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New and improved means we had old and lousy?

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By Larry Rowell

In my continued praise of all new technologies, I ask you to return with me to a kinder, gentler, and simpler time, not so very long ago. We need never forget when whence we cameth.
It amazes me to be in a crowd anywhere today and watch people play with their smartphones, checking Facebook updates, texting, or surfing the Internet. Seems they’re doing anything other than actually making phone calls.
As for the new technology with mobile cellphones, I confess that I’m hooked to mine. I love being able to send texts to friends, church members, or family. Do I want to go back to what we had in 1960?
Those of you over 50 no doubt remember the rotary dial telephone that was actually attached with a cord and you either sat or stood next it to talk.
When you had to call a company during business hours, a real human being answered the phone and directed your inquiry to another real live person.
And, there was no “push one for English,” or “push two to have your call outsourced to a country where English may qualify as a third or fourth language.”
I’m in no way bigoted or racist as I have lived in four different countries and visited scores of others.
I’m all for “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” — I just would like to understand the person on the other end of “the blower,” as Archie Bunker was fond of saying.
In addition, does someone have to check their phone for text messages every two minutes?
I’ve seen people do it in church and while I know that all things are possible with God, we need to shut the phones off in church and listen to God.
And while I’m on a roll here, remember the days when getting money from a bank meant entering the bank and writing a check made payable to “cash,” or yourself?
And what if you wanted to make a purchase in a local business but left your checkbook at home?
Businesses in my hometown kept “counter checks”  — blank checks from different local banks that you wrote your name on and then signed.
There were no ATMS, credit or debit cards — it was either pay with cash or a good check.
In addition to having to adapt to new technology, I fear there’s also a side-effect that comes with each new gadget and gizmo.
Each new advancement has to up the “wow” factor or it risks just being another something that adds to our already burgeoning list of gadgets.
It really takes a lot now for us to say “WOW!”
When’s the last time you were truly amazed at riding in an automobile? Just 100 years ago, our ancestors took weeks to make a trip in a horse drawn wagon that we can now make in hours in our sleek, shiny machines.
I’m really trying to embrace these new fangled machines as they can be used for good. We just don’t need to let them dominate our lives to the point where we cease talking with people in day-to-day conversations.
Well, dear readers, that’s enough for today. I have to turn off my iPad, check my mobile phone and text my wife to see what’s for supper.