Dear "Remember When,"
You are a term of nostalgia, a walk down memory lane, and even possibly a sigh of relief. With all the advancements with technology in the last several decades, I find myself quoting you quite often these days.
We're not even that old yet. I'll hit the big 4-0 next year. When I first learned about the "birds and the bees" way back in my little naive mind, I used to think that people stopped having sex at age 40 because they were too old. Either 40 is no longer old, or I grew up to be a very happy old woman. But not only inexperienced projections of age have changed; everything around us has changed. I realized that my own kiddos do not and would not recognize many of the technological advances we had growing up. Here is my Top Ten list of Things My Kiddos Will Likely Never Experience:
10. Rotary dial phone. Remember when phones had rotary dial plates? How it took forever and a day to make a phone call? Remember how not so long ago we used to hear the automated message: "For rotary phones, press 0." Even that's gone. Nowadays, we have push-button phones, cordless phones, and all our handy-dandy touchscreen smartphones. What on earth is a "finger stop" anyway? If you showed a rotary dial phone to my kiddos, they would probably think it came from "ancient times," if they even knew what it was at all. #FisherPriceChatterTelephoneToyRocks
9. Typewriter. Remember the days before word processors? Remember how we used to fill out our college applications? Insert sheet of paper. Release lever. Line up paper. Lock lever. Turn knob. Begin typing. Make a mistake. LIQUID PAPER. Blow/sigh/wait. Finish form an hour later, nearly passing out from whiteout fume. Curse the typewriter. Rinse and repeat for next application. We've come a long way from the early days of mechanical typewriting. At least I used electronic ones and didn't have to deal with the kind where the typebars became tangled from malfunctioning. I think my kiddos would only ever see a real type writer in a museum. #SmithCoronaRocks
8. TV dial. Remember when you had to get up to change the TV channel? When you had to use your hand to manually turn the dial? Dear Husband loves to tell the story of he and his brother fighting for the TV dial. You see, theirs could be pulled off the TV. So whoever had possession of the dial had Channel Power. Kind of like having a remote, if you will. Those TVs weighed about 50 tons, had the most unreliable antennas, and always had a maximum of four channels if you were lucky. But those things stayed alive for years. Dinosaurs, but well-made, well-built, and lasted until you wanted to throw it away BUT IT STILL WORKS. Ironically, my kiddos are too high-functioning with the TV remote to know what to do with something as simple as a TV dial. #ZenithRocks
7. Snail mail. Remember when we wrote letters? Remember writing your friends or pen pals? Not so much? When I first came to the US, I would write my friend in Taiwan a letter, send it via air mail to arrive a week later, wait for her to write back, and another week for it to get appear in my mailbox. Whatever news we had to tell each other was always old news. But the anticipation of waiting for a personal letter was exciting, and receiving an actual letter was phenomenal. All this has been replaced by not only email, but now, texting and messaging. Everything can be real time, up to the minute news. The art of letter writing will soon be a lost craft. I can already see my kiddos ask, "why write a letter? Send an email or JUST TEXT HER." #AerogramStickersRock
6. Mixed tapes. Remember when those were the ultimate declaration of love? When someone would sit by the radio and record just the right songs by pressing the record and play button simultaneously just when Dick Clark finishes announcing the title of the next song that you already know by the first few notes of the introduction? How one has to wait
5. VCR. Remember the steps to setting a timer on a VCR? How you took great care to press all those tiny buttons on the godforsaken machine and it didn't record because it was AM instead of PM? How the show somehow recorded OVER your favorite show because THE TIMER IS POSSESSED? Remember when you'd rather not watch a movie because it wasn't already rewound to the beginning? The digital age has completely wiped out such dinosaurs. My kiddos are bewildered when there is no DVR in hotel rooms when we travel. Why won't the TV fast forward, Daddy? Little do they know the patience we had to have growing up. #VHSRewindersRock
4. Blockbuster. Remember when every Friday your local Blockbuster would be jam packed? When you'd go as soon as you can after work and all the newest movies are ALL GONE? Remember when you'd drive out just before midnight to return a movie to avoid a penalty charge? Now, nary a Blockbuster anywhere. In ten years, probably nary a Netflix red envelope anywhere. My kiddos will probably never have to go anywhere to get a movie to watch in the comfort of home, or heck, in the car, even. #BlockbusterMembershipsRock
3. Reheating leftovers. Remember when we had to reheat leftovers on the stovetop before microwave ovens came about? Can you imagine not being able to eat a meal from the freezer in less than five minutes? Me, neither. I realized how much we depended on our microwave when I broke our last one and it took a week to repair. Everything had to be heated via another method that took ten times longer than it would take my handy-dandy microwave. Note: never press "cook" when you mean to press "kitchen timer." #MicrowaveTurntablesRock
2. Video games. Remember when the world shook when video games first came out? Those clunky game cartridges and ginormous consoles and joysticks of Atari and Commodor 64? I can't say much about video games since I was not into them much, but what the kiddos have these days are a world of difference. From DS to Wii to phone apps. Gaming technology now is incredible. As for me, I evolved from my Speak 'N Spell to Wordfeud and Scramble on my phone. Cuz that's how the geek in me rolls. #TexasInstrumentsRock
1. Film camera. Remember when we'd take "blind" photos? How we'd take out the film and drop it off at a developing store and oh-my-gosh-WAIT-for-five-whole-days? How then we'd curse at how half the roll was wasted because the pictures turned out poorly? The digital era has certainly erased all that. We can go from click to print in a matter of seconds. My kiddos have never even seen a roll of film, much less know what it's like to have to wait to see the pictures they took. Their time of anticipation is the mere second the digital camera takes to process the still photo for viewing. So. Not. Fair. #AutoFilmWinderFunctionRocks
All of these technological advances just means one thing: people's desire for instant gratification is boundless. But what may seem like great inventions now will still become a forgotten past some time down the line. I wonder where they will take us in another generation or two. I really can't criticize, since I am right on top of the bandwagon taking full advantage of all this technology myself. It is just quite humbling to take a look at the past to see how far we've come.
So, Dear Remember When, I hope that one day my kiddos can look back and walk down memory lane with you, and think about all the