A Twenty-first Century Man

I guess it’s time I start using the tools of the 21st century. I consider myself to be fairly familiar with computers, microwave ovens and power windows, but the cell phone has always been one item that I have fought against using. I didn’t like the idea of being tied down to a device that allows someone to reach me 24/7 (how’s that for current terminology?). Having an old-fashioned telephone with an answering machine at home was enough for me.

But now I have a cell phone. Unfortunately, it’s because a close family member has been in the hospital with a prolonged illness and my wife believes strongly that getting a cell phone is the thing to do. I have to admit that the portable device has been extremely helpful to keep everyone in the family in close contact while we spent many hours going back and forth to the hospital.

It amazes me how a family can really come together in a time of crisis. Even though there is already an appreciation for each other, we realize through this ordeal how much love and care truly exists among us.

Another “modern” tool that has existed for quite some time is the camera, which, I’m sure, common people were just getting used to 100 years ago. It existed many years before 1906, but the camera was not commonly used probably until the first couple decades of the 20th century. I’m sure people had the same feelings about cameras then as I felt about the cell phone now. “We were getting along just fine without that contraption – why do I need one now?” At any rate, cameras have come full circle and have changed from using film to capture images to using digital technology to do the same thing. Photography has proved its usefulness over the years.

On a personal level, that same technology helped my mother-in-law see large reproductions from digital photographs of her family on her hospital room wall. What a great way to help in her recovery. There’s nothing like seeing the ones you love always smiling at you.

There will be other new technologies that will arrive in my lifetime that I probably haven’t even dreamed of yet, and I’ll probably have to get used to them, whether I accept them at first sight, or through a process of kicking and screaming. At any rate, this technology should prove helpful, as long as we maintain our human compassion for each other.