Throwback Thursday: Life Before Technology

Remembering the simple things in life can be difficult when non-stop clutter fills our everyday lives. From juggling emails, to answering phone calls and checking social networks, constant digital stimulation has changed the way we communicate with each other forever. Can we truly grasp the idea of what life was like before modern technology?

Remember when people waved “hi” to each other, wrote hand-written letters and had to travel to see their loved ones in person? The way people connect with one another now has its pros and cons. We live in an era where countless devices and mediums make it simple to communicate globally; however, these modern conveniences can also disconnect us from those we cherish most.

Our Space EasterAt my family gathering this past Easter, it was evident that technology distracted us from being fully in the moment. As seen in the photo (left), everyone sat next to each other but connected  very differently than how we had five or ten years ago. It’s a type of communication that has become the norm today and will change how other generations communicate for years to come. Think about this: our children won’t even understand what life was like before cell phones, email, instant messages, text messages, social media hubs, etc. Today’s, technology is immersed in everything we do.

Our Space Hernandez Family ThrowbackLet’s return to the olden days and see how my family gathering looked 20 years ago, pre-modern technology. My cousins and I would all be sitting on the ground while playing Rampart on Super Nintendo. Sometimes, one of us would have a look of confusion on our face when the game wouldn’t play, but one of us always knew the trick to solve that problem: take out the cartridge and blow in it. (Fellow 90’s kids know how to fix the problem). After a few hours of playing, we’d build forts by draping bed sheets over my mom’s box size T.V. and couches. It was our hiding place, a place for only us, kids. Meanwhile, our grandpa, “Pa,” would be right above us holding his gigantic video camera—filming all the action. My mom was on the other side of Pa telling us to pose for her 1980’s Nikon to capture some still shots – boy, do I recall those eye blinding flashes. Maybe that’s why I have to wear contacts now.

Our Space Video CameraThis past Easter’s photo only tells part of the story. We truly did do a lot of family bonding on Easter. Later that day, we re-watched a few old family home videos (which, of course, have been turned into DVDs) taken in the early 90’s. Remember those old video recorders and VHS tapes (cutting-edge technology at the time)? It’s a tug-a-war when it comes to how I think about technology. I’m glad we have those memories and the ability to look back at them, thanks to VHS tapes, my mom and Pa. Yet, we must remember to enjoy the simple things in life – just being in the moment and in that moment alone.

In the words of Elizabeth Ann Seton, “Live simply that others might simply live.”

Do you think you could function without technology today?

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Cover Photo Source: mrdarkroom via Flickr

Nicole Hernandez is the social media manager at SJG. She’s a Chicagoan who graduated from DePaul University with a B.A. in Public Relations & Advertising and minor in Journalism. Nicole is known to her peers as being online all the time –  while on her spare time you can find her taking footage on her phone while she’s rocking out at music festivals. She’s also training to be the new water girl at Chicago Bulls games (in her dreams).