Monday, August 22, 2011

Journaling 1981 Style

I'm sitting up in my bed with my laptop, well....on my lap, trying to think of something to write in this journal, and then it hit me. I was thinking of doing this very thing 30 or more years ago. Well, sort of.

As a teenager, I would retreat to my bedroom at night, then lay awake listening to the radio. Sometimes I would draw, sometimes I would read my "Living Bible" and underline all the scriptures I thought were interesting. Once in awhile I would sneak the phone (which looked identical to the one pictured here) up under my bed covers and ever so slowly and quietly, dial someone's phone number and have a late night chat. But usually I would write. I had all sorts of stationery that I used for letters to my girlfriend Kim, who had gone off to college at UofK. I wrote to my girlfriend Gale in Ohio, and letters to my boyfriend Chris W. after he went in the Marine Corps. I wrote letters and drew pictures for everyone. I had journals, and like now would write the things I was thinking or feeling at the time.

But in those days it would have been almost impossible to imagine the technology of today. I'd be listening to an iPod, not a radio with dials. And the stationery has been replaced by electronic messaging. I'm not sure that back then I could have dreamed that virtually every person in the world would have an entire library of information at at their fingertips. No more writing to the guy at the local newspaper to ask the name of a movie you saw a few years back. Just Google it.

But some of these things are a lost art. Radio DJs who could actually play the songs they wanted to play, and who had the freedom to play your late night request if you called in. The beauty or humor of colorful stationery and colored ink. All gone.

It would have been hard for me to imagine the different struggles I write about today. Even though some are remarkably similar to the ones I had in those days, many are not.

I love today's technology and the freedom it gives us, but often I do feel nostalgic for the way things were in 1981.

No comments: