My Turn: Low tech laments

Betty Williamson

Although I lack the genealogical records to prove it, I may be descended from the Luddites, those skilled weavers from 200 years ago who feared that the invention of mechanical looms would be the undoing of life as they knew it. Over time their name became synonymous for people who oppose technology or technological change.

As friends and family have reported their Christmas hauls to me this week, I have smiled and nodded and said, “That’s great,” most of the time having no idea what they were talking about.

When, exactly, was I left in the dust of the wireless revolution?

In the flurry of electronic “touches,” “tablets,” and “fires,” I kept remembering a story my father used to tell of a Christmas of his childhood when he received an orange, a wondrous gift so exotic and precious that he made it last over a week, eating only one segment each day.

I am too much of a Luddite to appreciate the avalanche of technology that is sweeping past, but my sentimental side hopes that in this mountain of gadgets I do not understand there are wonders for today’s children that are as miraculous and memorable as a little boy’s first orange all those years ago.