Give me the essence of days gone by

Carmen Gomez

In the same way that my parents tried to assimilate and accept the fast evolvement of the world around them which was so different from theirs; I now find myself, not doing the same thing, but certainly being sorely tested by habits and attitudes which are so far removed from those I knew and grew up with; and I am sure I am not alone in this. 

It’s a question of how people’s habits have changed with the coming of new technology in our lives and their reaction to it. Like the eye phones say, which although extremely useful in some ways, appear to have taken over people’s lives and have turned them into a different species altogether; something which has made my favourite word “awareness;” in general (not to be confused with awareness of present ailments which plague our lives and which locally gets an excellent reception) pale into insignificance.

How often have you found yourself in hospital say, or at the health centre, sat in a waiting area, and heard people’s names called out for their next appointment; and finding that the patient is so engrossed in texting, or in the call on his eye phone, that he or she does not hear. Subsequently the person at the counter has to call out even louder or may have to leave his post and be pushed to the point of shouting out names in order to be heard.


The extraordinary thing is that when said person finally acknowledges the call, they continue the phone conversation as they approach the doctor’s surgery! Worse still is the case when someone’s phone rings; the owner of which happens to have installed the loudest of ring tones which can irritate you no end. On picking up and realising it is no emergency, it does not end with a quick “sorry can’t talk I’m at the doctors” but instead you are then treated to the contents of a conversation, which has nothing to do with you, or indeed you have no interest in hearing, but which nevertheless you have to contend with.

This can ensue for a while; turning into a total invasion of your air space and putting you in a nervous state of mind. Because the reason for being there in the first place, is because you are feeling rather unwell and anxious about what awaits you in the examination room. At least I presume that is the reason why people go to be seen by the doctor. Do these people who behave in this manner realize this? Or don’t they care?


One has to contend with this never ending inner struggle of having to accept things which appear to you as niggling and over the top anomalies which the media presents you with daily. Just recently we learnt that yet another collection of children’s books; the ones you grew up with; and funnily enough were never either traumatised by, or made to feel inadequate or unable to associate with; being retrieved from the book shelves, for the simple reason that there are those out there who have nothing better to do than to come up with ludicrous notions, which actually can lead to putting ideas into children’s heads which were not there in the first place.

Sometime back it was Noddy and Big Ears; which we loved to read as children. Until someone came up with the notion that they were thought to be having an inappropriate relationship i.e. that they were homosexual! Not that this ever entered our minds as for us they were good friends. Besides, so what if they had been; its part of life for heaven’s sake! Now it’s the chop for Cinderella and Goldilocks. I remember reading them as a child and all the former did was make me dream of princes‘ and castles and the latter made me think it was not a good idea to go alone into the woods; which after all was not such a bad thing. I’m sorry but it makes one wonder how one ever managed to grow up sane and without a million complexes.

In reviewing the situation in Spain they came to the conclusion that 30% of the stories on the shelves were found to be “toxic” what an extraordinary assumption; and not gender balanced! We are talking here about stories for six year olds don’t forget. So now, grandparents will be less able to relate with their grandchildren as to reading matter; a relationship already somewhat strained by the fast changing times with its eye pads and tablets which children have taken to like ducks out of water, but at the same time sadly disengages them of having a proper conversation with their grandparents when in their company.


Only a few years ago everyone spoke about the advantageous of the use of virtual reality, but never mentioned the downside that should cause concern for many parents of school kids or students. I recall a couple of years back reading about its many advantageous without taking into account the downside that should have caused great concern at the time.

A spin off of the film Battle Star Gallactica, featured at the time, teenagers visiting virtual reality nightclubs, where they could try for themselves the so called enjoyment of drinking and drug taking before physically doing it. Of course it was not real they said; but the sobering thought here is that from pretend games, come the opportunities for young people to learn the dark side of life. I have the firm impression that all this new technology in our lives has had an impact on people, in not always a positive way; for some it appears to have dulled their minds.

Anything goes in other words. Men no longer cut out the swearing when conversing in a woman’s presence; schoolchildren walk en masse unawares of one’s presence in their way. I say keep the eye phone and give me some civility. Bring back the essence of days gone by.

Happy Easter everyone.