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Thread: Are you living the life you wanted when you were a child?

  1. #1
    Senior Member pcooley's Avatar
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    Are you living the life you wanted when you were a child?

    I'm not really sure where to put this thread, but consumerism and the media seems as good a place as any.

    I've been asking this question a lot lately, largely as I have moved away from social media, cell phones, etc.

    I was born in 1966 - I feel I don't quite fall under the "OK Boomer" group, but I don't quite feel like a millenial.

    And of course my life was largely shaped by television. I admit it. I loved Gilligan's Island. As a child, the first "hero figure" I remember from television is Billy Jack from the movie of the same name. I liked the martial arts, but I liked the gentle ambiance of the film. (As a little boy, I didn't pick up on the sexual violence.) I also loved St. Francis from the Zeffirelli film Brother Sun, Sister Moon. Maybe that's my early drive toward simplicity. So, the ongoing boomerism certainly affected me.

    I think, as a child, I wanted to grow up into an adult surrounded by nature. I wanted to own few things, do something creative every day, stay out of debt (an early influence of my mother), travel, and be kind. Largely, I've always valued time over money, and I love reading.

    I have managed most of that, but the degree to which computers and the internet and, to some degree, the smart phone, has intruded into my life does somehow distort the person I wanted to be on the inside. My brain feels like it is given over to shuffling data and shuffling information - sorting, categorizing, passing along. In some ways, that summarizes my job, but I find I'm doing the same sort of thing when I'm not at work.

    I don't think the blame can be laid squarely at the feet of technology - I am responsible for my own actions - but I don't like my technology use, by and large. So, I keep asking myself when I find myself looking at my Google news feed when I'm waiting for water to boil, "Am I living the life I wanted when I was a child." Google news feed? No. Facebook and Twitter? No. Slowly, I've been cutting all that out of my life. I did delete my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I look at Instagram every couple of months to see what my daughter is up to, rather than every day. I keep my Google Fi phone on pause when I'm not traveling and, more or less successfully keep it off and in a desk drawer. (It's been in this time for three whole days running.) And so on.

    But I'm sure others of you dreamt of a life with just such technological innovations as we now have. At any rate, are you now living the life you wanted when you were a child?

  2. #2
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    When I was a child, today's technology was no part of my knowledge base. I felt TV was interesting but preferred to read books. I have lived my life as I dreamt it might be but so very much more as opportunities for women and technology developments have opened up.
    At age 10, I wanted my own farm which happened. I wanted to see live opera which I have with many HD Metopera productions and live performances. I wanted to learn about our world which I am with online opportunities like TED talks, Google Search and Great Courses - https://www.thegreatcourses.com/-. Bus tours and cruises have opened up the world with accessible pricing for those who wish to travel.
    Maybe, I am not seeing the problem as you do.

    I have a FB account but rarely use it; have never had a twitter or instagram account, have no cable TV or such connection but love online news for ease of use. I love my life as it has developed and no regrets about the technology as it is my servant not my master. I am deeply concerned about the cost of all our developments falling on the shoulders of the future generations.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  3. #3
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I never dreamed of technological things in my personal life, although in my work life it was a major center of interest.

    I spend way too much time on the Internet.

    As far as mastering its use, there are plenty of times when I feel the MF things are my master and not the opposite. My HP computer has pretty much always been a disappointment. My iPads are a delight. My phone is enh.
    Last edited by iris lilies; 12-8-19 at 9:16pm.

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    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    I have been a voracious reader from a very early age. Mom taught me to read far before kindergarten. We moved to the country and other than the school library or the bookmobile there wasn't a place to get a fix other than my mom's books. I was reading things far over my head and often got caught. I read the entire encyclopedia series as well as the dictionary. Remember back in the day being assigned a paper only to find that somebody had already beat you to the library to check out the materials? To me the internet is a frickin miracle. I love that the moment I have a question about something I can track the info down. I love that although I prefer the printed page, when traveling (some women love shoes, I love shopping for travel) I can put countless books on my kindle. I love that I can download music which is my second love and carry hours upon hours of files carefully curated for certain activities. I wanted life as an artist and now with You-tube there are so many tutorials to assist with techniques as well as opening my eyes to new ways of expression. My phone is secondary for communication because I am thrilled to be able to carry it as a camera. I use it constantly to snap ideas and subjects for my painting. There are bouts of solitaire playing while biding time in waiting rooms. A frickin miracle I say.....

  5. #5
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    As a child I loved nature, reading, art, fashion (via dolls). I still love all those things plus technology. Simplemind summed it up nicely.

    My fantasy as a child--raised on Tarzan and Sheena comics--was to live by myself in a house in the jungle. I'm pretty much there.

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    Technology is probably a net negative. But I don't have twitter, facebook, instagram, or a smart phone. I just read too much news online I think It's almost never good news .... And read here. Oh and keep a linked-in account. And read click bait articles, that do little good.

    I would be better off without it, but it hasn't much to do with life one wanted as a child, and as if one wasn't pretty limited then as well. One lives with the limitations of what one was allowed to want as a child might be more realistic - and then of course the limitations of the adult world as well, which of course child-self was pretty unaware of.

    I know I'm not a millenial or Boomer, I'm Gen X, but closer to a millenial in outlook and age and experience (but of course not self-importance, noone seeks our votes, our opinions, or our dollars), than a boomer I think. Believe me there was very little counter-culture left by the time I grew up.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

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    I have always had an overactive imagination but especially as a child. TV, reading and music were very influential to a 50s-60s kid like myself. My mother had me taking lessons of all sorts too - piano, dance, horseback, drama to help me clarify my likes I guess. I wanted to be a ballsy woman like Miss Kitty (a madam for those who don't recall) on Gunsmoke. I wanted to be independent like Pippi Longstocking. I wanted to be a ballerina and ride horses. I wanted to be a cowboy (girl?). The only talent I had though was being able to draw so I figured that I would be an artist since that is what always brought me praise throughout school. I did not become an artist but being creative is fundamental to me regardless of what path it takes so in that respect, I am true to that original calling. I have to say I am dismayed and often feel guilt about the amount of time I spend looking at the internet - it is a time suck and keeps me from being creative but rather sucking up other people's ideas.

  8. #8
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    My childhood ambitions were to be a nun, an artist, a teacher, a French interpreter at the UN, an actor, a costume designer (I'm sure there were others mixed in)

    So I wound up in market research.. hmm...

    I don't know if I had a specific vision of what my life would be in adulthood, but I wanted it to be "creatively diverse" I remember I had a clear picture of my dream house: a Tudor on a lot of land with a weeping willow by a stream. The lower floor of the house had many rooms including a music room, a sewing room, and a library. Those are the rooms I remember--but there were about six rooms in total devoted to all kinds of things.

    So, in answer to the question, I'm not really living that life now. My life is too one-dimensional, and I need to recalibrate. Technology has hindered my ability to potentiate my life as a Renaissance woman, but at the same time, it has helped. On the negative side, time I'm spending on the computer or looking at my phone diminishes internal silence and the time to do other activities, like sewing and reading.

    OTOH, as Simplemind said, I would MUCH prefer to have the technology--the world is literally at our fingertips. It's just up to us how much we allow it to support, rather than dominate, our lives.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    I suppose like most children, I dreamed of one day becoming a Certified Public Accountant. That came to pass, but instead of the jet packs, monkey butlers and robot bodyguards I had hoped for, I got a very helpful phone.

  10. #10
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    I too would not give up today's technology. I don't think I had a dream for what adult life would be. I assumed I'd be a married housewife with children like Mom. I didn't know an adult woman who worked until I was 14? And I lived in a farming community so was not around anyone "professional". Result?

    Married at 19, college, career in the Operating Room for nearly 39 years, now retired and enjoying each day.

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