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Time Traveler

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Words: 550

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Time Traveler
The present age has earned a lot of names Jet age, Information Age, Space Age, etc. Here it is not only the physical modes of travel, being very fast that counts, but what induces your mind to travel at lightning speed, even if your body remains immobile. We have heard of astral travels, and yoga practices of seers, but here the technology is confined to the body of man, with its natural surroundings. But with the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, there have been many inventions since, which have made physical and mental movements comparable to light.
My grandmother was born in early twentieth century, but her adult years spanned from 30s-50s. She was familiar with the radio, TV, etc but still her mind could not really absorb the fast technical marvels that were being produced constantly. She cannot yet take in the wonders of inventions like e-mails, mobile phones and the e-book or electronic book. I try to put myself in her shoes, and go reverse in time in the 50s, and try and imagine what life would have felt like from a personal perspective, without these modern technologies, which we take so much for granted. Going back in the 50s, can be done either by acting out grandma’s role, or myself in a comparative time basis. The latter would give a better analysis, because it would highlight the perspective of modern inventions, which the older generations could not really enjoy to the fullest.

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Starting with personalized, individualized, home and domestic situations and spaces, working with your personal computer or laptop or even palmtop, in the comfort of your study, at your polished desk, is a very common feature currently. One of the major applications is sending e-mails, informal or formal. You can send mails, get replies at the drop of your hat, or considerably soon, unless the other party is otherwise busy. There is both the speed and personal touch, depending upon the interactive environment. A long absent friend, or cousin or sibling or a relative, in a different part of the world, gets in touch with you, and you get back a lot of long lost memories, and catch up with time. You can store infinite number of mails, and get in touch with people considered forgotten. But the manual post was the only way you could relate to with long distance interactions, that too very questionably, if the post and telegraph communications system was most incompetent. Hence that automatically reduced the number of people you could get in touch with, and needless to say the time span reduced interchanges within selective relationships too. The personal touches were elongated and somewhat valuable, but that could become stagnant and burdensome too, with the stretch of time. So the net disadvantages for the modern generation being in the 50s can somewhat prove to be quite a nightmare, in the communication sector.
Within homes, and extending to the external environment, roads or some other private places, within neighborhoods, long distance within cities and inter cities, is where the mobile phones usage has become almost indispensable. Walking from room to room, along or down the road or street, lanes or by-lanes, this portable device has helped billions connect with one another all over the world. Telecommunications has a long history, when telephones came into being. But, although they made long distance connection possible quite frequently, it was done mainly indoors, or from external booths, without the portability advantage. The mobile phone is like an artificial limb of the modern man; it is connected to him as an appendage, wherever he goes.
To round up the comparison between 50s and the current technology age, the pleasures in book reading perhaps, belonged to the older generation. Nothing like smelling and turning over the fresh pages of a new book, or the musty leaves of an antiquated masterpiece, but one needs constant cash flow to buy these or to have to go the bookstore to do so. But electronic books, in the digital format have made them available on the internet, so if you have a PC, you have an entire bibliography made available to you.
It is a matter of habit, and wonders are there in every era you live. So being a product of the high technology era, 50s may prove to be somewhat of a drag and uncomfortable, to someone not bred in that age. On the other hand, a person like my grandmother would probably feel she is living under alien conditions, in this jet set age.

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