More

    It’s time to reclaim some of our pre-Y2K life

    AlaskaWatchman.com

    I came across a blank postcard the other day, turned it over a few times, and resolved to do something for the first time in many years.

    It’s no big deal. I used to send these to friends and relatives regularly. It seems like just yesterday. Then again, much of my pre-Y2K life has given way to the realities of the modern world.

    I used to write two-page letters (in cursive) to my brothers and high school buddies — beginning with the word “Dear.” That gave way to one-page emails in the late 1990s and somewhere in the early 2000s my communications shrunk to texting one liners and commenting on Facebook posts. I didn’t plan for the envelopes and “Forever stamps” to gather dust in the closet. It just happened.

    No one deliberately plans to look at electronic devices for five hours a day. We don’t resolve to set aside book reading, board games or journaling. I doubt anyone consciously thought, “You know, family meals are just a waste of time. Let’s do away with that too.”

    “We don’t resolve to set aside book reading, board games or journaling.”

    And yet, here we are: less reading, more takeout and an embarrassing amount of screen time. In two short decades, modern American life has been transformed. Our children don’t know any different, but anyone over age 30 can remember a life untethered by digital technology.

    If we didn’t answer the phone in 1998 it was because we weren’t home or we were busy with something important — like eating dinner or mowing the lawn. “Hi, this is the Smiths. We’re not in right now. Please leave a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.” Remember that?

    Kids used to play in the woods, build forts, ride bikes to the park and organize baseball or basketball games. When mom kicked everyone out of the house in the summer you could either sit bored in the driveway for hours or brainstorm a new competition. You might need to enlist a few siblings or knock on the neighbor’s door to see if anyone could come outside and “play,” but that’s how we built a sense of the neighborhood.

    That world is not so distant as we might think. In the big scheme of things it was really only yesterday when kids drew pictures, dangled from rope swings, baited fishing hooks and played in tree forts. It wasn’t long ago that adults hosted game nights, had long talks on the phone and took Sunday drives. We could get back to that tomorrow if we wanted to — and truth be told many do.

    “–it was really only yesterday when kids drew pictures, dangled from rope swings, baited fishing hooks and played in tree forts.”

    We still know the difference between friends and “friending,” between heart-to-heart conversations and texting, between online video adventures and building a campfire. We know the difference because human nature does not change. It just seeks the path of least resistance. When fast food, high-speed internet and instant entertainment are available we indulge — and alas sometimes even binge.

    There is no undoing the internet age but we must find a way to move forward without losing the profound delights of being human.

    We might begin with a few simple, doable resolutions and build from there: silence the phone for a few hours, maybe turn it off; call up an old friend; join a book club; read “The Chronicles of Narnia” or “Lord of the Rings” to the kids at night; pull out the old Pictionary game; invite some dear friends over for dinner.

    For my part, I took that postcard, stared at the blank white surface and tried to remember on what side the address went. I then wrote a few lines to a beloved relative, drove to the post office, bought an American flag stamp and dropped the note in the slot. It felt good. Like something worthwhile had just remerged from my not-so-distant past.

    Joel Davidson
    Joel Davidson
    Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.

    Share this article

    Related articles

    3 Comments

    1. 889980 582523Soon after study a handful of the content material within your internet site now, and that i genuinely such as your method of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web website list and are checking back soon. Pls look into my internet site as well and tell me what you believe. 819633

    2. 359054 337421You will be able use all sorts of advised attractions with various car treatments. A quantity of sell traditional tools numerous demand families for almost any event for any investment district, or even for a holiday in new york. ???? ??? ?????? ????? 460419

    Leave a reply

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Donate

    Alaska Watchman relies on the generous support of our readers. All donations go directly to supporting and expanding our news coverage. Please consider becoming a regular supporter.

    Select a Donation Option (USD)

    Enter Donation Amount (USD)

    Donate

    $
    Personal Info

    Donation Total: $100.00

    Stay Informed

    Receive breaking stories and analysis from the Alaska Watchman directly to your inbox for free.

    No spam ever. Guaranteed.

    Latest articles

    Are Alaska’s Elections Clean?

    In the wake of this critical moment in history, a stolen presidential election, a nakedly exposed, billionaire-funded socialist revolution, with paid thugs...

    Here’s how Alaska could actually appoint constitutionalist judges

    William Satterberg, a longtime Fairbanks attorney and former assistant attorney general for Alaska, has laid out a compelling argument for how to...

    ‘Alaska is not broke.’ Let me say that again.

    As a banker in Alaska for about 50 years prior to retirement, I have a time-consuming habit of reading lengthy financial statements,...

    Trump is fighting a bloodless coup d’état … and it’s far from over

    In this attempt of a stolen presidential election, Americans are facing something much worse than corruption, they are facing a coup d’état,...

    News tips