There are moments throughout my days when I have to stop and marvel at how very much has changed in our world. Especially in terms of technology.

When I was young, we had a television connected to an antenna on the roof of our house. For you young ones in the audience, this means if you wanted to watch certain television stations, the antenna had to be pointing in the right direction.

Thankfully, we had a tuner, so to speak, on top of our television and no one had to climb to the roof to change the station.

Still. You knew which direction the antenna had to be pointing to watch MacGyver, and that, after all, was critical knowledge at the time.

I also talked to my friends on a rotary phone attached to the wall of our kitchen. Thankfully, the cord was long enough that if I really yanked and stretched it, I could get halfway down the basement steps and still be able to share a conversation over the phone lines. It provided a modicum of privacy, at least.

Today, though. Whew. Today is so vastly different that if I somehow managed to create and/or find a time machine and went back to visit my high-school-aged self, that young kid would be so gobsmacked at what was coming, she would likely end up in a twitching heap on that green, hardly-even-thick enough-to-be-called carpet on the basement floor.

Cell phones and the internet and streaming television services would be far too much for that 80s kid with the bad perm and matching socks, headband, earrings and belt to comprehend.

And I could go on a relatively sizable rant here talking about the pitfalls of this technology. The loss of interpersonal communication (which was occurring way before the pandemic hit), the inability of people to disconnect from those mini computers in their hands, and the divisive nature of webpage diatribes.

But (and you kind of had to hear that one coming), there are times when this technology not only comes in handy, but can produce some remarkably wonderful results.

We had a virtual dog walk this year. I cringe even bringing it up because I was quite worried about whether or not we could pull it off. We debated and debated and debated what to do, but ultimately, we felt as though we had to be stewards for our supporters and make it virtual to keep everyone safe.

We figured we’d be lucky to get half of what we normally receive.

You know what happened? We beat the last few years and might be approaching a record. No joke. At the moment, we’re at more than $7,800!

Facebook has a marvelous option for people to create personal fundraisers on their pages. All you have to do is click on the fundraiser link, choose the nonprofit (and we are on the list) and share, share, share. We get a check from Network for Good (the Facebook nonprofit supporter) once a month from all those fundraisers.

One of our awesome supporters (who used to work for us) raised more than $1,600 this way for the dog walk. Can you even imagine?

I cannot begin to tell you how tickled our dog walk coordinator was when the numbers kept coming in.


There are people out there who would love to adopt, but can’t right now and they know that they can donate supplies to us. Thanks to online stores, there is now an option of sending the donations we need directly to the animal shelter. The donor doesn’t even have to leave the house!

We have a number of people who surprise us with packages filled with exactly what we need for our babies, and it’s an option I don’t think we would have really had when that crazy kid was dancing around the basement to Duran Duran.

The reason we have that option? The internet, cell phones, Facebook. All those troublesome things I wanted to rant about earlier.

Every aspect of our lives has a positive and negative side. If you look, you can find examples of both in just about everything you do and see.

Technology sure has changed since the decades when I was a kid. For as frustrating and worrisome as it can be sometimes, as long as we can continue to find ways to have it help the animals and people who need it the most, I say let’s keep moving forward and leave the antennas and rotary phones in the past where they belong.

You can keep the shoulder pads, member’s only jackets, leg warmers and stirrup pants, too. Just sayin.’


Jennifer Vanderau is the Director of Communications for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter, and can be reached at: The shelter accepts both monetary and pet supply donations. For more information, call the shelter at: (717) 263-5791, or visit the website at: CVAS also operates a thrift store in Chambersburg. Help support the animals at the shelter by donating to or shopping at the store.

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