From Piano Rolls to iPads

Back in the early 1900’s, the sources of home entertainment were rather limited. Today we can watch virtually any movie ever made through our Blu-Ray DVD players, Netflix, Hulu or other online companies. We can play video games with other people in the world online. Our Wii can be the center of entertainment at any party. We browse Facebook, Twitter, follow blogs, read the news as it is happening, pay bills, schedule appointments, and communicate with each other on home computers, laptops, iPads, iPhones, and other electronic devices.

Imagine a world without all of this. Imagine an evening spent at home with just the family, perhaps a few friends, no television, and little else but the walls and ceiling. Its called: Use Your Imagination. That’s right-we have to get creative and use our own resources. Personally I sometimes wish things were that way today. I mean, people would actually have to interact with each other!

One of the sources of home entertainment back in those days was that old, adorable, noisy player piano. You had to put on a paper piano roll, connect it to the take-up spool, and sit down and pump the pedals to get this thing to make music. Not only would the operator create some great piano playing, they would also get a good cardio workout! Usually everyone there would stand around the piano, looking at the lyrics printed on the roll, and sing along. Mom would probably bake some snacks, bring in beverages, and even let the kids stay up until ten.

Is it a better world today, with all of our electronic gadgets? Are we better off, walking around with our cell phones to our ears, totally caught up in our own conversations? Is it really important that we can watch any movie, TV show, or play any interactive video game at our command?  Today if we have a power outage the party’s over!


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