Tuesday, May 17, 2011

This is how aging starts

Not too long ago I had a kid approach the front desk at work. He looked at the phone on the counter, turned to his mother and said “Mom, why does it have letters on the buttons if you can’t text anybody on it?” I grinned. So did his mother. Then I felt old.

As the years go by and the world moves on, I find myself looking back on the years with fondness. The days when Microsoft was seen a hero for making computers user-friendly with Windows 95. The days when side-scrolling 2D platformers were as advanced as graphics could get. The days when there were no computers in school, and calculators weren’t required in class until the ninth grade. Times when cell phones didn’t exist and phone companies were engaged in the “long-distance war.” There were no contact lists. You actually had to remember phone numbers and dial them! There were no chatrooms or instant messages. If you wanted to talk to your friend, you had to either meet them or call them. Meet, most of the time, because you couldn't tie up the phone line for too long because daddy wanted to get on the internet. For years and years you had to be in front of the TV at a certain time to watch your shows because there was no DVR. Times when you had to rewind tapes. When you used books to do research because there was no internet.

I want to tell everyone I see about what it was like to live through that. It was a drastically different mindset than what it is today, and I think it’s fascinating. Nobody cares, of course. To kids and young adults, it’s life in the stone ages and they just laugh it off.

Every generation looks back on the previous one and thinks all of it was irrelevant and outdated. We don’t appreciate the past until we’re older. Now three years after my mother’s death I wish I’d asked her more about what life was like in the 50’s and 60’s, because now that I’m starting to develop good-ol-days memories of my own I understand how she felt.

Times were different back then. From what I've seen, the world has become progressively less personal as technology improves. It’s fascinating to compare and contrast. Too bad only the people who lived it with me think so.

2 comments:

  1. Remember when people could sit during their lunch breaks and NOT play with their phones?

    5 out of 5 points for this post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I remember that! It was during a blissful time when cell phones could only make phone calls!

    ReplyDelete