Saturday, March 26, 2011

What Happened To Our Family History?

Family life has changed in the last seventy five years. What has changed?  Communication has changed everything.  We can find out what is happening around the world in the last five minutes but we can’t remember what happened yesterday.

Seventy five years ago you got news days or weeks behind.  But the family communicated.  They didn’t have much to talk about except, family history.  They would sit around and tell stories.  The parents were the window to the world.  Mom and Dad were told stories by there parents the same way.  They passed down, with embellishments, where they came from.  They heard about life in the old country, life on the farm, how hard life was.  They learned about family members and they learned where there grand dad grew up.

Fifty years ago we started watching television.  The family would get together on Sunday night and watch Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color on NBC.  You guessed it, we didn’t talk much about what grandma used to do when she was little.  We spent every daylight minute outside playing with whatever we could find.  Do you remember the NBC Peacock?  Refresh your memory. (  To learn more about what we watched in the good old days, follow this link.  (

Thirty years ago we started playing games on computers.  Each kid got a TV in there room and it was pretty quiet around the kitchen table.  Coming in from school kids would blast through the door and yell, “Mom’s what’s for dinner.”, through there coat and lunch box on the floor on the way to watch TV in there rooms.

Twenty years ago kids started learning more from television and computers then parents.  Time was spent doing homework, watching television, and talking on the phone.  Playing outside was getting dangerous.  If you were lucky enough to live on a court you could play outside if you stayed close.  Everyone eating dinner together meant we all jump in the car and go to McDonald’s together.

Ten years ago televisions were on all day, a TV in every room and a computer next to the TV.  Home theaters were the rage.  Kids were actually spending time in front of the big screen with Mom and Dad watching American Idol.  Even the teenagers were coming back.  Sadly only for one or two programs.  Then back to there room where they had all the creature comforts.  If you could just install a toilet and a fridge, they would never have a reason to come out.

Today, if you can get in a word or two with your child you are competing with a text that just came in or there phone rings.  Mom I have to get Jimmy has notes from my English class.

So the last generation did not get the family history passed down to them and if they new anything they couldn’t tell you anyway because you have that damn communication device in your ear.

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