Community Magazine

A Time Traveler’s Tale

By Friday23

December is on the doorstep and in a month’s time we ancient remnants of the analog age will slide another decade further into the digital era, the one we hardly understand and which is only accessible to us if there are grandchildren in the vicinity. We, seasoned time travelers are mixing with space travelers in the digital age. And not succeeding very well.

The analog age disappeared with the arrival of computers and other gadgets and brought with it new professions, new languages, loss of jobs, creation of new jobs, new ways to waste time and new kinds of people. And something called Artificial Intelligence also known as AI. Children suddenly moved up about fifty ranks in society and young millionaires were made overnight. We older folk stood and watched with wide open eyes, knowing that none of this really happened and if by chance it did, it wouldn’t last more than three months.

Old men were still checking the additions on supermarket slips, unable to believe that a machine could perform such actions and get it right the first time. “You mean to tell me that that phone you are holding and which is not connected to any wires, can make a telephone call? It’s not possible and I don’t believe it!” And then we stood and watched and listened as the demonstrator called his cousin in Australia…

A couple of weeks ago I asked one of the Philippine caregivers in our retirement home about that thing clamped to her ear. “It’s my phone, so I can talk to my sister back home in Manila,” she answered. At this rate of progress, it won’t be long before the ear-phone will be reduced in size to a few millimeters and will be implanted into the ears of newborn babies at the circumcision ceremony.

The retirement home is populated with remnants of the analog era. We still wear our beloved analog watches. Some of us still wind ours every day. We still write dates in our diaries with wooden pencils. We still have land-line telephones. And we live in our outdated comfort zones despite the latest developments flashing past our windows. And we are very comfortable, thank you. We haven’t become digitized despite the many attacks on us. The banks and the medical services providers that keep sending us digitized messages will never succeed in dragging us into the future…

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