Technology is such a huge part of our lifestyle in today's cultural and working environment. What would life be like without it? This might be a hard picture for some to imagine. For others, life without such advanced technology is all they know. Eighty-seven year old Janice Retzke grew up in the small town of Ellis, Wisconsin. Growing up during the years of the great depression was anything but glamorous. Janice was raised in a three bedroom farmhouse with her twelve brothers and sisters. With such a big family, she was only able to receive an eighth grade education. Even so, she felt blessed by what she did have and at the age of fifteen left home to become a housekeeper in the big city of Milwaukee; a bit of an overwhelming environment for someone used to a rural and small town lifestyle. At the age of twenty-two she owned and ran a tavern with her husband in Junction City, WI, eventually raising four children in the living quarters above the tavern. By the age of forty-two she became a widow and was left to take care of her then five children. She made the best of her situation and was able to see all five of her children graduate from college. At this time, technology was becoming more advanced, but she was stubborn and insisted on sticking with her old fashioned ways. In early 2000’s cell phones were becoming increasingly popular, but Janice rebuffed her children's offer to buy her a cell phone, as she did not think this was a necessity. Now at eighty-seven years of age, Janice can proudly say she has never owned a cell phone or even a computer of her own. If she has to talk to someone, she picks up her land line phone and does things the old fashion way. When asked if she was ever going to get one she replied "No, not at this stage in my life." She is perfectly content doing it this way and it is all she has ever known. Janice now has eleven grandkids and six great-grandchildren and sees them using their new gadgets all the time. I asked her if it bothered her that young kids were becoming so dependent on technology, but she said "No, I just go along with it because that's the new technology, but it is not for me. I am fine with my ways, that's how it was in my day and age". While she does not know much about all the latest products out there such as iPads and iPods, she will admit she enjoys playing the Wii. She says "I like it because it is something you can do with your whole family and you don't have to go to the bowling lane to bowl".The art of calling people on the phone or even face to face communication is dying and it is people like Janice who helps keep them alive. Even though she is at ease with her family embracing advanced technology, she is more than satisfied with her land line phone. Technology is a huge part of this era, but it is still possible to function without it and Janice is living proof of this.
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