With the year 2012 coming to an end, I have been reflecting on the changes that I have experienced in my lifetime. It is sometimes hard to get my mind around the changes since the days when I was growing up in the small town of North Bloomfield.
Most of us who are in that "more mature" age probably find it hard to realize what life would be like today back when we were growing up. For example, as I write this on the computer, I would have said years ago that something like this would be impossible. But here it is, and I am able to use it, to some extent anyhow.
Many more things are possible to do on the computer than I have mastered. And sometimes it seems to me that it has a mind of its own, usually because I have punched a wrong button someplace. Without the computer, I would not be able to get this article written and sent to the Tribune on time. It has its benefits.
Then there are topics that I want to research, and the computer is a great place to get information. One does need to check sources to be sure that the information is correct because there are all kinds of misinformation available.
Again, as we reflect and look ahead we may wonder what is coming up next in the way of new technology. Years ago in Bloomfield, our telephone system was one where you picked up the wall hanging phone and cranked up Central, who was Mrs. Giddings, a faithful and dedicated telephone operator. You told her who you wanted and she would ring them on their phone line. Usually there were several people on the same line.
At Christmas, one of our sons got a smartphone from the company he works for, a far cry from our old wall phone and several people on one line.
Our son wasn't sure what all his new phone would do yet, but he knew it would be helpful at work. He has employees working in the field many miles away some times, and it will help him stay in touch with them. He can also send and receive emails, take pictures, send text messages and who knows what else.
We do have a very simple cell phone that lets us get and receive calls. That seems to be about all we want to master these days. It is nice to carry with us and have to use in case of emergencies or when Betty sends me to the grocery store and I have forgotten what she wanted.
It is fun to watch the younger generation as they quickly adapt to all this new technology that becomes available. Most of the time, I don't try to keep up with every thing that is on the market. I feel like my Amish friends who want to keep things simple and like they were years ago.
While life, in many ways, is more complex than it was years ago, the technology we have has made it more comfortable and enjoyable. We do have to learn to adjust to the times and make the most of what we have to enjoy.
Perhaps it is just me, but I do think life moves at a faster pace these days than it did 50 years ago. As we think about 2013, there are problems in our county that concern us. Yet we can't dwell on those problems but need to be positive that the future will be bright. So my hope for you is that your New Year will be a good one and you will be able to deal with whatever the year brings.
Parker is an independent writer for the Tribune.