March 14th, 2012

I came across this article today, “After 244 Years, Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops the Presses” and something in my heart just dropped. My how fast we have exploded into the world of ever growing and dominating technology and left behind some of the staples that gave our culture purpose. To have a set of Encyclopedia Britannica, even in my childhood was a big deal. I never got to be the cool kid with the cool sets of history stored on my bookshelves at home. I didn’t use the coolest Pentel Coloring Marker Pens that came in a special vinyl case, I had the generic version. I didn’t have Nike, Adidas, or Fila shoes, I had the Payless Lightups. As I got older, I did experience owning the cooler things, but by then it really wasn’t as big of a deal as it initially had been in my younger days. I remember my first cell phone. It was a brick-like flip phone. I thought it was so cool…that is, until the (what seemed tiny at the time) Nokia’s came out and all my friends were getting one. Then I was embarrassed to take my brick-flip out. Looking back now, I am not sure how I ever survived my childhood having to be the “un-cool” kid! LOL!

We live in this Gotta-Have-It-Now, Faster than Microwave Speed, Easy Button, Latest and Greatest Techie Gadgets, Very Quickly Evolving (or Devolving) Generation with iPads in 1, 2, and HD, iPhones 1-4s, Android, Tabs, Pads, Devices in everyone’s hands (even little children, mine included)…

Whatever happened to:

  • Cursive Writing?
  • Playing Outside with the Biggest Imagination until the Street Lights came on?
  • Studying at the Library?
  • Writing a Letter to Your Friends or Loved Ones?
  • Family Dinners (all together at the table with Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother, the dog, cat, and white picket fence)?
  • Homemade (from scratch) Meals?

Maybe life was better when my biggest worries were not having the coolest Markers? Now I look at my 3 children and desire to preserve some of the more important things in this life above and beyond the lure of technology. I want to instill in them a sense of something greater than the next coolest video game device. Haha, that brings me to this movie we watched together last night called Ramona and Beezus. SIDE NOTE: This week my kids have Spring Break and since we don’t have any Out Of Town plans, aside from our daytime adventures we have Family Movie Night every night this week. The first night it was “One Night with the King” and last night it was “Ramona and Beezus. It’s from those really great Beverley Cleary Books we all read in school (everything is a movie now-a-days). Anyways, Ramona had a very wild imagination, to say the least. Her thoughts were a canvas to be painted on and it was great! I told my kids, “this is what you should be doing when you go outside”, to which they replied, “if we did that outside we wouldn’t be able to see the cars in the street!” Haha…leave it to my kiddos to find a clever response back. Although, they did thoroughly enjoy the movie. :)

The End of an Era, The End of an Age, The Signs of the Times…Whatever you want to call it. The fact that the Presses will no longer be printing Encyclopedia Britannica hard copies is a sad and monumental history marker. They will continue to have the ever expanding online edition, but it’s still a major change to make note of. Yikes, what’s next to come? Eh, just sharing my thoughts…



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