November is here and this year I am concentrating on what I am thankful for. Today I am thankful for modern technology. One piece of modern technology is the cell phone.
I am older than some and I grew up with a telephone connected to the wall and on a party line of four people. A party line is when people share one line for a telephone. Each person is given a specific ring to know if the call is for their number. I could not just pick up the phone and call a friend, I had to listen first to see if the line was clear or available for me to make the phone call. The other restriction was where I was calling. If the phone call was to someone on a different phone company, I was required to pay additional money for “long distance”.
Today, three of my children live in different states and one lives over a hundred miles away. If I were to make a phone call to them using the phone system I grew up with and had the majority of my life – ALL calls would be long distance and cost money. With today’s cell phones I can call, talk to all the grandchildren, and talk as long as I want without any extra expense.
I remember the first photos of my siblings and I when we were kids. The photos were from a Polaroid camera. My mom would take snap a picture, the picture would shoot out the front and we would watch as the image magically appeared. The film was expensive, so photos from this camera were few. Later, for Christmas I received my first camera. It was a 120 camera requiring flash cubes for inside photos. I had to take a certain number of pictures before I could take the film cartridge into the local drug store to have it developed. Each flash cube was only good for four photos. It took two weeks to get the film developed.
Later as an adult I purchased a 35 mm camera with a battery operated flash. Although the film was not as expensive and I did not have to purchase flash cubes for inside photo shots, there was still the wait for having the film developed into negatives and photos. I was so thankful when the local grocery store opened a 1 hour photo development department. Now with a little extra expense I could see my photos in one hour instead of two weeks. In order to share the events of my children with their grandparents and relatives, I would have to select a photo, find the negative number and get copies made. Wait and pay for the copies, then put them in an envelope with a postage stamp and mail them to relatives.
My first few cell phones had no photo capability. Today, my children can take instant photos or videos with their cell phones, and text the moment to me almost as it is happening. There is no extra expense or long wait to see what my grandchildren are doing at their events and important moments of their lives. We are able to capture any moment at any time to save and share. I am thankful that my children can share their lives with me at the time it is happening without the financial burden of their parents faced.
With today’s cell phones it is cheaper and more spontaneous to keep in touch with family and friends and share moments. I am thankful as I can see my grandchildren and share their experiences although we live hundreds and in some cases thousands of miles apart.