When I wanted to learn how to edit my home video, I found that I’d have to buy a new PC because the one I had lacked the memory and speed required to run editing software. And when my camcorder began showing signs of dying, I went looking for a new one — preferably one that could “do that HD thing” because it’s always a good idea to throw some terminology around so you won’t be taken for a noob. It’s even better, though, if you have some idea what you’re talking about before you commence terminology tossing. I got a kick-ass camera, but it was neither cheap nor small. Seriously not small. Like, I’ve been presumed to be part of a film crew on at least three occasions not small. Today, if I want to record and edit some footage, I just need to grab my phone because I can now do on it what, not too long ago, I couldn’t do on a PC.
Capturing and editing video are just two of the things that used to require separate devices to accomplish. When I consider all the things smart phones have replaced or enhanced, it still blows me away that so much stuff is crammed into something I can put in my pocket. I try to keep my amazement in check so I won’t look like some slacked-jawed Troglodyte visiting the big city for the first time, gawking at the the skyscrapers, sayng “Gee willkers!” and “Tarnation!” and thinking that wearing my good overalls helps me blend in with the all the fancy city folk.
But on the inside??? I go full Troglodyte baby!
I remember a day in middle school, when my friends and I were talking about the year 2000. Someone had realized that the new millennium would occur in our lifetime, but we’d be very old (our parent’s age!) when it happened. It was an exciting realization because it meant we’d get to see and experience all the future-type stuff that would be available by then — all the robots and flying cars and whatnot. Someone remarked that it would be bitchin’ (we didn’t have awesome back then and relied on their precursors, bitchin’ and rad) if we had communicators like on Star Trek, and we agreed that it would be totally rad.
Flash forward and The Jetson’s universe we’d imagined hadn’t actually materialized. There was a bit of a hubbub about our reliance on computers spelling our demise, and that life as we knew it would cease to exist when clocks struck midnight on New Year’s Eve. But midnight came and went with hardly a hiccup, and life kept on existing in the manner to which we’d grown accustomed, leaving scores of doomsday preppers with well-stocked survival bunkers, but no global disaster of epic proportions to survive.
But we got ourselves some Communicators though, didn’t we? You’re damn skippy! Now I can hold in my hand part of a future that I’d imagined. That’s bitchin’ and rad!
I try not to automatically label my generation awesome and all other generations bogus (I’m not sure what the current equivalent of “bogus” is … can I get a little help here? Anyone?). When people talk about how much better it was in the olden days, I think it’s primarily that we were younger then and had big dreams and expectations for the future. But now we’re living in that future and not only are daily shuttles to Mars (Mars: It’s Better When It’s Redder!) not a reality, we’re having a some trouble keeping up with all the things that are a reality. And that makes us feel old.
The irony here is that there’s nothing that will make you seem old faster than sentences starting with “When I was your age …” and “Kids these days …” I can’t help but laugh when a friend’s Facebook status says the same thing about their kids as our parents used to say about us. Some of them make me think the Class Favorites section of our yearbooks should have included categories like “Most Likely to Tell Those Damn Kids to Get Off Her Lawn” and “Least Likely to Admit That Some of Today’s Music Is Actually Worth Listening To.”
I realize that being as awe-struck by technology as I am probably paints me right into the antiquities corner. Which is where I sometimes feel like I should be, because I’ve seen toddlers who are more adept at navigating a smart phone than I am; and their willingness to use said phone as a teething ring tells me they’re also somewhat less impressed with them than I. Seriously, letting a baby marinate your phone in drool can’t be good for it.
If I have to get old (and apparently I do, because I can’t find anything that lets me opt out), I want to get cute-old rather than crabby-old. I want to be the old lady who lets the kids play in her yard, doesn’t mind if they’ve got their music cranked up to eleven and maybe even sings along sometimes. As long as it’s not rap or hip-hop, because the only thing more cringe-worthy than an old person trying to rap is … hmmm … I got nothing. Rapping old people are, in fact, the worst.