When I was young if I ever thought of the year 2000 and beyond , it was with a fascination akin to what I felt reading scifi books. I certainly never thought I’d live in such a fascinating world.
In 1964 we attended the World’s Fair in New York and saw many wonders, including color TV. Though I was much more mature by then and had children, the things we saw were still imaginary, like a movie.
I grew up in Wichita, Kansas after World War II when the world was changing rapidly, yet
life was much less complicated. When we tell our children about roller skating on the sidewalks, playing hide and seek after dark all over our neighborhood, walking a mile to and from school, they roll their eyes. I never rode on a school bus in my entire life.
So much has changed, some for the better, some not so much. There are some electronic gadgets I refuse to embrace. An iPhone is high on that list, and I’ll tell you why. When I drive I want to enjoy the glorious day, not try to stay on the highway while I peck away sending one text after another. I don’t want to have the phone hanging on my ear when I have lunch with a friend or family member. So I do have a cell phone for emergencies when I travel. But it’s in my purse, where it belongs. Oh, boy, am I in trouble now.
Okay, so I’m an old fogey. Not really, though, I have embraced computers, the Internet, paying bills online, ordering stuff online, communicating via email, paying for everything with plastic. Some of the newer gadgets fascinate me. Once I grew accustomed to using a Kindle to read Ebooks, I seldom pick up a print book. As a writer, I spend so much time reading my own work over and over, editing, fixing, rewriting, that picking up a book to read is the last thing I want. But settling down in bed in the dark with my Kindle and reading is soothing, easy, and super cool.
I hear the next big thing coming are cars that drive themselves. Yes, they talked about that at
the World’s Fair, but then they imagined that highways would have to be rebuilt with a strip beneath the paving. Some cars already partially drive themselves, stopping when faced by an object, correcting when the car leaves its lane. It’s only a matter of time until we can drive and safely talk on the phone or text, read the paper, put on makeup, look at our passenger while talking to him, or just enjoy a glorious day. Some of these things drivers do today with little regard for the danger. I had a lot of trouble turning my car over to the cruise control, but now use it except when the highways are slick or wet. I reckon if these cars that drive themselves come out in time for me to still be driving, I wouldn’t mind giving it a try.
After all, it is 2014.