Technology Loses A Skillset

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As schools let out for summer vacation, it occurs to me that some kids will never learn how to read a roadmap. GPS, Global Positioning Systems have eliminated a skillset.

Technology has taken us away from Norman Rockwell’s America; and up ahead is a Digital Age full of wonder. Our world is changing. Smart devices are able to communicate with other smart devices; they’re exchanging bits and bytes of information—from lighting to temperature to foods and medications; without any help from us.

And it’s all happening so quickly, that when someone asks what just happened, we can assume that they blinked and missed it. It’s just that fast; giving added meaning to the phrase: “in the blink of an eye!”

Thankfully we have smart devices to handle most issues, whether or not we’ll be able to adapt and translate the information might be a challenge. But having the right tools is half the battle. Training will come to those who need it, because it must.

I remember when a road trip required a map, and that we bonded around and watched as an index finger followed what was hopefully an interstate highway. And the map was always carefully folded and stored away.

Back then you didn’t drive with the car’s air conditioner turned on. We were kids and some nitwit on television said you can drive a lot further on a car’s full tank of gas, so that’s what we did. And we packed the car to the roof with our camping gear and kids and little need for electricity.

We always started out early in the morning, as if we could out run the heat of the sun. Somehow it always caught up and baked us thoroughly. Our voices shrill with excitement as we set out on a family adventure and made memories. Often times, we’d get lost. Hence the need for the roadmap, and a set of skills to be able to read it.

Getting lost was always better when we’d find a gas station, a restroom and some food. Funny, but you find the best little restaurants, when you’re not actually looking for them. We’d use the restroom, eat and leave; make the left turn onto the interstate, but forget what came next in the set of directions that the waitress just gave us. But we’d sleep well.

I wonder if getting lost in the Digital Age will be as fun, or as memorable. I hope so!

5 Comments

Filed under Baby boomers, Gender, GPS, Maps, social media, tech, technology, Uncategorized

5 responses to “Technology Loses A Skillset

  1. Dan

    I’m a belt and suspenders guy. I love my GPS with lane assist and spoken directions and cues, but there are maps in the glove box. I also Google a map for close in views with turn-by-turn directions. I also birds-eye view some locations to get an idea of parking and ease of access to amenities. I have found there can be discrepancies. A friend lives on a lengthy rural street. At the extreme ends, miles apart, the street signs say the same thing with different spellings: “or” vs “er”. Google one and it works. Google the other and you end up in the dead end of a nearby subdivision on a street not even named that and no way to get there from here. Looking at and printing out a map ahead of time can prevent such annoying occurrences. Even if you didn’t know about the spelling issue, you would have had a reference to sound an alarm and aid with corrective action. Or you and your wife could just argue about it.

  2. Dan

    Oh, love this story and you will too as a former phone tech. A few years back I took the kids to visit Grandma. My daughter was about 15 at the time. At my mother’s house my she has an old dial phone. My daughter saw the phone in the guest bedroom and had to ask me how to work it. That may be the only time in her life she ever dialed a phone or will dial a phone. I wonder when the new technology will no longer read the clicks and you can’t use a dial phone even for the novelty and nostalgia value of it.

    • That’s too funny! And that sounds exactly like something my daughter would do; she says I’m real handy when it comes to antiquated stuff. Quiet as it’s kept, I agree. 🙂

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