Last night at book group there was some discussion about Facebook. Some love it, some don’t get why anyone is on it, some are addicted to Farmville. Driving home I was thinking how this conversation was very representative of my generation, ‘girls’ in our mid-thirties to mid - forties. I can’t imagine young people discussing Facebook; they just use it; What’s there to discuss?
Then I got thinking about how it might have been for my grandparent’s generation in the sixties, when they got telephones for the first-time. Landlines that is, the kind of phones my children will look back on and say: ‘Did we really have a telephone attached to our house with a wire?’
I imagine dinner parties in the sixties - this is a stretch of imagination as I don't think dinner parties arrived in Kilkenny until the mid-seventies, earliest - where conversations might have been like this:
Oh I can’t stand those new telephones. They’re so noisy when the ring.
Oh but it’s wonderful, I can talk to my mother-in-law, when she’s not even in the same room!
Yes, but don’t you hate when people disturb you when they call during dinner?
Oh, I only let my husband answer it, as you never know who is on the other end of the line!
I think the operator sounds so helpful and polite, but I wonder does she eavesdrop?
I always recite my number when I answer; it’s good manners in my view.
Don’t you hate when you get the last digit wrong, and you have to start dialling the number all over again?
They say, everyone will have a phone in their home some day and you’ll be able to dial Australia without going through an operator! Can you imagine?! No, I can't! That's impossible.
Yes, we’ve come a long way. I really don’t now how I’d explain Facebook, Twitter and blogging to my grandparent’s were they still around. (Then that applies to most aspects of my life. You married a foreigner, who’s not a Catholic and you live where?) Makes me wonder what kind of technology my children’s children will have, that I won’t be able to get my head around.
I feel like an ole fogey already!