Friday, October 01, 2010

Where is the Magic?


I wonder if there are any things that are magical to kids of the present generation. I was born in the boomer generation and I grew up on the cutting edge of a lot of technology. In my life time planes became jets. Rockets were developed that could deliver payloads into space. As for computers I recall getting paychecks that were printed on IBM punch cards. Most kids today weren’t around until after the 486 processor was invented, and that was smoking speed back in those days.

Televisions went from black and white sets attached to rabbit ears or roof top antennas with a couple of channels to digital high definition color LCD cable ready sets with hundreds of potential channels.

We went from tape recorders that were the size of small suit cases with vacuum tubes to tiny devices the size of a credit card that can hold every song you’ve ever heard along with photos and video.

I feel so fortunate to have experienced all the changes I’ve seen over the last 55 years. I am fortunate to have personally embraced all the advancements, yet not take them for granted because in the back of my mind I remember the way things were.

My reverence comes from memories of how big of a deal it was when we drove my eldest brother to Newark Airport so he could fly to Hawaii once and again when he flew off to college in the Missouri. I recall standing on the outdoor observation deck and watching the four propellers of the plane starting to spin. I remember the optical illusion of the props going faster and faster and looking like they were spinning backwards for a time. I recall standing there watching his plane fly out of eye sight. It was really special. It was even special for my parents to get station to station long distance call the next day confirming his arrival. There is a term I bet you haven’t heard for years, “Station to Station” as opposed to a “Person to Person” call.

I ask again, is there any magic left for the new generation or did my generation consume it all?

7 Comments:

Blogger Donna said...

Well, they seemed to get awfully excited over the I-pad. At least, a few did. Personally, a beautiful sunrise holds more excitement for me.

4:04 AM  
Anonymous auntie said...

I think its a reverse "magic" thing for me. Where once I took living in and near such beauty for granted, now this kind of stuff is my magic. Donna is right about sunrises !

My kids still get excited over some things...... but it is odd now that you mention it. They take all of the stuff that was "new" to us for granted because they have never known different.

5:45 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Their magic is all expressed in phone apps. I feel sorry for their empty little worlds.

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although we still don't know what the future holds...

10:18 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

We can all hope for the return of magic.

6:37 AM  
Blogger qandlequeen said...

I'm only a smidge too young to be a boomer but enough that I've never been super dazzled by technology. I remember people going on and on about the fabulous special effects in Star Wars. I mean, yeah, they were great, but so what? I also wasn't dazzled by Avatar. Yes, I expect it.

Actually some of the basic stuff seems like magic to kids - like baking cookies or making a twinkie from scratch. I'm sure much of your life would be completely dumbfounding to today's kids. I know what you do with bees would be mesmerizing to them.

6:58 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

QQ, They are pretty fascinating to watch. I put out some honey ladened wax cappings on a filter screen this evening and we sat and watched thousands of bees cleaning off the honey. They didn't pay any attention to us at all. It's better than TV.

7:14 PM  

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