I love many things about the past. I have a record player in my living room; my kitchen decor comes from the 60s and 70s; and I really like the look of the old school typewriters. But if I’m honest with myself, I am so glad we’ve progressed from the good old days.
Thank Goodness for Online Shopping
I do not miss dragging all of my children up and down the hundreds of aisles at grocery stores. Thanks to Online Grocery, I not only save time and money, but my sanity is mostly intact. If your kids are like mine, they are always on the verge of destroying something during a grocery shopping trip. That, combined with the long check-out lines, makes me incredibly grateful for my convenience discovery six months ago. I open my computer, go to the grocery tab of a nearby grocery store, and I shop from the comfort of my own home. Not only do most stores remember frequently purchased items, but they also allow shoppers to price compare happily from a couch instead of angrily while trying to manage kids and a packed aisle. To get my grocery bags, I drive up, have a nice conversation with my personal shopper while he or she puts my bags in my mini van, and I drive away unscathed. I do not miss having to go into the store at all. No impulse buys. No repeated requests for candy. No surprise snacks in my cart. This is one of the best things that has happened to busy people.
Thank Goodness for GPS
I do not miss trying to find my way around without GPS. If you know me, it’s no secret that GPS is the best thing that could have happened. I like the look of maps, and I appreciate the art that goes into them, but I do not miss folding them and unfolding them, just to never really find where I should be going. I survived my whole life on landmark directions, so I enjoy the fact that Siri will just politely suggest where I should go. Whenever I had to find my way around new places in the past, I’d show up way late, if at all. I also could never really give the best directions to my house or a place to meet. You may say I’ve been enabled, but I’ll take it. I do not miss getting lost. GPS is one of the many reasons cars are more fun. I love the entertainment options, the softer and safer seats, and the fact that I don’t have to guess how many miles to empty.
Thank Goodness for Online Grading
When I student taught, we didn’t use email very often, the Internet wasn’t right at our fingertips, and I distinctly remember grabbing a calculator to average 130 kids’ grades. I do NOT miss this. As a teacher, I appreciate online grades because we can tell so much more about a student when we separate the scores by categories like: reading, quizzes, tests, compositions, etc. It helps my coworkers and me detail where kids excel and where they struggle. It also catches mistakes that my fingers could make on a keyboard. Now that I’m a parent, I 100% rely on those grades online. I don’t really know how anyone knew where kids stood in classes in the past. I check my kids’ grades very often, and I can question them if something is late or poorly completed. I do not miss the old school grade book or the necessity for a calculator.
Thank Goodness for the Internet Playground
I completely enjoy the freedom of exploration the internet gives my kids and students. Because there are so many different ways to learn and express ourselves, my kids’ and students’ knowledge of a program is not limited to only what I know. Kids are able to learn quickly and use the Internet as an educational playground. One of my creative writing students published her own children’s book on Amazon, and has found so much success with it, that Barnes and Noble is selling it as well. My son has learned how to make an RSA video by himself, a diagram using a program from his school’s website, and he has worked his way through Google Classroom. He’s only nine years old. As a teacher, my students are teaching each other new things all of the time. The teacher is still the content expert, but their avenues for presentation and synthesizing information are endless.
It’s clear that technology has made life so much better. Yes, we need to use it in moderation. It cannot replace the handwritten letter, the crackle of a record, or the experience of a teacher, but it can be used as a tool to make life more interesting.
What don’t you miss about the past? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook!