Yesterday afternoon a small (well, I would call it small. It wasn’t anything extraordinary or long lasting) thunderstorm came through our area. As usual, storms around here are worse to the north and to the south of us most of the time. We have some sort of weather bubble over us that seems to keep 99% of good stormy weather away.
So it came as quite a surprise when we lost our cable and internet. We still had electricity, but no modern convenience of TV or the net. No wifi. No streaming videos. No Xbox Live. No shopping on Amazon. No playing Ruzzle or even checking out pictures on Instagram!! No Pinterest!! (I’m starting to hyperventilate as I’m typing this.)
Ryan just wasn’t sure what to do with this gadget free time. I mean, we have power, but we don’t have TV? What is the world coming to?? I suggested to read a book, but that was met with the look and reaction I thought it would. Um, no. Instead he thought he would ask about every 3.6 seconds if it was back up and working yet.
Michael and I put in a movie, but even that proved to be a challenge since we have a Blu-Ray player. It kept locking up as it tried to get out to the internet and look for updates. (I guess it does that every time…who knew???) So eventually we had to disconnect it from the internet so it would play a movie. I mean really? Things are that dependent now on the web? Yep. And so are are.
As Ryan and his friend tried desperately to find something to do that didn’t involve books or being in a room with his parents for too long, I realized it isn’t just him that is so reliant in the workings on the internet. I started to think about the fact that I had bills to pay the next day and I had to pay all but 1 online. I was thinking about how I had a store to go to today if only they have this one item I’m looking for (Ok, it was Walmart, looking for a damn TI-84 calculator that costs $120 for Ry’s Algebra class that he has apparently LOST since last year, but let’s not get into that or my head really will explode.) and I realized I can’t look it up. I couldn’t track an order from Amazon as I do several times a day, just cuz it’s fun to see it update and how much closer my precious package is to arriving on my doorstep.
It hit me as I was laying in my darkened, silent bedroom (we ALWAYS have the TV on at night. Ever since 9/11, I can’t sleep without the TV on. Luckily Michael feels the same way so we don’t fight over the light or the noise. It’s on quiet enough to sleep, but loud enough if there was an emergency it would wake us up.) that WE, the adults, are just as addicted to this technology as our kids are.
They have grown up not knowing anything different. There has always been an internet, computers, cordless phones, video games. They don’t know Pong, and typewriters with correction tape, and vinyl records, and how the first “cell phone” had to be carried in a bag with a huge antennae. How only the super rich had “car phones”. But I also realized (again, did I mention it was dark and quiet?) that my generation has adapted and grown so dependent on these things too that, while not as paralyzed as our children get, we get frustrated and slightly anxious too! (I did have those bills to pay!)
So while our kids think we grew up in the Stone Ages, not beginning to comprehend how we grew up, I think we grew up at exactly the right time. We can remember what it was like without these things, and can appreciate how much easier life is with them.