Linda Wood Rondeau

Having the Prime of My Life

IF YOU CAN'T BEAT 'EM, JOIN 'EM
Thursday, May 9, 2024 by LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

 

 

 

In days gone by but not so long ago, schools banned cell phones. Until teachers began to realize how students benefited from their availability. Smart phones could be used for taking notes and performing complex calculations, as well as research in schools lacking in the latest technological devices.

Years ago, movies were banned by those who feared the infiltration might ruin impressionable minds. While I was in school, movies became a staple in education…audio visual aids…they were called. Some of the students actually took courses to learn how to operate the devices and how to change reels. Of course, that was before DVDs.

When computers came along, some teachers thought it was the end of the world. Eventually, some educators began to see the value in students learning experience in spite of the well-meaning church folk who decided the Internet was the devil’s work. Now computers and gadgets are used in the classroom as never before.

And what about us senior folk, school days long-since passed?

Who would have thought how easy getting groceries can be with apps like Door dash? Many retailers now deliver. Although I prefer the old-school system of getting out, we have used these when ill or recovering from surgery. They are used frequently by our apartment neighbors, many who are disabled.

Many of us have ditched our landlines in favor of the cheaper mobile phone

I guess my mother’s old standby, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” still holds true. Better to adapt and assimilate the new thing to enhance the quality of experience than to cling to the old and fight to keep the tattered than to continue mindlessly with the comfortable and proven.

Perhaps the biggest reason for resistance is the fact that the older we get, the longer it takes to process and learn. Maybe that’s why we want to hold to the old policies, to the old ways of doing things, to our antiquated equipment. It gets harder and harder to add new information to an all-ready crowded brain.  

I remember how my mother hollered when I wanted to buy her a Compact Disc player. “I’m too old to learn new ways of doing things,” she said, until her favorite nephew bought her one. Then, her attitude changed.

“If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” 

In her lifetime, she went from wringer washer machine and pedal-operated sewing machine to automatic clothes washer and an electric dishwasher. With each transition she fought the change until time, energy, or the insistence of others forced the change. Always, though, she was glad she finally capitulated.

I vehemently opposed the digital age. I swore up and down I’d never be able to learn how to use a computer. Then computers became mandatory on my job. I had no choice.

“If you can’t beat em, join em.”

I’ll never be techno-smart, but I did learn that computers can greatly enhance the quality of life. So, I learned not to resist so hard, but to embrace change. My generation has gone from manual typewriters to electric typewriters to word processing units, to computers/ From dial access, antenna operated televisions to cable. From VCRs to DVRs to streaming. From clumsy movie cameras to camcorders to digital recorders and to smart phones that do it all.

Every aspect of our lives is touched by change. We can resist and miss out on the wonders the new brings or we can get on the surfboard of change and glide to shore.

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em 


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