A majority of people take technology for granted. I will admit I am one of them. I get home from work and head straight to my office where my PS4 is waiting for me. I also have my computer to my left so at the click of a button, I have any answer I could look for. I have my Airpods that can connect to my phone through some magic. It is like the air is connecting them. Maybe that is why they are called Airpods. The transition we have had technologically throughout the last 100 years is mind boggling. It is actually scary to think about how far we will be in another 100 years. As you all know, it has not always been this way. I got to sit down and talk to my grandmother about what life was like for her growing up with limited technology.
The age of technology has quickly been developing for many years. Rose Marie Varrell, 78, has lived through it all. I spoke with her about her transition from print to radio to television to internet to see how things really were.
Rose has never been super attracted to technology. She has always been a reader whether it is the paper, a magazine, or just a good book. She likes audiobooks much more now that she is getting older. This does not take away from the fact that she was experienced some of the most incredible advances in technology this world has ever seen. The radio is some of the earliest memories she has of mass media.
Rose told me “I used to come home from school, and rush to the radio for our weekly radio show, Ozzie and Harriet. It was around thirty minutes long”. Her and her sisters loved listening to the radio together whether it was Johnny Mathis or if it was just a talk show. Rose told me she had plenty of 45s around the house for her listening pleasure. They had a record store right around the corner where they could get any 4 they wanted. She never liked the idea of concerts. The radio and record player were where she would please all of her musical needs. She still listens to the radio today. 92.1 to be exact. She loves the oldies.
Rose did not always have a television in her house, but she does have memories of watching TV as a child.
She says, “I would always go to my neighbors house to watch Milton Burrell on Texaco Hour”. It was not until around 1952 until she was to get her own black and white television. She was in around 7th or 8th grade at this time, and remembers watching a lot of soap operas. It took her around eighteen more years to get a colored television.
She told me she never really got excited about any of the new transitions of media. Rose specifically remembers when she was a little older, she had an all in one system that had a radio, record player, and TV all in one. This was a perfect system to have at the time while she was raising young kids. The more she aged, the more she watched public television. It was more channels like 3,6, or 10. Her husband used to love cartoons and sports. They never had a problem with what was on the TV.
Mrs. Varrell is very novice when it comes to the internet. After years of having the same flip phone, she finally upgraded to a touchscreen cell phone. She is not sure if it has internet or not. Rose does not use it a lot, and when she does it is almost foreign. She has never had the biggest interest in the internet or computers. She is intimidated because she thinks she can mess up or even just go somewhere she did not want to. She uses it occasionally at her job, but it is very basic things.
Rose is very content living her life in the present with the people she cares about. She grew up with all of these technological advances, but never felt the need to use them. She would use them when she needed too, but did not survive off of them like a lot of people today. She lived through it all, and there will be much more in years ahead.
This conversation I had with her really put things into perspective for me. I can not think of a world where I do not have everything at my fingertips. I do not have to wait to listen or watch things. I have all of this at my disposal. I am glad I live in a world where I have all of these incredible creations around me.