I think members of Generation X are in a unique position in regards to the tremendous advancements in technology. I remember being shocked that Granddaddy didn’t know how to fast forward a cassette tape when I was kid, and now here I am 30 years later and cassettes are as obsolete as victrolas were to him back then. And I look forward to my nieces, who have grown up with computers and cell phones their whole lives. Soon, we’ll have a generation of people that don’t know how to answer a phone you don’t “swipe to answer.” Heck, I was watching It’s a Wonderful Life at Christmas, and Chloe, my parrot, looked at me funny when the phone jingled, and the actors picked up a telephone receiver. I know several people of my parents’ generation that “don’t know how you’re supposed to answer this thing” because there’s no receiver to pick up. And here’s Generation X, right in the middle of it all. We’ve watched it develop. The first home computers came out in the 80’s when we were kids, and we never dreamed that they’d be a part of everyday life, both at home and at work, and that they’d integrate into so many devices we use everyday, like telephones.
We may be the last generation that remember the console televisions, record players, cassette tapes, Comodore 64’s, the original Apple computer, rotary telephones, life before microwaves, and having to get up to change the channel. We’ve watched the world evolve from arcades and Atari to Xbox and PS3. In one way it’s shocking, and in another it’s exciting to grow with technology. When I dreamed of being a writer as a kid, it was the whole “go through an agent/publisher and get a hardback or paperback published, then go on TV, radio, and book signings to promote.” Last night, I published a novella from my recliner with a pink laptop, wearing flowered pajamas. No agent required. And while I do have 2 publishers, that’s also handled completely online. It’s amazing. I went through the entire publication process for Blurry, Anywhere But Here, and Splinter online, and I’ve done all the promotion online too. The future is very different than what we imagined. We don’t have space cars, jet packs, or a cure for the common cold yet, but the Internet has entire world linked, and you can do almost anything from home, your office, or even your phone.
It’s amazing. I wonder what Granddaddy would think of my phone being a computer. He’d probably say the world’s gone crazy. And maybe it has, in a good way. Now I’m waiting for the next big thing – for laptops and tablets to be one in the same device. They already have “combination” devices that serve as both, but just wait. I bet within 5 years, there will be no differentiation between the two.
Yes, I believe I was born at just the right time. The new ways shock the baby boomers. The old ways seem ancient to millennium babies. But Generation X is the bridge between the old and the new. And to me, that’s just right. It’s been great to watch the world evolve, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
That’s all today. Have a Happy Friday and a great weekend.