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On a Whim

Technology has made these days unlike any we’ve experienced before. Almost anything we want we can have within seconds. Years ago (okay, decades) if there was a song you wanted to hear that you didn’t own on (take your pick) 8-track, record album, cassette, or CD, you had to turn on the (gasp!) radio and wait. But if it wasn’t a Top 40 or a classic tune you were out of luck. Nowadays, if you want to listen to a song, any song, you simply go to YouTube and in an instant, you can be humming along.

Ever hanker for that candy you ate as a kid? Red Hot Dollars? A Marathon candy bar? Well, after a quick visit to Amazon, a bag of that nostalgic sweetness can be delivered to your front step within days. I know. My dentist knows.

Or maybe you read a review of a book you want to read. No longer do you have to schlep over to your local bookstore or library. In less time than it takes to heat up a cup of chai to sip while reading, the book can be uploaded from Barnes & Noble or your library right to your tablet. It’s as simple as that.

Then there are our memories. It used to be when we’d get together with friends someone would ask, “What was the name of that movie where the soup bowls had hands come out?” And then someone would add, “Didn’t it have that actress in it from that new show with all those kids?” Then you and your friends would rattle your brains trying to remember the title until eventually someone shouted, “Beetlejuice!” and everyone would sigh a collective, “Oh, yeah.”

Today we don’t do that. When we can’t remember something we just hold up our phones and ask, “Google, what was that movie…?”

Will immediate gratification override the need for longing and thinking? Will our memories slowly be erased by this new technology or will it enhance our lives? Good questions that I’m not entirely sure of the answers too. Guess the only way to find out is to Google it.

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