Nothing makes me feel older than technology. Don't get me wrong -- I love it. I love unlimited information at my fingertips 24-7. I love my iPod, my phone, and my laptop -- I don't go anywhere without them. But I can remember what life was like before, and it seems like that wasn't very long ago.
I took a road trip to visit family last week. During the five hour drive, I flipped back and forth between satellite radio, which has three stations directed specifically at my musical tastes, and my entire personal music collection on my iPod. I also talked to a friend on the phone via Blue tooth, and my boys watched two DVDs.
Not too long ago, radio signals would have faded from city to city. I would have listened to two, maybe three carefully chosen CDs. I couldn't have talked on the phone because I wouldn't have had reception. My boys would have cried and asked 100 times, "How much longer?"
It is not lost on my that I'm writing a post on technology on a website it took me less than an hour to create. The Internet has flipped the switch from science to magic; it can actually read my mind. A few days ago I typed in the search engine "what to get," and by the time I got that far, the engine had already provided a list of ten options to finish that sentence. More amazing is that my exact question was the fifth down on that list -- "what to get an 8 year old girl for her birthday." I'm sure my niece will like the gift I picked out for her because three different websites told me she would. When my older nieces were that age, I spent hours browsing stores. I doubt I ever picked out what was cool to them.
That tangible difference, the memory of how things used to be, makes me feel my age more than my stiff knuckles and grey hair.
Writing update: I have started a new short story. I plan to finish it this week, but I am faced with the classic dilemma. Do I create a story arc for my characters, or do I let them play around with each other and see what happens?