Friday, April 25, 2008

An Old Versus Modern (Postmodern?) Friday Five

Singing Owl from over at Revgalblogpals offers these thoughts and this friday five:
Yesterday I had two separate conversations in which people were musing about how much change is occurring. The WW II generation, of which my mom is a part, went from horse and buggy to automobiles, saw the lessening, or even the end of many diseases, went from widespread use of kerosene lamps and outhouses (in the country, and most folks were rural)) to a totally electrified and plumbed society. The fastest means of communication was a telegraph. The second conversation--gulp--was about MY generation and how much change occurred in the last half of the 20th century. The person said his 13 year old had not seen a vinyl record album until a few days before, couldn't remember a time without cell phones, and on and on.

As for the questions!

1. What modern convenience/invention could you absolutely, positively not live without?

Sadly, there are a lot of modern conveniences that I would be lost without. I can't imagine life without music, so I would be bereft without a CD player of some kind of music player. However, I play the piano and think: hmmm, what if I sat down and made my OWN music more. I don't have a dishwasher (though I would love to have one) so it's not that. And, just in the last year, my computer has become almost indispensable, as I have become connected with more people in a 21st century sort of way.

Another way of looking at the question: how modern? flush toilet, shower and washer and dryer really are indispensable (not just addictive), and my mother can remember not having them, as a girl on the farm.

2. What modern convenience/invention do you wish had never seen the light of day? Why?

I think the cell phone. I actually want one, so it's a little hypocritical, but I also see the downside. One of my pastoral colleagues said a few years back that she refused to get a cell phone because, "there should be some times people CAN'T get ahold of you. You are not the same as God."

3. Do you own a music-playing device older than a CD player? More than one? If so, do you use it (them)?

We still own a turntable, although we never use it. However, our college age stepson uses it, when he comes home. He likes vinyl.

4. Do you find the rapid change in our world exciting, scary, a mix...or something else?

Well, I'm not keeping up. I don't have an ipod, or an iphone, or any or the i things yet. I'm saving up for a laptop and a digital camera. I find it both exciting and scary. I really like how the internet brings us closer: I can't believe the people I had connected with in the last year. I'm also scared by how fast mis-information can spread now, via internet. Faster even than information. And though I am connected with people all over the country on-line, do I lose sight of who is my real community? And is it tempting to invest less in the the people and the communities right here? I don't know the answer, these are questions.

5. What did our forebears have that we have lost and you'd like to regain?

More of a sense of community, and all of the benefits that community brings: support, comfort, encouragement -- and power. It's as we gather together with a vision that we begin to have the power to change the world, our communities, our churches.

Bonus points if you have a suggestion of how to begin that process.

Here's one: call up five people in your community or your congregation and invite them to have coffee or something. Sit down with them for about 40 minutes and listen to their stories -- what makes them tick, where they came from, what they are afraid of, what they dream about. That's the beginning (where can I redeem my points, then?)


Mrs. M said...

I like your answer to #5, and I was happy to read recently that things like Facebook have actually had the effect of encouraging more in-person get togethers.

Singing Owl said...

Great suggestion on #5! And I'm saving up for a laptop too. I am a poor preacher lady, y' know. Can't have all the newest stuff. LOL

RevDrKate said...

One of the things about the BE that was cool was being "not reachable" by cell phone(even though technically we were, it cost an arm and a leg). I said to my roomie....even if someone could call, I am not Jesus and can't walk on water to get to them so there, so off it went!
Also loved that really practical #5response. You deserve bonus points!

Auntie Knickers said...

What a great suggestion in #5! Of course I am having 6 people from church over for dinner Sunday night - a really nice program I wish more people would sign up for. If only I didn't have to clean house to do it! BTW I'll be in Minneapolis late June-early July with a mid-journey trip to WI. Maybe we could have a meetup!

LawAndGospel said...

Great post. My related comment was about the Bluetooth phones. Getting together with people- amen to that!If I get two days off from CPE to come out LC#1's Lutheran Summer Music, maybe we can grab a coffee together!

Barbara B. said...

Interesting -- My college age son likes vinyl too! (And I did like the album art when it was in that larger format...)

RevAnne said...

Love your #5! I keep office hours in the local coffee shop for just that reason.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Diane, thanks so much for visiting my blog. I hadn't come across yours yet. It's great to find another literature / knitting / dog person!

I share your ambivalence about much of current technology. I guess we just have to own the machines and not let them own us.

Wyldth1ng said...

Wacky, my number five is similar to your number five.

gartenfische said...

Well put, Diane. I agree about cell phones, but you know, just because you have one doesn't mean you're obligated to give the number out to everybody! Only my daughter and husband have my number. They are so convenient to have and, of course, great for emergencies.

I, too, am so grateful for the connections, but we do have to keep in mind that cyber connections can't replace real people.

Thank you.

GreenishLady said...

I love to get personal post, but failing that, a personal email is far preferable to a dozen forwarded "chain-mail" emails, however cute or well-meant. So, I suggest that instead of hitting the "forward" button, you delete the chain-mail, and write a brief note to each of a few friends, saying you've thought of them and why, and send it off. (by email, if you like)

Diane said...

Barb, I really miss album art!
singing owl, I'll let you know when I've saved up enough if you let me know...
rev anne... I like to do some "sermon prep" in the coffee shop of the book store :).
greenish lady -- I'm with you, both personal post AND personal emails.

FranIAm said...

Oh Diane- this was an especially great Friday Five. I love what you have to say.

Pianos, album art and the entire family sitting in the room watching TV... old fashioned. Oh wait, we actually do tend to watch TV all together, all 3 of us when Erica is with us.

Now whether we all agree on what we are watching is another matter. It is our one quaint behavior!

And as you know, my cellphone is attached to me. I have learned some great boundary skills, so I either turn it off or just ignore it. And far more often than people would know.

I will not let go of my laptop and/or my iPod easily...

Thanks - this was much needed today!

Anonymous said...

Great play...yes, cell phones can be turned off as well. And with caller ID, you can choose not to answer :)