Just the fax, ma'am

Last week, my pal Becky started a new job (in the city, which gave her reason to buy a hot new Coach bag, but that's a different post altogether); and on one of the first days of the new job, she learned where the fax machines are. Which lead to this cute little musing on who actually uses fax machines anyway (seriously, I'd love to hear from those that do, if you're out there).

That said, I just finished reading Through the Children's Gate, by Adam Gopnick (a great collection of stories about his family's first few years living in NYC after a stint in Paris). In one of the last chapters, he talks about new technology (specifically, IMing), and oddly enough, who still faxes as a way of communication:

"A curtain falls around the age of forty, and whatever the medium of electronic communication that was in place then remains the medium that you use. If you were forty when the fax machine was in flower, you still send faxes, for all their snaky, mid-eighties kind of flimsiness [ed. note: Ahhh, I get it--old people use fax machines!]... Though I lived on email and caffeine—just got on that subway as the doors were closing—I had never sent or received an instant message."

His sentiment makes sense: my mother just--just!--upgraded from dial up to DSL, while we've got our cable modem before we got furniture (no joke, we seriously had internet access before we had a place to sit. If you have met my husband this will make perfect sense). However, I am just catching on to text messaging--I still don't get all the abbreviations Ashlee uses (cue the drawn out, mooo-oooooooooommmmmmmmm). But my goodness, this does not bode well for my future. I am wary to think of what kind of technology will be in vogue when Madeline and--gasp!--Eleanor get older; I don't want to be the mom that confuses LOL for lots of love, instead of laugh out loud (like Gopnick did. Very funny story that I will not do justice to by trying to retell it here).

Whoo boy, I do not want to get old.


ZoesMom said...

That is an interesting observation about communications. I notice that my parents don't live on email as much as I do, but my mom is starting to see why it would be good to carry around a BlackBerry or the like and she just turned 65. So, there is hope to not get old -- in that way at least!

I'll have to check out that book.

tracie valentino said...

Let me know if you want to borrow it, and I'll send it to work with Mattio. It was a definitely a good read. Now I have to read his first one, about living abroad in Paris. I probably should have read them in order... :)

Becky said...

The fax machines are a required use, because we have to fax receipts for expenses reimbursements. Which still seems a very dated way of doing things, if you ask me.
Text messaging was slow to catch on in the US - it has almost replaced mobile phone calls in the UK. I like texting (you should join Marcy and me on Twitter!)

tracie valentino said...

Becky: that's so funny--I was on Twitter the other day thinking about joining... so at your prompting, I finally did! Found Marcy, can't find you, though... help?

I have to admit, I do like the text message--as long as I can understand it! Ever since we got unlimited text messaging, Mattio, Ash and myself text message each other rather than call--sometimes it's so much easier.

Becky said...

Now I'm following you on Twitter, so you should be able to find me.

I have to get a better phone, ie with predictive text. Sigh.