The tech that dreams are made of

So my husband has been working from home because of the COVID 19 shelter in place measures. Since I already work from home, it hasn’t been a huge change for me, for the most part. But, I was struck by how much technology has changed our lives.

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The other day, I was in the office/guest room on a video conference call at the exact same time hubs was in the living room participating in a meeting via Zoom. When I was a kid, the idea of carrying around a phone in my pocket or purse that I could make or receive a call on pretty much anytime, anywhere was absolutely futuristic. At the time, I was pretty awed that TV’s Agent Maxwell Smart had a shoe phone. In fact, I remember being uber excited when my family got a cord for our landline phone that was long enough for the receiver to reach inside my room (just barely) for a modicum of privacy.

Now my husband and I can, at the same time, sit in different rooms of our home, each with a screen in front of us, talking to people across town – or across the country. This kind of tech was Jetson’s territory when I was a child. Albeit, video meetings on a laptop aren’t always as smooth as I would have imagined, with the “can you hear me now” and the weird camera angles, and the rows of people looking around in boxes like the Brady Bunch intro. Still, it’s a huge leap from having to carry around a dime in case I needed to find a pay phone.

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But I can’t help wondering what happened to all that “Jetson” technology I was just sure was going to be around by the time I was a grown up. Where’s the robot cooking dinner and cleaning my house? Where’s my flying car? Why do we still travel long distances crowded next to and strapped in with strangers instead of being “teleported” like on Star Trek?

It’s been in my lifetime that we saw astronauts walk on the moon. And I’m thankful I can watch pretty much any show I want to watch on TV in color and without having to fiddle with a rabbit ears antenna. But, I’m still dreaming about that next big leap into the future.

What about you, readers? What advance are you most anticipating, or what tech did you think, as a kid, we’d surely have by now? Share in the comments.

43 thoughts on “The tech that dreams are made of

  1. Yes, our smartphones are amazing and Zoom/Skype/Facetime allows us to contact people from far flung places.

    But like you Vickie, I want the robot cleaning my apartment. But most of all, since I love to travel, I would volunteer to be among the first to have my atoms deconstructed and reconstructed using a transporter. No more long line ups and security searches at airports, the long layovers between flights, as well as the actual plane trip.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. And as I recall, the newer Star Trek-like transporters had BIOFILTERS that removed any viruses/germs/aliens from the person before they were rematerialized. An important useful feature in today’s pandemic world!

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Being from the Jetson-watching era too I guess my hope was for something and we did get it, the video calls. The hilarious thing I remember was Jane Jetson pulling on a fake head of herself when she had morning hair and the boss’s wife or someone called her early 😂. Maybe the built-in floor treadmill for walking the dog during bad weather would be nice—my dog won’t climb up on ours with me!

    Liked by 6 people

  3. I agree, and there’s something special about this being the year 2020. It’s the last “hyped” futurist year of modern times. I expected food to be different by now… Where’s my little dehydrated pill that I add a single drop of water to create a 3 course meal?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. You’re so right! Back in the late 80s, a town I was covering as a reporter at the local newspaper was putting together a long-range plan for 2020. It seemed such a long time away — and now it’s here!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Okay, just for being the one to stir the pot a bit.
    The Jetsons huh?
    A Roomba will sweep and mop your floors for you.
    FaceTime for video phone calls.
    Alexa can order stuff for you, turn on your lights and other smart equipment. “Alexa, call Vickie Fee.” Google has one, and Facebook portal is scary. That one will follow you around! What if you forget you are naked when you answer that one. You can’t just dodge it, run!
    Cars tell you when you are drifting lanes, and some even hit the brakes for you (or at least add more power than you are applying) if you are too close. We are on the brink of having a car drive itself. Personally, I’d rather get in a car wreck on the ground than in the air!
    There is a contraption that you sit in that can take you up a flight of stairs. The walking escalators? I don’t see the government paying for those to go everywhere, even though they technically exist in the airports.
    Teleportation? What about Willy Wonka? The results of that could be disastrous!
    And if we want to get technical about it, the food cooking itself? Microwave TV dinners? Lol!
    Sadly, the Jetsons was about the only cartoon I was allowed to watch as a kid. And yeah, I imagined one day everything would be like that. But, we aren’t there yet. The Jetsons took place 100 years in the future. That would be 2062. We won’t see it, our kids may not. But the grandkids!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. If only they would create a Roomba that would actually work. It is, sadly, no match for my Golden Retriever. I see now there’s one to cut (perfectly flat, weedless, rockless) lawns.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Hestia, we do have some amazing tech today. But it all looked so much easier and more glamorous on the Jetson’s! And Siri hates my accent — just saying!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I remember watching Star Trek and thought the ability to talk to someone else via a video screen was amazing, Vickie.
    The one thing I thought we all would have by now was a hovercraft. The thought of going to work riding a cushion of air still seems really cool!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I really believed stuff like that was just around the corner. I think seeing people travel in space and walk on the moon made it feel like anything was possible!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Lol! I never realized before how picky I am about toilet paper. Hubs scored a couple of packs of our fave brand and I was like, “Woot”!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’d prefer a physical robot that could be shut down like C-3PO if needed, not a wireless one who won’t acknowledge my voice commands (Sorry, I can’t do that right now) and tattles on me to someone else (side eye to you, Alexa). I loved the Jetsons, but then I got traumatized by Minority Report, so… ~ Wary in NH

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I think of the Brady Bunch every time I Zoom with folks, lol. And I’m still amazed that my little smart phone provides a telephone, newspapers, TV, computer, camera and photo albums, watch and alarm clock, maps, train and subway schedules, record an CD collection and stereo system, notepad, filing cabinet…. And I’m only using about 5% of its capability.

    But please, please, DON’T invent flying cars while I’m still alive. It’s bad enough with all the helicopters and drones buzzing above us. I’d go nuts if there were a freeway of cars flying over my neighborhood. And just imagine what would happen when there were collisions…

    Liked by 3 people

  8. My friend’s father created The Brady Bunch!

    What a fun post. Let’s see… the thing I really didn’t expect to be around but I wish was is a time tunnel. I’d LOVE to visit different periods in history – as long as I could get back. Although given the current circumstance we live in, I might not mind sticking around a castle like Downton Abbey for a while. (Upstairs, of course!)

    Liked by 4 people

  9. I love the Brady Bunch look on Zoom calls! We’re having a Zoom book club in a couple of days and I want to stage a Brady Bunch looking-at-everyone screenshot!

    While I wouldn’t mind beaming around the universe (as long as my atoms don’t get scrambled), I reeeeeally hate the idea of Alexa and all that other spyware. Why would you invite that into your house?? Did you see when some guy took it over in a kid’s bedroom and was talking to her? So creepy.

    As much as I acknowledge the “good” technology, I’m really a Luddite at heart, often wishing to go back to those halcyon days of yore …. as long as I can take my Netflix with me!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Me, too, Becky — still miss my typewriter! But if we go back to the days of yore, I want to take Netflix — and, you know, indoor plumbing and such!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is so great, Vickie! I used to love watching the Jetsons and thought the way they could have any meal made instantly with the push of a button was cool.

    I also dreamed of wearing clothes like Jane’s, ha. [I just went to see what they looked like and they aren’t THAT futuristic. Just super triangle-y. Now I’m doubting myself but will stick with this answer.]

    Thank goodness we are able to connect these days, even if we’re separated by miles. ♥︎

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks, Cynthia! The Jetsons were fashionably dressed — unlike some futuristic shows, like Star Trek! (Although those polyester uniforms were probably comfy!)

    Like

  12. I really want that teleporting thing! We were in AZ when it was time to get home to SD but it was scary to think about the travel it would take to get there. We are now in SD but we really want to get to our WI lake home to work on things there. But it is scary to think about the travel there. Please teleport us there!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s exciting to see technology connect us across the globe and provide community.

    I’d love to be able to teleport and not be late to anything ever again, though! Plus, having one of those medical tricorders on Star Trek that can diagnose quickly and provide cures would be great.

    Liked by 1 person

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