“Don’t push my buttons!” You may have heard someone say this at one time or another. It refers to pushing a person emotionally to the point of invoking an agitated response. When we get on an elevator, we push a button to go up or down. Now, when we get in our cars, we push a button to start the vehicle. My, my how technology has changed. Does this mean our future generation of drivers will not know what a car key is much less know what to do with it if they had to? I remember seeing a video on social media where a child had been asking their parents for a phone for their birthday. The parents gave the child a phone, but it was an old fashioned (I can’t believe I am calling the phone I used growing up, “old fashioned!”) phone. The child was perplexed, confused, and stunned because she had no idea what it was. It had a rotary dial and her mother told her she could make phone calls on it. All she had to do was plug it into the wall. The child said, “but I can’t go anywhere with it, it doesn’t come off” (meaning the cord was attached as well as the receiver). Now those of you who have been around at least 5 decades, know what I’m talking about. Everything has become so instant, but does that come at a cost? Grandparents and aunties have written cards or letters that their grandchildren, nieces, and nephews cannot read because the grandparent has written in cursive. Cursive writing ceased to be part of the curriculum almost a decade ago. We now have generations that cannot read or write cursive. Some of them will be employed as mail carriers! When the cash register goes down the young cashiers are lost because they cannot count the change back without the push of a button. All these things are not the fault of the younger generation. It is the result of technology making life seemingly easier but losing so much in the process. I know I am on a tangent here, but it is cause for pause.
Technology is a beautiful thing but in some arenas it hinders. Everything is so instant and doesn’t require much thought beyond pushing a button, clicking a mouse, or having AI tell you what do. Where do we go from here? As society progresses and as time goes on, teaching some “old school” skills will have to be an intentional thing. Learning cursive, memorizing, times tables, dialing a rotary phone, all took some time to learn. Certain skills were learned in the process and the valuable concept of patience was learned as well. Don’t’ get me wrong, I’m not complaining about the advances of technology. I just question the skills and abilities that are learned and developed by pushing a button.