I was talking to my friend Jeff the other day, and as we do when we've been talking long enough, we slid into nostalgia. We tend to go on and on about what we miss—but this time, he surprised me. He said, "I wish I could go back in time for just one day to get some perspective."
He went on to explain: Would I get angry if I couldn't get cash whenever I wanted it, because there are no ATMs? If I didn't know something but I couldn't Google it, what would I do?
A lot of us can get a little grumpy in the face of new and confusing change. But seriously: At this point, could you get by without those ATMs? Or stop using your cell phone? In some of my blogs, I've bemoaned the things that have slipped away. But for every product they've taken off the shelves, or for every 20-something I speak to who has no idea who Gilda Radner was, there's some modern miracle that helps make up for it.
Besides, we can have it both ways: We can embrace the new—and when no one's looking, use it to recapture a little bit of the old. We can use the Internet to get the answer to (or recall) just about anything. We can make oldies playlists for our iPods. We can watch our favorite bands on YouTube and long-gone TV shows on (if you don't know this one, it's a gem). At least in our heads, we can stay forever young.
Fittingly enough, this is my last blog. "My Side of 40" is now a year old, and I think it's time to give it a little rest. Thank you all so much for reading—I've really enjoyed hearing your voices. Now I'll leave you with, I hope, an upbeat question:
What's your favorite innovation? I'm curious. Let me know in Comments.