Rachel gets an iPhone

by Rachel Creager Ireland

Rowan stretching

I tried explaining to my eight-year-old and her five-year-old sister that if you could magically transport eight-year-old me to today, and hand me this sleek thing with no buttons (or dial) and tell me it would be my personal telephone, that I would carry it everywhere I went, and it would enable me to talk to anyone, anywhere, and also to access all the information in the world (before we had a name for the Internet, before anyone knew it existed), just how unbelievably science fiction it would be. It would be this fantastic thing from the future, it would be Star Trek (which they don’t know about). It would be . . . like Magic Tree House.

I tell them sometimes how excited my Dad, the physicist, was, to have a pocket calculator. No, you couldn’t text people, you couldn’t take pictures, it didn’t have any games. You could do math with it, and that was exciting, because before that he used slide rules. It truly wasn’t that long ago, I’m truly not that old.

Please notice and appreciate the incredible revolution we are living in. We’ll save for another time discussions of rare earth elements and geopolitics, the environment, privacy invasion, identity theft, and child safety. Just think for a minute about how radically different life was for ordinary people twenty or thirty years ago (if you can remember that far back).

That is all. Thank you.