Saturday, November 17, 2007

Welcome to the future, Andrew

Andrew celebrated his 18th birthday on Thursday.
The guy who would cuddle with me on the steps leading upstairs on the house on East Haley Street is an adult now. It's just amazing to me how things have changed.
He spent his 18th birthday being a whole lot more responsible than I was on mine. Back in the day, the drinking age was 18, so I spent the evening of my 18th birthday guzzling beer and puking on the dance floor at the old Alibi East. It was wonderful.
Yeah, right.
If someone, that very day, had told me I would have three sons, I would have believed them. If they would have told me what I'd be doing on my middle son's 18th birthday, I would simply have been confused.
I imagined what that conversation might be like:
VOICE OF THE FUTURE: When your middle son turns 18, you will be in Mt. Pleasant.
ME: You mean I'll never get out?
VOICE: You'll go to the Wayside. You'll have many adventures, but you'll return. And you'll be the editor of a Web site.
ME: The "editor" part I understand. What's a Web site?
VOICE: A piece of the World Wide Web, a computer network accessible from almost anywhere.
ME: Computer network ...

VOICE: People will read news, sports, see video images, look up information, buy, sell, even get dates, do almost anything from their personal computers.
ME: Personal ... computers?
VOICE: You, your wife, and each of your children will each have their own personal computer at home.
ME: R..i..g..h..t. Will we have room for anything else?

VOICE: A big part of your job will be to shoot television pictures with a hand-held camera and videotape machine.
ME: Hand-held. Um, that's tough to imagine.
VOICE: The camera and videotape recorder will fit into your hand.
ME: How big will my hands be by then?
VOICE: And you'll edit the footage on a personal computer, and put it on your Web site.
ME: R..i..g..h..t. What was in that beer?
VOICE: You'll be exploring ways to deliver news via text message.
ME: Text ... message.
VOICE: Information that appears on the screens of people's telephones.

ME: Telephones will have screens? Like the PicturePhone?

VOICE: Not exactly. You'll carry your phone in your pocket.
ME: Uh, huh. Those will have to be big pockets.
VOICE: And you can take pictures and videos with it.
ME: With a phone? Ummmmm ...
VOICE: And you'll write about your life on your blog.
ME: My ... blog. And I suppose it'll be OK to show my, um, blog in public.
VOICE: Of course. Your family and friends will eagerly look forward to seeing it. It will be on the World Wide Web. People will Google it.
ME: I don't even want to know ...

Welcome to the future, Andrew. Embrace it. But however it turns out, it won't be like we imagine it.

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