The 20th century had a magical timeline, starting in ’46 and ending in ’64, that cushioned baby boomers from harsh realities and swift changes. Comforts included pay phone booths for ten-cent calls, black/white television with heavy doses of lighthearted programming, neighborhoods safe enough to play in by street lights, enticing cityscapes to explore on bicycles, lots of dodge ball, jump rope and kick-the-can played in yards manicured by motorless push mowers.
Back then technology crept up slowly, peering around the corners of our lives before tiptoeing in, allowing us ample adjustment time. Etch-a-Sketches, push-button phones, transistor radios with ear phones, Jiffy-Pop popcorn, electric blankets and mixers, along with gas-powered mowers soon were the norm in everyday life for everyday folks.
As boomers adjusted to adult goals and responsibilities, technology marched a little bolder toward the front lines of progress. Antennas to cable TV with VCR’s, cassettes to CD’s, Xerox machines to photo copiers, toaster ovens to microwaves, mail-in film to Polaroids, overnight post to faxing, typewriters to Tandy computers, and crank-to-electric car windows raised the standards of normal with diminished adjustment periods.
Many of those retired boomers now have more time to acclimate to technological advances, but the tech world is totally uncooperative these days. Improvements appear instantly. Digital reigns as choices/preferences are totally ignored. Boomers are left to their own tactics to acquire even mediocre skills, usually utilizing only half of a device’s functions due to ignorance.
We have flat screen monitors and Netflix, pocket-sized phones that take photos and videos, face-to-face phone chats with callers clear across the globe, digital transmission of print information, and cars that drive and stop with almost no human direction.
I am out of breath, overwhelmed and frustrated, still struggling to master using both thumbs for different functions on a game console! What wizardry will we wrangle with next week?