In The Name Of Progress


     Simpler times…I long for them when life seems way too complicated. I look back with great fondness at life before computer chips and digital progress. Times filled with coiled phone cords and pretty stationary and the unforgettable smell of old books. I Love Lucy and sappy romance movies that bring genuine laughter and real tears to my eyes- free from special effects and cinematic movie scores. Today “reality shows” (as they are ironically known) take over primetime as we pretend we are legal voyeurs into the lives of the rich and dysfunctional. But these are times of progress they say.

     Today the world is literally at our fingertips through the internet, youtube and the like. Computers run our cars, our homes, our lives. The old familiar hum of typewriters in the office long gone replaced by the hollow click of plastic keyboards. Whiteout and correction ribbon once used to fixed our mistakes of yesterday. Replaced by the delete key that neatly erases our errors and questionable thoughts. We “word process” our files, our records -our life. Progress they say.

     Just yesterday (or so it seems) the phone hung on the wall in the kitchen or sat next to the bed. Now I must search through my purse, my car or throughout the house looking for this little device. A machine that I am so dependent upon one would think its importance equivalent to a pacemaker. No longer just a connection to home and family- it reigns as a global connection. Leaving the house without a cell phone has become unthinkable. Progress they say.

     Today we buy “smart” tvs. What happened to the day when there were three local channels and UHF. When you got up to change the station dialing clockwise ever so brief. Now channels numbering to infinity in HD, cable, satellite and 3D. And a lost remote is much more than an inconvenience. I sadly admit, if I lost the remote to our flat screens I would not know how to manually work them without a bit of research. Progress they say.

     Simpler times…the 6:00 pm news was the news reported with an air of unbiased calm. No pundits, no spins and no need to check the latest social media for accuracy. We cared about facts. We expected the truth to be published whether it was in print or on the airwaves. Corporations did not determine what we heard and how we heard it. We are now blasted with news-twisted and turned inside out like dirty socks. I think.some of it smells like dirty socks too. Progress they say.

     Don’t get me wrong. I am totally wrapped up in today’s technology. I am a slave to my phone, my computer and my e-book. I read online, communicate online and blog online. My technology has begun to own me and not the other way around. But I love them.I can only imagine what tomorrow will bring. What new device or connection will we tell ourselves we could never exist without. I know that technology has such wonderful potential but will we use it wisely. My head and heart whispers caution to my being. Telling me that progress can not be judged on what makes life easier for me. Progress is measured by its sustained contribution to humanity. It is all progress they say. I wonder if they are right.


2 Replies to “In The Name Of Progress”

  1. the smell of the ink on a freshly minted mimeograph pop quiz paper is unforgettable and sadly unattainable…


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