I woke up this morning to one of my favorite songs playing on my Google Home Mini. “Give A Little Bit” by Supertramp greeted me as I opened my eyes and realized that Monday was here, whether I wanted it to be or not. I thought about how much I loved this song and then the realization hit me that I was able to program a device to play that particular song whenever the mood hit me. As long as I know what I wanted to hear, Google would find it for me.
I remember growing up when things like this seemed like pure science fiction. The idea of a computer giving me instant access to almost anything that I wanted seemed so wonderful to contemplate when I was a child. I remembered a Saturday morning episode of the cartoon “Super Friends” in which a computer was created that did everything for people, and how that changed things for the entire world. Having that presence around us all of the time dulled a sense of humanity. This Saturday morning cartoon was eerily prophetic.
I now live in the Information Age. I have almost everything available to me with a few keystrokes. The sone that woke me up this morning triggered a memory from my childhood. When I first heard “Give A Little Bit,” it was on the radio. I instantly loved the song but getting the record was a struggle. I had to make sure that I went to the record store and found the right album if there was no single available. I had to make sure that I had the money to purchase the album/single. I had to have a working record player to actually listen to the song when I got home. I had to take care of the record to prevent it from warping if the weather was too hot.
Technology moved on. Cassettes became the rage and that made things different, but not easier. The process of obtaining the song was still the same, it was just being delivered on a different medium. I am deliberately omitting 8-track tapes, if you don’t know, Google it.
The point is until music became digitized, it was difficult to obtain. Now it is so much easier and quicker.
What I thought about was how I actually miss the effort that went into finding that special song back in the day. It required focus and dedication to obtain that song so I could listen to it. The effort made the reward more worthwhile in so many ways. Today, the effort is minimal and somehow the reward isn’t quite the same. I still love the song, but the best thing about it is that it takes me back to another time and place when life was so different, life before the Information Age.