It does seem to be a lifetime ago since I last hand wrote a letter. Being brought up in a tiny town in Bangladesh, I did not experience the use of mobiles, PCs and the Internet during my childhood, so yes I am kinda of old to admit that I did write letters in the earlier years of my life. Ali and I often discuss how we may be the last generation who got by the entire childhood without any digital devices. Then again, this may not be true for everyone in our generation either. As fast as we are embracing technology, it is even more fascinating to see how our previous generation is adapting to the latest social networking and technology.
My mom had been aspiring to own an iPad, so last Eid we got her one. It seems like she never leaves home without it any more. She took it to our annual family vacation last year and we wondered why since her son, daughter and their families were with her already! Granted she is not very old but it’s amazing to see how she banks, shops, connects with friends on Facebook, listens to music online, looks up YouTube videos to learn new crochet patterns. If this wasn’t enough, she surprised me by updating her status on Facebook from Dubai airport en-route her recent trip to Bangladesh. I am sure she’ll do the same on her way back.
Ali is stunned every time he gets an email from his dad and every time his dad tags himself to any Facebook photos we upload of his granddaughter, all from the tiny town in Bangladesh we grew up in. It’s a precious time for Ali’s parents to get a glimpse of my daughter every weekend through skype – possible only through the adaptation of technology.
I can still remember the first time I touched a PC. Having heard of all the amazing things computers can do, I clicked on the Microsoft Excel icon(that was the only icon on the desktop), typed up few numbers as fast as I could to see how the PC can add those numbers. Not knowing about the excel functions, imagine my disappointment when the “computer” could not add the numbers. I remember owning my first laptop. I remember the excitement when I heard I was going to get a cell phone from the company at my first job out of college (yup, I was one of those poor college student who couldn’t afford a mobile phone and got by without one). I remember my first email account (on yahoo which I still use as my personal account!). I am sure our previous generation also clearly remembers their technology firsts.
My daughter is never going to remember any of these firsts as she has been growing up surrounded by them from day 1. I wonder what the firsts of her generation would look like and can’t really imagine how those firsts will be.
Can you remember a time when you were not surrounded by digital devices and technology – laptops, PCs, the Internet, mobile phone, gaming console? Do you remember sending hand written letters to friends and families? Does it seem to be a lifetime ago? Imagine what it will be like in ten more years. Can you imagine the next generation ever sending a moderate size email, let alone handwritten letter? Receiving an email will probably be a delight, and too much to ask for, in the era of next generation tweeting, Facebooking, instant messaging and texting.