Wednesday, January 12, 2011

10 Short Years

Spencer and I were talking tonight about the DVR. He has had a DVR ever since he was old enough to hold a remote--it's not that he is spoiled (well...maybe) but in his lifetime, things that were once considered a luxury are just "normal" to him-  It's part of his culture. It made me think of other things that Spencer will never experience.

  • Even something as simple as my digital camera.  When we were kids, you got one chance at a picture. Now we fire off hundreds of shots without cost consequence of film, flash bulbs, Polaroid paper, developing fees, etc. Nice, right?
  • Because my family has classic Mustangs, Spencer is familiar with manual car windows--but how many kids his age have ROLLED down a window?
  • He thinks my CDs are old school, his lifetime is MP3 based.  One day I will show him my old cassettes in the basement. I am not even sure if I own any vinyl anymore.
  • I told him that we only had cartoons on Saturday mornings. I don't think he believed me. Now we have 20 satellite channels of cartoons. 
  • Remember when we didn't have a guide button?  You had to BUY a TV Guide or look it up in the newspaper.  OR you had to flip through the few channels you *did* have and try to guess what show or movie it was. And if your mom misplaced the stupid TV Guide when she was working on the crossword puzzle you were totally screwed that week.
  • Spencer has never heard the annoying screech of a modem...and the incessant busy signal of dial up when you would desperately try every local AOL number.
  • Spencer has never used a phone booth.  I'm not sure he has even seen one. And a beeper?  Even as I explained it I sounded crazy, "it was a little electronic box we clipped to our belts and if anyone needed us they would phone the beeper and enter their number.  Then we would get a "beep" and know which number to call back.  Oh no...we couldn't call from the beeper, we had to go find a phone. "
  • When I was growing up, we had a stinky, musty set of 1969 encyclopedias.  They were old even when I was a kid.  We hadn't even walked on the moon yet! Spencer will never need an encyclopedia.  We look up stuff from our phones!
  • Remember getting lost? GPS is awesome--I'm glad Spencer will never have to find a gas station with a map!
  • And remember when dinner was based on watching the 6:00 news? My Dad worked 1st we ate early, like at 5:00, then we watched the news. I get text alerts and check websites throughout the day now-- Spencer will never know "news time" and how it drove household activity.
  • I am pretty sure Spencer has seen a phonebook.  But I hope he won't see them in the near future. That's one big waste and not worth a nostalgic nod.
  • And I know several of my friends and I have recently debated the "should they teach cursive" argument.  I seriously wonder if Spencer will ever write anything other than his name in cursive.  Hell, even printing is so last century-- when is the last time any of you wrote a letter by hand?
  • Spencer has also been to a movie rental store-- but not in years.  I bet he won't remember it. Ugh--  that reminds me-- rewinding a VHS to return a rental. That was lame even back then.  Not sure Spencer has ever seen a VHS tape.
  • Even the traditional board games have changed in his lifetime-- Monopoly has an electronic banker, Battleship is electronic.  I don't even know how to cheat anymore.
  • As we have made the switch to a Kindle this year, Spencer will have at least 10 years of book buying to remember.  He can tell his kids about how books used to be in paper and we would go to a big store and shop for them while we sipped over-priced coffee.
Every generation has a "these kids are spoiled today" discussion, but I really think this generation has 100x the changes/advancements/technology as the previous generation.  Spencer is only 10 and things I had/did before I had him are already defunct.  I can't even imagine what his kids will have..I mean won't experience.


Amy Chomas said...

I agree with you on the last 10 years making a big difference. Taylor used CD's, went to rent movies, started life without a DVR, and even used VHS. Now Ella, who is 10 years younger, has never done those things!
And I Don't think my kids know what a crank window is. What is the sign for roll down your window now when you are driving up to someone? Pushing a button?

Stacy said...

It is funny how much things have changed. I have another...

Microwave popcorn...our "quick" popcorn was jiffy pop and you had to cook it on the stove. Heck, we didn't even own a microwave until I was about ten or eleven and it was HUGE and weighed a ton!

Cheri Pryor said...

When my daughter was about 15 and didn't know how to use a phone book I knew things had gone overboard with the cell phone "instant access to the world" phenom. This post makes me feel very old. Damn you.

Cheri Pryor said...

P.S. I did note you are the "good riddance" to the phone book type. I am too, in a way, but I love nostalgia. I suppose we should save a tree. Or two. Or a thousand. lol!

Patti H said...

what about the dishwasher. Crap I hated washing dishes as a kid. What did we do without our microwaves? I love life now!!

Paula... said...

We were out the other day and Dayna asked what all these books were because they each had a letter on the side. We had to explain what encyclopedias were.

I still have all of my vinyl albums and a turntable to play them on :) The biggest thing for me was when I got out my little old manual typewriter (this was many years ago when the girls were about 7 or 8) - they couldn't work it out and wondered where the screen was an how it printed out at the end LOL