When I was in middle school, I discovered my dad’s old collection of vinyl records and cassettes. It had been years since he had listened to them—his old record player was broken, and we had no cassette deck. He had replaced most of the titles in the outdated collection with CD’s, but there were some classic gems that he had never replaced: early albums from The Who, Simon and Garfunkel, The Beatles, and more. I asked why we never listened to them anymore; my dad shrugged and said it was too difficult to maintain the old technology.
Too excited to care about practicality, I vowed to fix his old record player. A couple months and a good portion of my savings later, the record player was ready to go. To my dismay, most of the records were too warped to even sit on the turntable. I tried to fix them using a trick I’d heard about, flattening them between heavy books, but some cracked and others never fully straightened out. The few that were playable produced a scratchy, distorted sound—the superior sound quality I had heard so much about apparently required an expensive turntable and could not be attained by a 12-year-old.
Disheartened, I turned to the cassette collection and tried to play them in my dad’s car. The cassette, I learned, is just another old technology that doesn’t hold up very well to the test of time. In some, the tape had melted onto itself, others were irreparably tangled or refused to turn. I have given up on all his old music; even the CDs are scratched, take up space, and are harder to keep track of and share than MP3s. Now, my music collection is purely digital, with crystal-clear sound that will never get distorted, with a backup on an external hard drive in case my computer should fail.
Old technology has lost its value in the music world; it’s even less valuable in the medical field. Just as I ditched the old technology of cassettes and records for digital storage, I got rid of my glasses and contacts in favor of a modern solution: LASIK. Glasses get scratched and broken—like old records—or go out of style. Contacts need to be replaced often, a cost that adds up, but LASIK is a one-time fix. You can never lose your natural lenses; instead of putting in artificial lenses every day, you correct the shape of the natural lenses already in your eyes. Most importantly, LASIK lasts forever, like an MP3 collection.
Are you still seeing through Ben Franklin’s old technology? It’s time to get rid of those ancient artificial lenses and embrace modernity: the superior vision, safety, affordability, and comfort of LASIK.