When I was a girl, it cost ten cents to make a call from a pay phone, so I'd stow dimes in my penny loafers' coin holders. (Penny loafers, pay phones? Why, yes, I am older than dirt.) In case of emergency, I always had a dime to call home. Nowadays, kids as young as eight have cell phones and don't have to rely on pay phones.
The publishing industry, among others, is going through an upheaval, and I handle uncertainty by focusing on the positives rather than clinging to the way things used to be in the era of ten-cent phone calls.
Changes I didn't imagine as a girl have come to pass and made my life easier and/or more enjoyable: the Internet, EZ Pass, and e-books, among them. I'm grateful, too, for less obvious improvements, including a couple of low-tech advancements. Here's what I mean:
- No-show tennis socks for men. Why shouldn't male shorts-wearers have an unbroken leg line from ankle to lower thigh?
- Bans on smoking in restaurants, bars, and workplaces. This one's painful for some of you, I know, but it's a pleasure not to have to wash the scent of burnt tobacco out of my hair at the end of a workday or an evening out.
- Scanner thermometers that take a baby or child's temperature in seconds via a touch on the forehead. (Rectal thermometers and squirmy babies never went well together.)
- Smart dirt. My outdoor potted plants don't get parched in the mid-day sun thanks to potting soil with moisture-retaining pellets. I still water regularly, but if I skip a day, the plant survives. That's a biggie in the
- Renewing and reserving library books online Okay, this last one wouldn't exist without the Internet, but I have to tell you I'm glad to abandon those last-minute dashes to the library to renew a book. Fines, remember those? I haven't had one in a couple of years.
Your turn. What newfangled and not necessarily high-tech advances have changed your life for the better?