When your children grow up and leave the house, you can forget about the times when you are just a momentary embarrassment to them and move to living on the edge of potentially being a permanent embarrassment.
It can be how you dress or drive, what foods you like or what television shows you watch. Most likely in our technology-rich society, we are looked down upon because we appear to be missing all the technology trends that have been declared to be essential to modern life.
Being older we are just not like the people with whom they spend most of their lives. It is understandably hard for them to slow down enough to figure out that we are not doing too badly for people who started out on party lines with rotary dial phones and no television.
Modern life is not kind to those who would prefer to ignore technology. NC’s DMV is now requiring you to understand QR codes in order to check in at their offices. Increasingly businesses would prefer not to handle cash.
People now want to pay you with apps like Zelle. Our teenage granddaughter would much prefer that we deposit money in her Step account that she can use like a credit card in stead of giving her cash. She has even given me cash and asked to deposit it for her in her Step account. My grown son won’t shop at Harris-Teeter because they do not take smartphone payments. Cash seems to be a burden.
You can try living by the old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but if you read about the tech refresh that we did in 2017, you will find that waiting too long to upgrade can create even more challenges than ignoring the pressure to upgrade. I love technology, but you really have to stay on top of it or both it and your children will laugh at you.
In 2006, we spent a lot of money for fancy wall-mounted Sony HD televisions throughout our beach house. Apparently, we were not on top of things enough to know that screen technology changes regularly and we should just get a new television with a fancier screen every two or three years. You know you are behind the technology curve when your children give you money earmarked for a new TV.
Technology has always been a wild ride but the rider is getting faster. The first amazing technology that I remember coming into my life was the transistor radio around 1955. It was more important to me than our black and white TV that came later.
If you fast forward twenty-seven years to 1982, my wife and I have three children of our own and one day after work I bring home a Panasonic VHS VCR. It cost roughly $650 and while there were still concerns that Sony’s Betamax might win the VCR war, I was reasonably convinced that VHS would deliver the entertainment that we wanted in our two channel TV rural world. VHS tapes were part of our lives at least through the ballet recitals we attended in the mid-nineties.
Twenty-four years after that first VCR in 2006, we were living in a home wired so that you can plug an iPod into the whole-home stereo system which included a VHS tape player and a six disc CD/DVD player that fed a wall mounted HD Sony flat panel TV.
By 2017, most of that technology was obsolete just like the Sony television that had come before it and taken two men to move. After our tech refresh in 2018, the closest thing to a VHS player left in our technology closet thirty-five years after buying our first VCR was a Blueray Disk player which cost $49 at Best Buy.
Four years after that in 2022, we are living in another home. This one has 2 Gig fiber to the home (FTTH) connectivity. While there might be some DVDs and VCR tapes in boxes, we would have to dig around to find them. I do have a plug in DVD drive for a computer. It is as close as we could get to seeing them. We still have a wireless home phone system, but the connection is VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) that is delivered by our fiber connection. We mostly use our 5G Google Pixel phones but keep the VoIP line so I can have a second line in my office.
There are unused coax cables in our walls because our new in 2021 home was never hooked up to cable services. In addition to our television being connected to the Internet with an Ethernet cable, we also have two upstairs offices which are connected by Ethernet to our router. The fiber that comes to our house runs all the way to the optical network terminator (ONT) on the same table as our TV. There are close to thirty network devices on our network including our garage door. The oldest technology that we have is the FireTV Cube that is a couple of years old and which provides the streaming channels for our television. We cut the cord in February 2021, and have never looked back.
For a short moment we riding the crest of the technology wave (as long as the kids don’t ride in our 2005 cars) but without diligence (and probably a new car), it will crash right on top of us and once again upend our world.
Interested in learning if fiber to the home (FTTH) is for you? Read this post of mine, Choose The Right Technology For The Decade.