Media & Technology: Redlight Greenlight 123

Friday, June 17, 2005

Sometimes I long for...

simpler times.

Remember when no one could reach us all day and we were ok? Remember when we did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all (except the huge ones in the corner of the penny candy stores)? We didn't have a gazillion cable channels, just 2 to 13. Some of our favorite songs were commerical's jingles (I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, I'd like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company, that's the song I sing). Remember when in order to hear a mix of songs more than once we had to listen to the radio, fingers hovering over the huge boom box buttons, just waiting for the DJ to stop talking or the commerical to finish playing so we could hit the pause button and tape the master mix on our cassette decks and then brag to our friends that we had the latest mix? I can recall when we had to use correcting tape when we made a mistake on a typewriter. If we didn't have a dustpan, we'd use an album cover. We had no video taped movies, no Plasma screen TVs, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or instant messaging. We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the street lights came on (or mama would come out and get you...whew, flashback). We had friends and we went outside and found them - by foot, on our bikes, skateboards, real rollerskates - by any means necessary (Peace Malcolm).

When you don't have much, you become very resourceful and also more connected to people because people is all you have. Technology is a wondrous thing, but it makes us phyiscally and emotionally distant. Not only distant from our friends and family, but distant between economic conditions. The digital divide still exists and there are plenty of homes that don't have computers and many schools that have limited access to today's technology. Some folks cannot afford the latest this or the latest that...this new adapter that only works with this go-go-gadget. We see some executives (or maybe not) walk around with a personal cell phone, a business Nextel phone, a blackberry, and a PDA. Dayum! I mean really, you're that important or cannot not be reached? I can really only understand that if a person doesn't work out of an office.

THAT is not simple. Simpler times nowadays means that you can have all of these handy-dandy gadgets all-in-one. You're talking on your handheld device while scrolling through your email, Googling (notice I didn't use the generic term surfing or searching for) something on the Internet, listening to your MP3 music, watching an MPEG movie trailer (but first, a word from our advertising sponsors), and then just for kicks and because it's possible, playing spades with people in Sweden, Australia, and Africa.

Seems like advertisers have a real problem getting our attention. Especially mine since I'm on my way out the door. I have two more hours before the street lights come on. Ut oh, I may have just given them another place to advertise to those who have a later curfew than me. :)


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