Friday, September 07, 2012

Old school photos & modern electronic clutter

Old photographs are dangerous things. This photo of my second Leaving Certificate class, I repeated the LC even though I had a university scholarship because  my parents thought me to young to go to University  was emailed to me today and really took me back into a now distant past.We are having a reunion this year and I hope to go to Armidale for it next week. I am second on the left in the second back row.

1962 LC_0001

Tonight I had dinner with Clare at her place, a share house. As I looked around the place I was struck by the contrast between the world of that school photo and the modern life style. P1000636 And no, this is not an exercise in nostalgia although this particular trip down memory lane was triggered in part by initial nostalgia.

Some things remain the same; books, clutter, if not the art works in progress. Others are very different. Perhaps the biggest single change, the one with the greatest behavioural implications, is simply the volume of electronic clutter. I tried to count the pieces of electronic kit in the house, but lost count at about eighteen items.

One behavioural effect lies in the way that the devices affect household dynamics.

After coming to Canberra, I lived in a share house for the first four years and then again a little later. Shared houses, especially mixed sex share houses, were less common then. My mother in particular was fascinated with stories of shared lives. We used to congregate in the lounge room where the TV was. Now people are much more likely to be in their own rooms playing on or with their electronic kit. And then, even when in company, they do the same!

This is not a critical comment, merely a social observation. I accept that I have odd tastes. Only someone with odd tastes would spend time on public transport counting the number of people doing what out of the total carriage! And yes, at least in Sydney, hand held mobile devices dominate. I don't quite know what people do with those devices, although I know eldest window shops! You can't really learn over and ask.


Rummuser said...

I do lean over and ask, often to the embarrassment of the person. I always take shelter under the excuse of being an ignorant old man. You must try too!

Jim Belshaw said...

Not so much of the old part, if you don't mind Ramana! It is true, though, that age brings certain freedoms. I was able to fool around with my daughters with greater freedom because I didn't feel the need to preserve self-dignity.