My Television is a Turkey
It’s Thanksgiving week and I’m truly, exceedingly grateful.
But I know so many good and talented people will be offering amazing, reflective pieces discussing gratitude and grace, that I thought I would be contrary.
I’m feeling a little ornery because I can’t turn on my TV.
This is such a ridiculous, first world, stupid “problem” in which to “reflect”, I thought, why not chase this crazy to see where we land?
So here we are.
In truth, it’s been years since I’ve felt like I had the upper hand when it comes to mastering my TV. (By “mastering” I mean turning it on and watching a show.) I have sought and received numerous tutorials from my husband and kids and think I have it down but then something alters the system – my world gets rocked by an Xbox plug in or we lose power as frequently happens out here in the woods – and then it’s all wiped away.
It takes three clickers (okay, “remotes” for you sophisticates) to fire up the beast and I’m told which clicker I use depends on “what it is exactly I want to do.”
Frustrating. I WANT TO WATCH TV!
So I’ve mostly given up. I have Hulu on my phone so I don’t miss my games. I watch that itty bitty screen while the huge, widescreen TV sits there, with the big, beautiful, perfect (to quote the President) cozy couch sitting in front of it completely empty, mocking my incompetence.
Last Christmas I bought myself a record player and I LOVE IT! It speaks my language. Put the record on the turntable. Turn the knob to “on.” Put the needle on the record. That’s it. My record player plugs in the wall and doesn’t talk to me or listen to me.
It just plays sweet, scratchy sound from bygone days before I took in one Twitter too many.
Today is all about technology right at our fingertips. The world in our grubby little mitts. It’s all so easy, so perfectly convenient.
For those of you of an age who get the reference, it’s The Jetsons, here and now.
Yet if progress is so dang wonderful, why do so many seem to feel so bad?
Or is it simply a case because of social media and everything else we are far more aware of the burdens folks carry these days?
I don’t know.
I do think that so much technology has made reality unreal if that makes sense?
If you’ve grown up with an answer to almost every single question at your fingertips – when life is all but delivered to your door – it’s easy to understand how dealing with off screen adversity, like having to wait, or work, or trust, or go without might rattle you.
How do you explain patience to a generation that never experienced dial-up Internet let alone a dial tone?
I know I sound like an old person who can’t turn on her TV. Guilty as charged.
But I do miss days when stuff made sense – like when having a “virus” mostly meant you felt like crap and stayed in bed a few days – not cataclysmic computer doom.
It’s enough to make you want to throw up.
I miss hefty Sunday newspapers and the promise of in-depth, well researched, and properly sourced stories that were impactful.
I miss busy signals on phones – because that meant there was a living human being with whom you could expect to eventually speak, one who might listen to you and help you solve your problem rather than redirect your call to another automated voice.
I miss having boxes of old photos and tangible memories instead of a phone full of memories I missed.
I worry about the cost of social media on kids and on their ability to relate, but then again, I marvel how wonderful it is that Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with the very first friends I remember from my childhood. And thanks to the magic of FaceTime, our son, who is half a world away serving in the South Carolina National Guard and gone for a year, hits us up, and just like that, there he is, his familiar face, filling up our screens and our hearts like he was here at home.
It almost makes me wish we had that technology in 1991, when his dad and I were dating and he was in the Marine Corps. Back then a phone call on a landline was a luxury and letters via the US postal service were a staple.
But now see, this isn’t good, because it reminds me that I miss letters.
Remember (again, those of you of an age) when going to the mailbox each day held the promise of something exciting? It was especially magical when you were a kid and living on your parents’ dime. The possibility that some dearly missed friend or a mysterious pen pal had sent a missive you could secret away and savor by yourself or even better, that Nana had sent a card with a buck in it, made mail delivery something to be anticipated.
I was going to say the only thing that really shows up in our mailbox are bills, but even those are mostly handled online now. So really our mailbox provides an extremely attractive safe haven for spiders and catrillions of credit card solicitations that we promptly toss.
So yep, technology killed the happy trip to the mailbox, too.
And yet anyone who has a loved one in the military or supports modern day dentistry, for example, has to ask would you want to go back in time or keep moving forward?
Even I have to concede the obvious.
Maybe the best thing we can do is try as hard as we can to safeguard the things that truly do matter – those tenets that supersede even technology – values like gratitude and faith and family. Make sure they remain ageless no matter the age.
So I guess this blog really is about Thanksgiving after all.
Here’s wishing you and yours a truly blessed one.
As for me, I need to go prep the turkey and find someone in my house to turn on the TV.
As a young TV news reporter, Christy mistakenly drove the bad guys away from the crime scene. If you're looking for a funny and inspirational speaker for your next event - contact Christy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 803.908.7630. For information click HERE.