I was recently at a fellow comic’s house. I consider him a peer. A peer with 2 kids in High School. He’s older than me and maybe he started young but still a peer with children looking at colleges can make a guy feel long in the tooth. These thoughts were not really at the forefront of my mental though. They were more like a program running silently in the background.
Then something happened that made the “The feeling old” app run in the foreground. and close all the other apps running in my head. My friend’s daughter made a phone call on her cell. I guess she was calling a home line that was busy. She turned to her dad and said
DAUGHTER: Dad, there’s like a buzzing sound.
FATHER: Let me hear it. Oh that’s a busy signal. It’s what you get when someone is at home and on the phone and they don’t have call waiting.
She had lived 14 years and never once heard a busy signal! She probably thinks Bon Jovi is an actor, Mark McGrath is a game show host and Charles Barkley is a sports commentator who gets away with more than most commentators do.
After feeling old for the next few hours I thought of the implications of never hearing a busy signal. It means never waiting. I know I’m dangerously close to saying..”In my day…” From a technology standpoint I realize I had it easy growing up but I actually heard someone in a commercial say “That was so 27 seconds ago”
Is there a point where convenience becomes debilitating? A point where we eliminate work at the expense of eliminating coping skills? I won’t say “in my day….” but I will say we are dangerously close to that point of uselessness. How many times have you stayed on the channel you were watching because you couldn’t find the remote? Completely forgetting that pressing the buttons on the TV or cable box was an option.
I’m old enough to know what a busy signal is but I’m also old enough to call back or to write and send a letter in the mail and to look up things in a phonebook if needed. It’s not exactly living off the land but yes, I am stronger than most kids today. 🙂 Am I’m up on the times as well. I don’t even own a home phone, so there.