Friday, May 23, 2014

Technology...A Love/Hate Relationship

It's 2014, we have modern technology literally at our fingertips. There is so much controversy over how much time we, has a race, spend with our faces in our phones. We criticize each other with how often we sustain our relationships via social media, texting and emails rather than having actual conversations face to face any more. I laugh at how often Eric and I will be sitting beside each other on our lap tops or phones. We still converse in person, we haven't gotten to the point where we actually find ourselves texting each other...yet. Guilty. In fact, I'm doubly guilty.

First, before I got my own smart phone, I was guilty of judging all those people who constantly had their face in their phone. Yep, guilty as charged.  But NOW?  Now I'm guilty of focusing too much on the micro computer in my purse.  I do try to consciously put it down, but it silently speaks to me, it calls my name.  It's hard not to pick it up when there's a lull in the conversation.  It's so easy to grab it when there is a discussion happening and something is up for debate.  I mean, come on, Google is right at our fingertips!  I definitely see both sides of the coin with regards to this subject.

In the grand scheme of things I'm very grateful I didn't have to endure high school in the time of Facebook or Twitter.  But lately, I'm finding myself more and more envious of this new generation.  I have attempted to go through photos in hopes of capturing some long lost pictures of my youth, most importantly my teenage years, but I'm continuously coming up with very few pictures.  I love when I get a notification on Facebook that I've been tagged in a photo and when I click on it, it's an oldie!  The best ones are the photos I didn't even know existed.  I love reliving those moments.  Unfortunately, photos and videos during my youth weren't as mainstream as they are now.  And the reason they are so mainstream now is because technology has made it so much easier for us to snap random photos or take quick little videos.  There's no more lugging around a huge camera or camcorder to try to capture candid moments.  Just like those cute little shampoo bottles, these too have been put into convenient little packages.

So just last week Roan mentioned to me that he couldn't remember what my dad's voice sounded like any more - one of the biggest worries I've struggled with after his passing.  I remember clearly still (thank goodness) some of his more frequent sayings but after giving it some real thought last week, I had to come to the realization that I too was struggling to remember what he sounded like overall.  I was comforted to know, after speaking with my sister and sister in law, that they too have had these fears and they too have struggled with remembering clearly.  So I racked my brain to try to ascertain if we had any video recordings with my father speaking.  And sadly, we really didn't.  I reached out to my cousin as I knew that my dad had co-emcee'd her wedding a few years ago and inquired if she had in fact had a video of her special day.  With great relief she informed me that she did have about half of her reception caught on tape before the battery was drained.  So I asked for a huge favour, a favour for our family really.  I asked her to forward me a copy so I could hear my dad's voice again.  And she obliged - she came through with bells on.  She even edited it all together so it was only my dad's words and we didn't have to endure half of her wedding reception (Thanks lady, I appreciated that!  haha).

She sent it to me on Wednesday night just before midnight.  The anticipation after reading her subject line "Uncle Kit video - part 1" or something along those lines immediately sent waves of emotion coursing through me.  I was overwhelmed with an energy of excited sadness (is that a thing?) that overcame me immediately.  I felt my eyes bursting over with water, my lungs struggling to take in air, and my throat getting that clenched feeling.  I couldn't get the stinkin' video to open fast enough.  And then there is was...

There he was.  Was that his actual voice?  Why do I remember it differently?  Is it only because he was talking into a microphone and the quality of the video wasn't great?  And then the more I listened and watched him talk, the more his mannerisms began to stand out and there he was.  Oh my gosh, music to my ears.  It didn't matter what he was actually saying.  It was just so lovely to hear his voice, his tone, his lame jokes.  Just over three minutes of something so silly that means the world to me.  How I wish we had more minutes.  How I wish the technology we experience today was around just a little bit sooner.  I wish I'd jumped on the smart phone bandwagon as soon as they came out.  I likely would have captured far more minutes of his voice.

So while I know we are fighting an uphill battle with the abuse of modern technology, I beg of you all....capture your loved ones doing what they love to do the most.  We all hear the warnings to take more photos, but taking more video is essential as well.  Capture your children all through the years even doing something as simple as playing.  Catch your parents on video telling a story.  You won't regret those particular overuses of your technology.  I can assure you.  Modern's a love/hate relationship.  Find the good things about it.  Capture those voices.

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