Sunday, June 20, 2010

Detox Tech Diet Day 6. What Would Dad Say ?

I've been wondering what my father would have to say about all this technology. When Dad left this world it was 1986. A lot had changed since he was born in 1921, but in retrospect the change was just the tip of the iceberg.

In 1986 a cellular phone in an automobile was a relatively new concept. Handheld phones were rare and big enough to double as a doorstop. And if you don't believe me check out the one Michael Douglas is using  in the movie Wall Street.  There was no Internet information highway, no iPods, cable television was considered a luxury and CNN was only six years old.

So today, on Father's Day, also Day 6 of my Detox Tech Diet, I am wondering what he would have to say about this plugged into something 24/7 world we live in.

Dad was a fan of new technology. He got into the appliance business in the early days of refrigeration. He worked for companies like Crosley, Westinghouse, and Philco-Ford. My mother tells me that when they were first married in 1951 they had no money and very little furniture, but they had a black and white Crosley television that sat on a cardboard box  they turned on to watch a funny new show called I Love Lucy.

Dad worked  surrounded by what was considered cutting edge at that time and so we grew up with an abundance of the latest new technology, like the dishwasher on wheels that barely fit next to the counter and had to be attached with a hose to the kitchen faucet.

Dad was fascinated by progress. And I imagine he would  be sitting wide eyed and  with a great big smile in front of the computer my mother  refuses to own if he were still here. He would have enjoyed keeping up with every member of our big fat Greek family through pictures on Facebook. I think he would have embraced cable and I imagine be  a fan of the History Channel.  I don't believe he would ever forgo the newspaper, if for nothing else the crossword puzzle. Dad is one of the few people I have ever known that  could complete the entire Sunday puzzle and in ink.

But Dad was also a socializer. He liked people. I think he too would worry about communicating more electronically than in person. He would miss the likes of Walter Cronkite style journalism while still being mesmerized by the speed and ease in which information is now shared.

Dad also believed in his quiet time. While not very Zen, his morning ritual consisted of coffee and a cigarette in silence. He would get up early so he could take some time to sit at the kitchen table quietly in his own thoughts. I never thought to ask what he was thinking about. I only knew to be sure not to interrupt his special time.

Mom and Dad opening wedding presents in 1951
My detox tech diet Day 6 continues on Father's Day. And in honor of Dad I will conduct my own version of his morning ritual. It will not include a cigarette but there will be coffee and silence and lots of thinking. Mostly about him.
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