November 25, 2013
Every Thanksgiving, my family has a tradition (as I’m sure many do) of going around the table and listing what we’re thankful for this year. I couldn’t ask for a more poignant way to show my thanks.
This year, of course I am thankful for my parents, sister, and friends, all of whom have supported me through thick and thin, even when I told them that I was quitting my job in economics almost three years ago to start my own business. (Although, my parents were a lot more supportive after they learned that I had bought myself health insurance!) But this year, I am thankful for something else as well – technology. In this day and age, we can do almost anything with technology: read a book without flipping a single page, text a friend to let him know we’re running late, look at all of our ex’s Facebook pictures (wait a minute… that’s not advised!), and even find a date.
In our parents’ and grandparents’ generations, it wasn’t quite as simple as:
1) Sign up for an online dating site.
2) Email some people.
3) Meet for a drink.
My parents were next-door neighbors. My mom was a teacher, and my dad was home from law school for the summer. (My mom is five and a half years older than my dad!) She always saw this guy next door looking out the upstairs window while studying and wondered who he was. One day, my dad’s brother said hello as she came out of her apartment. She asked who he was, and he told her that he lived next door. She said, “No – that other guy lives next door,” and my uncle informed her that he was the “other guy’s” brother. My mom, chutzpah and all, then said, “I don’t normally do things like this, but would you and your brother like to come with my friend and me to a concert tonight?” The whole night, my mom didn’t know who she was supposed to be with – my uncle or my dad. At the end of the night, my uncle said to my mom, “I’ll call you.” Scandal of all scandals, my dad beat him to the punch and called my mom first. (It was all good. My uncle was only in town visiting.) And the rest is history. They celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary this year.
Let’s compare that to our experiences today. We sign up for an online dating site. We email people who interest us. (I do advise that both men and women make the initial contact.) We go out for coffee or a drink (avoid dinner on the first date), and we decide if we want to let a relationship form. Easy as pumpkin pie.
So this Thanksgiving, in addition to being thankful for my wonderful friends and family, my health, the success of my business and my clients’ relationships, I am also thankful for the technology we have that allows us to meet the person of our dreams, one click at a time.