Keep Smiling with Rosie Preston: Today’s technology has a short shelf life


By Rosie Preston

Sometimes I can’t help but compare the technology we take for granted, such as cell phones, computers, microwaves and smart TV’s, along with some of the newfound technologies of my grandparent’s days.

When I was very young, I remember my grandparents buying a new black and white television. Unfortunately, there were only two stations available, channels six and 13, and we had to get up and walk across the room to change channels. My Mawmaw and Pawpaw stayed busy all day, but in the evenings after Pawaw got off work, we watched TV after dinner. We often ate popcorn and drank from small glass bottles of Coca-Cola. Oh, what a fun time we had, laughing at the comedies and the western shows.

After the years went by and I passed my driver’s license test, Mawmaw allowed me to drive the nice car my Pawpaw had purchased. I remember it had power steering and power brakes. The first time she needed me to go to the grocery store, Mawmaw had to hold her hands out to keep from hitting the dashboard. I had not driven the power technology of this car, and it took me a while to get used to it.

How could I ever forget how upset Mawmaw got when I turned on the radio. She was usually enjoyable, but not this time!

“Don’t touch that radio,” she said in a very firm voice.

So I didn’t, because I knew she didn’t understand it yet.

Had my grandparents been able to look into the future, they would not believe that I have young great-grandchildren who started using a cell phone a couple of years ago. They are almost 5 and almost 4 in a few weeks! It is humorous as they say to me, “Let me do it (meaning find something on their cell phone), Nana!”

Their little fingers fly as they find games and more online. I love it when they are on a dancing app, because we get up and move with the music! They can’t believe it when I dance with them and move and shake and sway to the different songs.

If there was a time when my Mawmaw and Pawpaw danced with us, I don’t remember it.

However, I do remember listening to their radio a lot. We were just as excited to listen to the radio as we were to watch the TV. And isn’t everything we touch used on a computer nowadays?

Our phones are tiny computers and our microwaves rely on a computer setting, as do most of our push-button appliances.

Looking back, I don’t think Mawmaw would ever have allowed me to use her cell phone or computer, even though I probably could have learned how to turn it on before she did. And this is only me comparing her being the adult and me the child.

Our grandchildren, and especially great-grandchildren, will be so far advanced compared to the technology we live with today that they will find us as old-fashioned as I believed my grandparents were so many years ago!

We can’t look into the future, but every time I turn around, there is a new technology that I’ll attempt to learn. Being older seems to take more time, but I know if it’s something I can’t understand, I can always turn to the grandchildren or great-grandchildren to teach me!

Keep Smiling, Rosie

Contact Rosie Preston at

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