The other day my daughter was having a Skype date with her boyfriend. The fact that she was in Australia and he was over ten thousand miles away on the other side of the world in The Netherlands, didn’t matter a whit, thanks to the wonders of modern technology ie. the Internet.
This was a far cry from the long distance dating her father and I did just thirty years ago when I donated my blood in Athens in order to be able to afford a phone call home. Oh, and I had to book that phone call 24 hours in advance!
I suppose there are people who can live without the Net—remote tribes of New Guinea, Carmelite nuns, members of the Flat Earth Society—but I’m not one of them.
Is there anything the internet can’t do? It can find you answers to all sorts of questions, keep you in touch with far-flung friends, book hotel rooms, even find you a husband. And to think, the US government wanted to keep this wonderful invention all to itself. Had it not been for its eventual application as the www we’d still be trekking to the library to research, relying on the vagaries of the postal service to keep in contact with friends, paying a fortune for travel deals etc.
That got me thinking about inventions and what I consider to be the top 5 Can’t-live-without-them inventions of the modern age.
My mother used to maintain the bobby pin was a remarkable invention. Probably. If you had enough hair to need one—or happened to like picking locks. But I need to point out that Mom was born in an age where television, walking on the moon, machines to wash dishes and clothes and even dry them, hadn’t been invented.
The Top Five Inventions that made a huge impact on my life are: Television, Immunization, Dishwashers, The Pill and the Internet.
A quick straw poll of those nearest and dearest turned up answers relative to the age of the respondent.
While our grandmothers and great-grandmothers would probably rate the invention of the radio, electricity, the old-age pension, hip and knee replacements as their Top Five, my husband’s mother maintains: Penicillin, hand held battery-driven vacuum cleaners, The Pill, electric typewriters made a huge impact on her life.
His father rates:- Television, the improved efficiency and safety of cars,antibiotics, anaesthesia, laparscopic surgery. (Can you tell he’s a surgeon?) J
My 21 yo son says:- The computer game Modern Warfare 2, stick deodorant, Toyota Landcruisers, fixed gear bikes and Atomic weapons. (what can I say, he’s a boy!) He was surprised to be told that fixed gear bikes were all we had to ride in the “olden days”!
My 24 year old skyping daughter’s are:- cell-phones, computers, iPods, skype, and MAC makeup…
My 27 yo daughter said:- ipods, laptops, wireless internet, cell phones and GHD(hair straightener). LOL!
I wonder what will our children’s children think are the greatest inventions of their era? Intergalactic travel? The cure for cancer? I can’t even begin to fathom the possibilities. Can you?
Which inventions would make your list? In-vitro fertilization? Satellite navigation? Automatic car windows? Richard Gere? Aerobics? Moosetracks icecream, credit cards, atms, something else?
I’d love to hear your Top Five. And maybe some suggestions for what kids born in the future will think are their Top Five.
I’m giving away a copy of my June release, THE SHERIFF AND THE BABY to the most interesting answer.