“I want it and I want it NOW!”

Remember when we couldn’t wait to pick up our vacation photos at Photo-Mat, or whatever it was called? We were so excited to see how they turned out that we’d dive into the package before we even left the shop.  Days had passed since we dropped off the film spool, or cartridge, if we were using an Instamatic.

We started to relive the trip as we shuffled through the photos, delighted when we saw ourselves standing in front of a famous site. Sometimes we were disappointed when a photo didn’t turn out (like the entire roll my uncle Normie took at my Sweet Sixteen party), but we got over it.  If we were conscientious, we put the photos in albums, which give us great enjoyment to this day. If we were lazy, we shoved them in drawers, but still love rediscovering them.

Enter the IG Age (instant gratification). We stand in front of the Eiffel Tower, take a photo and immediately study the digital image.  If we don’t like the way it turned out, we erase it and start again. We return home, transfer the images to our computers if we’re conscientious and print them out if we’re especially diligent.

Our photos today are definitely better quality, but the relationship we once had with them went the way of Photo-Mat.

Remember when we were away and missed our loved one so much, it hurt? We couldn’t wait to hear his/her voice and see his/her face again. Now we call each other 17 times a day and Skype it up. Mystery and yearning went the way of pay phones and handwritten notes.

Remember when someone angered or upset us and we counted to 10—or 100—to calm down? Now our fingers fly to the keys to compose an emotional email. Our internal voices of reason are practically mute.

Remember when we couldn’t wait till we arrived home so we could check our message machine? Now we check our Blackberry, iPad or phone 285 times a day for emails, IMs or VMs. Anxious anticipation went the way of the answering machine and land lines.

Remember when we couldn’t wait to surprise someone with good news? Now we fall all over ourselves to broadcast everything to everyone on Facebook.

Face it.  We want it.  And we want it now. Scarlett O’Hara just wouldn’t understand.

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0 Responses to ““I want it and I want it NOW!””

  1. Patti says:

    Thank you, Geri. This is a much needed reminder of what we are losing today with our plugged-in world.

    I remember reading some time ago about newly discovered evidence in the JFK assassination; evidence in the background of an otherwise unremarkable photograph. The author of the article I was reading observed that today when we have an unremarkable photograph we delete it. How sad what we are missing in this world of IG.

    I’ve noticed that I also never sit down and look at my pictures – simply because I saw them when I took them on my digital camera. Sad. I remember the anticipation of getting the film developed and looking at the pictures in the car before I left the parking lot of the drug store!

    And, when I see my Mom’s handwriting on a card, a recipe, or the back of a photo, I weep, then smile. Those moments will be lost in just a few generations.

    Thank you for sharing this thought. I, too, have fallen into the trap of Facebook and email with my family and friends. I shall get out my stack of stationery and pen a note to them this week. Ha! When’s the last time you heard the term “pen a note” ??? 😀

  2. Deborah Milne says:

    The last decade seems to have transformed our lives more than any other decade since I’ve been born. I don’t think we fully know how those changes will impact how we have known life to be. Many positive changes but many of our old ways lost.

    Much food for thought Geri. Have a good old-fashioned weekend. Write a love note to someone

    Cheers x Deb

  3. Toby Wollin says:

    I also have a collection of photos that my mom took to send to my father after he’d left Scotland and before she could come to the United States. The penciled messages on the back are very sweet; obviously, my father (because the US recovered from WWII much more quickly than the UK did) was sending my mom fabrics to make herself clothing, so many of the messages hovered in the “Here I am wearing the suit made from the green (or brown or red or blue) flannel you sent to me. Hope you like it!” Now, we just electronically send the photo, which is too bad. Getting something in the mail like that was obviously a treasure.


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