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8 Ways Technology Has Made My Life Different From My Nan's

8 Ways Technology Has Made My Life Different From My Nan's

As a 22-year-old, I'm part of a generation that's grown up with technology - I got my first mobile phone when I was 11 years old.

In complete contrast, my 80-year-old nan cannot fathom my generation's reliance on our smartphones. As she puts it: "When you get on a bus now, everyone’s looking down at a phone. They don’t see things, they don't notice their surroundings and they don’t talk to other people."

Like many people, I rely on my iPhone to wake me up in the morning, to help me do my job and to arrange my social life, so I'm not surprised the average person today checks their mobile phone every six and a half minutes.

HuffPost UK Lifestyle's digital detox month is all about switching off our devices to reconnect with ourselves, so I sat down with my nan to find out how we used to do things, before we relied on technology to do it for us....

1: How do you arrange a meet up with a group of friends?

Me: I have various Whatsapp groups with different friends (uni friends, childhood friends) so we tend to talk on there. If it's a big event, say for a birthday, I'll create a Facebook event or at least a group message to invite everybody in one go.

Nan: "Now, I tend to call friends on the house phone, but I didn’t have a house phone until I was married in 1961.

"Before then we'd organise a meeting beforehand, so they last time we were all together, we'd say ‘shall we meet up again next Thursday’ or something like that. It would spread with more people being invited through word of mouth.

"As teenagers we didn’t have phones indoors, but after we left school we did mostly have work phones, so sometimes we would get messages from people there. Or we’d go to a phonebox and put tuppence in."

2. How do you look up facts?

Me: Google it. Every time.

Nan: "Now I'd go the the library, but some people had information books when we were children. I used to have The New Book Of Knowledge which was bought for me when I was about 12 - it did have quite a lot of facts in it."

3. How do you book a holiday?

Me: I've just booked a holiday from the comfort of my sofa, using my tablet whilst watching Downton Abbey on TV. I used Trivago to compare hotel prices, Trip Advisor to read reviews and Skyscanner to search for the best flight options before buying it all online.

Nan: "I go to a travel agent. You don't necessarily know if what you're getting is the best deal, but you just have to hope they're reasonably honest and if the price they give you is affordable to you, you accept it.

4. You're on the bus, on your way to meet a friend and you realise you're going to be late, what do you do?

Me: I text them, straight away so they don't leave. If I don't get a reply in five minutes I'll probably ring them to make sure they've seen my text. I find being late very stressful...

Nan: "You just have to hope they will wait - I suppose you could get off the bus and try and find a phone box to call them from, but they probably wouldn't have a phone anyway so that wouldn't really help.

"If they've gone when you get there, that's just one of those things.

"The other way round, I suppose I'd wait for about half an hour or so and then give up and go home."

5. You hear a song on the radio you like the sound of, how do you go about buying it?

Me: I can't remember the last time I bought a CD - I download everything. My music goes straight from iTunes to my phone, ready for me to listen to on my commute or when I'm out running.

Nan: "When I was younger, I'd listen to the presenter announce what the song was, then I'd write it down and go to the local record shop. If they didn't have the song, I'd say: 'would you be able to get this for me please?'.

6. How to you keep updated on the news?

Me: I check all the major news sites on my phone on the way to work, as well as Twitter and sometimes Reddit.

Nan: I've always listened to the news on the radio. Sometimes I now watch the news on TV or occasionally buy a newspaper, but I normally hear about most things on the radio.

7. What do you do if you're lost?

Me: If I'm going somewhere new, I make sure my phone is fully charged in advance so I know I've got Google Maps to rely on.

Nan: "I ask somebody for directions, usually a person who looks like they might be a local or is in an older age group. If they don't know the answer, I'll ask the next person who comes along.

8. How would you contact a friend in another country?

Me: When I working in America, I'd send emails or Facebook messages to friends and Family at home when the time difference made Skype difficult.

Nan: "I send letters. You could post letters more easily when I was younger because the stamps were cheaper and you knew it would get there in a couple of days."

So after comparing notes, what does my nan really think about my generation's reliance on technology?

"Although it's a lot more convenient now, I think we were actually a lot more street wise at your age because we had to remember more.

"Plus, there was no phone bullying those days, so I think children were possibly happier than they are now.

"Saying that, there are advantages to living both ways - you can find out things more easily now but as we didn't know about technology growing up, we didn't miss it," she says.

Chatting to my nan has given me a bit of a wake up call - I honestly didn't realise about how much I rely on technology. It turns out, there are plenty of ways to do things without an iPhone, and just maybe, I'll give them a go sometime.