Friday, August 01, 2014
   
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The world in your pocket

Harvest gold shag carpet, dark brown paneling, burnt orange curtains and an avocado green toilet.

Those are the things that come to mind first when I think about the house that built me.

It was 1970 when we moved into a brand-spanking new double-wide trailer on the outskirts of town.

Gold, orange and avocado were as “in” as you could get for home decor. It’s likely the one and only time I was on the cutting edge of anything.

I used to do cartwheels and back walk-overs from the kitchen down what seemed like a long hallway to the second door on the right.

My bedroom had the same gold shag, same paneling and a nifty set of drawers under the closet where I kept board games like Monopoly and Yahtzee.

We didn’t have cable television, a computer or any kind of video games so I spent lots of time in my room with a book in my lap and the radio cranked to a noise level high enough to annoy my parents.

On the rare occasion that the one rotary-dial phone would ring for me, I’d have to walk from my room to the kitchen. The coiled cord only reached around the corner into the living room so there was no privacy for my conversations.

It was a different world then.

Now kids don permanent earbuds connected to a pocket-sized all-in-one device that takes the place of a radio, telephone, computer, camera, calendar, video game and even a classic novel.

I find it remarkable that my son can check his Facebook, get directions, call his girlfriend, drive a race car and even ... no kidding ... read “War and Peace” on his phone if he should so desire.

Technology has become so sophisticated that we can carry the world in our pockets.

In some ways, that’s not such a bad thing. Using the GPS navigator application, my kid could direct me to the nearest Starbucks for a caffeine fix no matter where we’re traveling.

But aren’t there more important things for boys to keep in their pockets than a digital picture frame and mobile Skype device? What about fishing lures, crawdads and Wint-O-Green Life Savers?

I don’t want my son to be sucked into a digital world and lose touch with the moon and the stars but I guess as long as there’s a balance between catching a fish for supper and landing one on a hand-held screen, I’ll let him keep this thing he calls a phone.

As long as he answers when his mom calls.

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