VISIBILITY BLOG

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Some recent activities prompted me to write this blog. (Although, I have to admit, I had some reservations in writing it for fear of sounding OLD.) I know change can be good, and it’s inevitable, and one thing is certain that change and technology are synonymous.

While I was driving through my neighborhood, I noticed there was not one single kid outside playing. Not one! This seemed odd. Times have changed. Call me nostalgic but when I was a kid (yes I am sounding old) the streets were always filled with kids playing games or riding bikes, big wheels or home-made go carts. Parents driving home from work had to wait for us to pull the hockey nets or the bases to the side of the road so they could drive by. Now – neighborhoods are like ghost towns and roads are clear, a straight shot home.

I also remember the sounds of my neighborhood when it was time for dinner. One family would ring a bell to summon their kids, another would blow a whistle; and my mom, she would just scream our names at the top of her lungs and we would come running. There were no scheduled play dates, just a quick conversation on the bus ride home to meet at the big rock to pick teams for Kick the Can. Without having a coach to pick the teams or a referee to officiate games, somehow we were able to manage. I still remember my favorite game of all, Spud (anyone remember that one?).

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The other incident that prompted me to reminisce about my youth and how technology and change go hand in hand was when I came home from work the other night. I couldn’t help but notice that all three of my children (ages 18, 19, and 21) had their faces buried in some form of electronic device. I’m quite certain they didn’t even notice that I was home. One was playing X-Box, the other was on her phone checking her social media sites, and the third was watching Netflix on his laptop. I only had 5 TV stations growing up, and in order to watch channel 38 or 56 we had to get the antenna just right or we were watching the Brady Bunch with lines. Not to mention that if we needed to change one of those 5 stations, we would actually need to get up and physically turn the channel. Technology is great! Thank goodness for remote controls and DVRing!

Technology has its limits too however. For example, I asked my son to invite his college roommate for dinner. When I asked what he said, my son replied, “I don’t know, I’m waiting for him to text me back.” So instead of picking up the phone and getting the answer within a few seconds; my son is accustomed to wait 5, 10, 40 minutes for a response. Don’t get me wrong, I think texting is a useful method of communication – but it doesn’t even occur to any of my children to speak to someone on the phone.

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I’m by no means against technology, in fact, I am an ERP software consultant. I definitely respect change and technology; I would be lost without it. But, I’ve come to realize from recollecting my youth, that I do occasionally want to resist change, to turn back time, and throw technology out the window just for a little bit and see my kids play 4-square or build a tree house out of scraps of wood and assorted nails. Maybe tonight instead of watching a movie, playing a video game or catching up with Instagram, my kids and I will pull out a game of Monopoly or Scrabble and have some ‘good old fashion’ fun!

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