late, but back then we had no way of letting people know that we were going to be late. If you’re stuck in construction, a traffic jam or whatever, at least now we have a way to let work or whoever is expecting us know that we’re on the way, but will be late. That’s a huge stress reliever in my book.

Speaking of stress relievers, remember when we had to map out our trips and ask for directions if we were lost? I remember how cool Mapquest was and those were just printed directions. GPS changed my life. I have family in Ohio, and GPS has made visiting them so much easier.

There are so many ways that the world has changed in the past 50 years. I’m usually the old hippie that complains about technology, but the truth is that technology has made the world a safer place, and an easier one. But I’m still not giving up my flip phone. Not yet.

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