WHAT WOULD THEY SAY? by Charlene Sands

 In light of the computer age and my very first personal computer with internet dial-up, I remember my father asking me one very simple question that spun my mind and really knocked into my head how far we’ve come in today’s world.  Now, first you have to know my father was not sheltered. He was born in Europe, moved to the U.S and learned the English language at a very young age,(in three weeks, mind you) lived through the depression, fought in the Phillipines during WWII and went on to become a very successful small businessman.  
Twenty years ago, computers didn’t touch my father’s life in any significant way.  But his question and the curious expression on his face, was one I never will forget.  “Can you tell me, how on earth a computer can catch a virus?”
I remembered babbling to him about how it all seemed to work, but let’s face it, 20 years ago, I didn’t know all that much about computers either.  (And I still don’t!)
If a computer virus can baffle my very intelligent, man-of-the-world father, can you venture to imagine what our

ancestors might think if they were alive today?

 What would Abe Lincoln say about movies and artistry that can make a man look like the spitting image of him on a big screen?     
What would pioneers of the American West say about airplanes that could cross the continent in five hours?  Or our Apollo missions that sent men to the moon? 
What would Ben Franklin say about lazer and digital light shows for entertainment? 
What would Clara Barton say about the technology that can replace a man’s heart?  Or shock that heart once it stops beating?
What would the American Cavalry say about unmanned aerial vehicles aka predator drones?
What would any of them say about television, cell phones and microwave ovens?
It boggles the mind. Do you ever wonder what’s next?  What new and innovative invention will come our way to make our lives better, safer, easier?  There are times, when I wonder if we’ve invented everything there is to invent and then I laugh.  Of course not!  Oh, if only I could be a fly on the wall 100 years from now to see what my mind cannot fully imagine.  Have you thought about that too?
The iPad is my best friend these days.  I use it to read, text, answer emails and take pictures.  I play games, watch videos, enjoy music and can actually locate a family member’s exact location, with it.  (Would have loved this feature when my kids were younger!)
What one invention over the past ten years has made your life better? Have you thought about what the future will bring?  What do you think is next?
4 Weeks on Bookscan”s Top 100 Romances
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22 thoughts on “WHAT WOULD THEY SAY? by Charlene Sands”

  1. Hi Charlene, your post reminds me of a young man who asked my husband how people dated and (and basically courted) bfore cell phones? He didn’t seem to understand the concept of planning ahead as in asking a girl out in advance.

    I remember writing my first books on a typewriter. My daughter says that when she came home from school she could always tell what kind of a writing day I had by the amount of whiteout in my hair. I can do without a cell phone, digital camera, microwave and GPS, but not my computer.

    As for the future? I shudder to think. I fear that books will one day be written by robots.


  2. Hi Margaret,
    Oh, you made me laugh with the white-out image in your hair! I remember those days too. Being a perfectionist, my my day would be signified by how much paper was scrunched up and in the trash. I still have my dad’s old Corona typewriter, but boy, I am thankful for computers. Yes!!

  3. Great blog, Charlene. I wrote my first four books on a manual typewriter. My first computer was an Apple IIe that didn’t even have a hard drive, and I still don’t know how a virus works.
    I remember trying to explain to my 90-year-old father how I could exchange emails with my sister when she was in China. He refused to touch a computer. I thought he was just old fashioned, but I’m getting there myself. Still don’t have a smart phone or a tablet or any of those new-fangled gadgets.

  4. I remember when it was fasinating useing an 8Track player to listening to my music instead of playing my albums on an turntable. But then OMG we could actually watch movies on a Betamax player and then a VCR…I remember my grandmother being amazed and was thrilled when she got one of these for a birthday present from my aunt and uncle. She would be astounded at all the gadgets that have come out since then. I can’t think of one gadget that has made my life easier. There are things I like, like my computer or my cell phone and I like my kindle. I don’t own and IPad or any tablet of any kind. I guess I am still betwixt and between the modern age of gadgets. But I would love a gadget that cleaned the toilets and made the bed and vacumed the floors… Now that would be inovation…

  5. I remember watching a show on TV about cell phones not That many years ago and they said, “Soon you won’t call a HOUSE anymore, you’ll call a PERSON. Everyone will have their own phone and their own number.
    I scoffed.
    It’s all come true faster than I’d ever imagined.
    My kids no longer have home phones, not at all. They barely use their laptop computers.
    My daughter gave me the pretty desk she had for her desktop. I said, “Surely you’ll get a desktop eventually and want this.” Me thinking that was part of settling into a home.
    She shook her head. “Nobody owns desktop computers anymore. We have them at work, but no one has them at home.”
    Also interesting, none of them have print capacity. Think about that. Can you imagine not being able to print stuff out?
    None of my kids even own a printer. And two of them are in college. They do their work on the computer, mail it in on the computer, get their grades posted and check them on the computer and…….oh yeah…….excuse me……but they mostly do it all on their PHONES. One of my daughters has one really elderly laptop in her home and rarely uses it. The two who are still students use their laptops a lot, but the other two families barely turn theirs on. One uses an iPad a lot, the others are all smart phones all the time.


    I’m now predicting the day we have a computer chip implanted in our heads and we tap somewhere to turn it on, then say the name of what we want or who we want and just start talking……..

  6. My cell phone has definitely made my life better; it makes my life alot easier, especially when I’m away from home. I love that my nieces send me pictures on it, and then I can show them off. It also helps when I need to get in touch with my husband.
    Although I hate to admit it, the computer has made my life easier, too. I can look things up, send things to people, & communicate with them from home; who would have thunk?! I’m a newbie to facebook, still navigating it, so I’m on the fence about it right now. (The fact that I’m even on it is an accomplishment for me, I’ve been resisting it for over a year now, so ask me in a few months. Besides, I’m a Capricorn & we’re notorious for not liking change!)

  7. Hi Mary C,
    So interesting about your kids not using laptops. I still use a regular desktop, never got the hang of a laptop, and I need my elevated keyboard. Old dog,new tricks, kind of thing. I don’t like change.

    My hubby uses his cell phone to print stuff out. There’s an app for that. He clicks something he wants printed from anywhere in the house, and our printer starts working. Freaks me out, when I’m sitting here and all of a sudden the printer makes noise!

  8. Hi Mary P,
    Oh, that’s another perk using your phone. How many people actually print out pictures anymore? We all show off our family pics on our phones now. That makes it convenient. I only print out pictures for photos on my walls, these days.

    Are we FB friends? If not, I’ll LIKE you.

  9. Hi Kathleen O…I’m with you there!! I would love an app that would clean my toilets. When my daughter was in elementary school they had to write about what invention she would like to see. She designed a washing machine, that was a dryer too. You didn’t have to remove the clothes, just simply press another button and the clothes would then be on the dry cycle. I thought that was ingenious. Why don’t we have those kind of wash/dry machines? 🙂

  10. Now that would be a inovation at it’s best… And I am sure that your daughters invention will come to frutation one day…

  11. Hi Elizabeth- Oh, yes. If my parents were alive today, they wouldn’t touch a computer either. It’s hard keeping up with the times. My hubby is better at it, than I am. He’s into all these cell phone apps that do EVERYTHING. I started writing on a typewriter, but quickly moved on to a word processor which cost more than my first computer!
    I am slowly, grudgingly moving into the new world of technology, but wondering what’s next?

    BTW – Congrats on your Desire!! You kicked butt and have been on Bookscan’s top 100 for 5 weeks! A great debut!!

  12. My Mom passed away 2 years ago.. complete non-teckie… Seemed like everytime I went home.. she’d drag out her tv remote and ask me to fix it.. Now my dad would have totally embraced technology.. He passed away in the early 1970’s.. At one point, he had a car phone… worked like a radio in that you had to press a button on the handset part to transmit… He sold real estate in a fairly rural county of Indiana..

  13. Cate S – I remember those very early carphones. Only businessmen and the wealthy had them. Now, even people in poverty own cell phones. It’s daunting in a way, isn’t it?

  14. Hi Charlene, interesting thoughts here. I think my smartphone is my new favorite thing. I can check email, blog, take better pix than my camera and even print them out!

    I can barely recall life without a cell phone, even. Once I left my purse at home and when I got to school, I panicked. Not only did I not have my license or Auto Club card, credit or gas cards, I didn’t have my cellphone. All day I figured, if I was to have car trouble, that day was the day. (Well, it wasn’t LOL.)

    Things are happening fast, though. So my ed’s set my YA series back in the 90’s so at least we don’t have to worry about technology changing every ten seconds.

  15. I would say the computer has changed my life. Just look what you can do with it. Its amazing. And we can’t forget our ereaders, you can get a new book in minutes and not have to leave your home. I would love to be a fly on the wall in the next 20 years just to see what is new to the world.

  16. Fun blog, Charlene! How the world has changed . . .

    Technology I love–my computer, all kitchen appliances, airplanes, Skype, my Kindle.

    Technology I tolerate–cell phones. They’re great, but we need to be responsible with them. No texting and driving!

    Whatever the future holds, it’s going to be amazing!

  17. Hi Charlene, Sorry I’m late.
    My Native American Mother in law was born in the late 1800’s and lived to see automobiles, instead of horse and buggy; telephones that she loved. She would talk to her daughters in Indian and switch to English in the house. That was fascinating. She saw washing machines instead of hand laundry. Ironing, too. She even saw the first flight to the moon. Her favorite was the TV. She watched soaps!
    My own Mother was born in 1905 and saw essential the same things. They both lived to be 100 in my Mom’s case and late 90’s in my Mother in law’s case.

  18. Hi Mary J – Great to hear from you. I had a bout of babysitting today, so I’m late too. Thanks for sharing about your MIL and your mother. Same here, with my parents, they saw the world change quite a bit in their day too.

  19. Hi Vicki- Oh, I hear you about cell phones. Just tonight, my hubby and I were at dinner in a restaurant and I said,”Everyone can’t live without talking to someone on the phone.” I’d seen three women walk in, with phones to their ears, even after they greeted the people waiting for them at the table. Am I old-fashioned to think it rude?
    I hope kids learn no texting and driving..it’s a lifesaver.

  20. The cell phone has been the best for me. You just need to use it as a tool and not a necessity of life. You don’t have to be on it constantly and definitely don’t need to be texting or talking while doing something else more important like driving or being with friends. It is actually disconnecting people rather than bringing them together.

    As convenient as all this new technology is, in a way much of it has not made our life better. Thanks to those cell phones, computers, and internet connectivity, it is almost impossible to leave your work at work. Not enough hours in your 8 hour day to get everything the boss wants done? No problem, take it home with you and work on it all night. It has allowed businesses and other employers to take advantage of their employees. My daughter works for a college and routinely works 60+ hour weeks. She has a husband with health problems and a 19 month old. The president thinks nothing of calling at 4 in the afternoon and requesting a report or proposal to be delivered to his office the next morning, knowing his staff will have to stay up all night to do it. He couldn’t get away with his staff having to stay at their office all night long, but work at home is different. We have taken our daughter’s family on vacation with us hoping to give her a break. Even though she is on vacation and being charged vacation days for it, she gets emails, phone calls, and has worked for hours on projects. Don’t even suggest she not comply. He doesn’t care if you burn out and have no life. Don’t produce, you are fired, and burn out, no big deal, you are replaceable. She is a director now, but it has been that way for all levels of employees.

    All this instant communication isn’t all that great either. People are sending messages and pictures before they are engaging their brains. Things they would never consider doing or showing if they had to physically write and mail, are out there in an instant. Second thoughts aren’t much help. Once shared it is out there forever and you can’t get it back.

    All these things are handy tools. The hard part is not letting them take over your life and using them wisely. I am a prime example, it is after midnight and I am on the internet when I should be in bed. I spend much more time than I should visiting sites I enjoy.

    Got carried away again. Sorry.

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