Thursday, March 31, 2022

Life Before screens

Life Before screens

Growing up in the 60s and 70s our only screen was the TV and it was broadcast at that. You either watched what was on when it was on or you missed it. Nothing was recorded. Heck, my TV growing up was in black and white. It wasn’t until many years later I realized the original Star Trek was filmed in color.

It’s interesting to see how screens have taken over everyone’s lives. As much as I enjoy my computer I have plenty of other things I can do without it. For a lot of younger people it would be an adjustment. 

Life functioned just fine without computers in everything. We carried cash and wrote checks. Credit cards required a machine that was manually operated. The card would be placed in it, a form with carbon copy sheets placed on top. Then you’d move a lever and the raised numbers and raised letters on the card would make a print. 

Phone booths were a thing and most of us carried some change in case we had to make a call. In a lot of ways life in the early 70s wasn’t all that much different, technologically, from life in the 30s. Now everyone has a powerful computer in their pocket. 

The thing is, life isn’t better in most ways. Labor saving technology did not set us free. My dad had a blue collar job. Mom did not work when I was growing up. We had a decent house, a small camp on a lake, and dad also had a hunting camp. The camps were paid by dad doing an occasional side job like light carpentry or painting. We were not unusual. 

Now college educated people are working three jobs just to make enough money to rent an apartment. It’s a crappy trade for a computer in your pocket. Of course, back when I was kid, the “rich” factory owner had a bigger house in town, but I went to school with his kids. Now the rich people have their own freaking space programs. 

That’s a social problem if you ask me, one that technology won’t fix.



  1. its fixin' to get fixed. wish i'd kept that encyclopedia now.

  2. Even I don't have one of those collections around anymore -and that's saying something.