And Back in the Dark Ages….

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This morning I was chillin at my desk, enrolling someone for some insurance & talking to my co-worker. We were discussing all the drama that teenagers get into every day & I said “I don’t even want to imagine the kind of drama that my life would have had if Facebook had existed when I was in high school”. Which really got me thinking about two things: 1) All the stuff that kids born these days (we’ll say 2010 & on) will never know about & 2) All the stuff that they know about & couldn’t imagine living without.

The Things That They Will Never Know

-They will have no clue what a VHS tape is. A movie used to be one of these honking big things & now it is a teeny little disc. If I’m really honest, some of them may not ever even know what a DVD is because Blu-Ray is quickly becoming the more popular option – the picture is so crisp & bright! I know this because we rented a Blu-Ray to try out in our fancy DVD/Blu-Ray player & all 4 (yes 4, Lindsey was at home visiting) stood around & gazed in awe at the picture quality, making remarks like “oh wow, so crisp” & “that picture is so real & bright”. Now you can click a button & pick what chapter of the movie you were on. You used to have to rewind the thing. And it took forever. And it made you have patience. Now you click a button.
-They will have no clue what good cartoons are. Now, maybe this is totally a random judgement call, but the commercials for cartoons that I see now…they look like total bunk. What in the world is Toonzai? What is a Dragon Ball Z? What is Bakugan? It all just looks like weirdness to me. I remember the good stuff – Captain Planet, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which may still come on…not sure) & especially Santo Bugito. Santo Bugito was one of the best cartoons ever & myself & my friend Ashley may have been the only people that ever watched it. The commercials I see for this new stuff look really violent & strange. What ever happened to cartoons where normal looking people saved the planet?
-They will never know that going to the movies didn’t always cost an arm, a leg & maybe your right kidney. And that’s just for the ticket…don’t even get me started on drinks, popcorn & candy.
-They will never know (and again, this one is a more personal memory) what/who Teddy Ruxpin is. I had a Teddy Ruxpin growing up & that thing was part bear, part book reader & 100% awesome. I discussed this with some friend a few years back & they knew what I was talking about. Were it not for this bear (and genetics, let me be honest, my Mom reads books like a person stranded in the desert for 10 days drinks water) I might not be such a total bookworm. Looking at pictures now though – the bear looks a little creepy to me. 🙂
-They will never know about snail mail. I used to send letters to my friends that live in far away states. I had to take the time to sit down & write out the things I wanted to tell my friend & then wait to get a response. Not that I don’t love the ease & convenience of email & texting, but there is just something that is thoughtful about a hand written letter. It shows that you took time. I like that. And kids these days have no clue. Life is all about faster.

The Things They Couldn’t Live Without
-Facebook…or MySpace…or whatever other social networking sights there are out there. I am a Facebook person myself. I myself didn’t even know what Facebook was 5 years ago & now it is so important to my daily life that I have an app on my phone that lets me check Facebook whenever I want to. Facebook is amazing for keeping up with people that you don’t get to see as often as you like, but I feel pretty confident that there are lots of downsides to it too. Like I mentioned above – I don’t think I led that dramatic of a life as a high school kid & yet there was always drama in some form. I can’t imagine how much more ridiculous & blown out of proportion things could have gotten in Facebook was around when I was in high school. Teenagers need no help creating drama. And just think – if you just had a kid, there will be Facebook (or possibly something even more advanced & space agey) for them to poke around on when they grow up.

-Cell phones. I remember when cell phones looked like the honking thing on the left of the page. And now, it is all about making them smaller, cuter & able to do just about everything. A cell phone used to be a phone. Just a phone. Now, a cell phone is so much more than that. Heck – on my phone alone I can – take pictures, watch YouTube videos, surf the web, watch TV shows, listen to music, buy music, check the weather, contact AAA, book a flight, find the cheapest gas prices, look up recipes, make & send postcards, read the Bible, play games, check & send email….I mean, whoa. I’m not even mentioning the fact that I can also just talk to people on the phone. Because it is a phone after all. And these days, there are seven year olds who know how to work my phone better than me. Seriously. There is no chance that kids that were born after about 2005 don’t know how to work a cell phone like a champ. They will never not know what cell phones are. Wow.
– A lot of kids today (not me though, although at 26, I’m really not a kid) couldn’t live without DVR. A lot of adults couldn’t live without it either. I hear that DVR is an absolutely wonderful invention that lets you record, pause, rewind & fast forward live TV. I remember the long ago time when you were going to miss your favorite show you had to put a VHS (remember those things?) in a VCR (what is that?) and record it. Now – just set that DVR to take care of it. I want one of these things.
-A GPS. Lord knows that those things are awesome. Today you can’t get from point A to point B without one. I’m pretty sure that if you polled kids & asked them what MapQuest was, they would have no clue. I remember when you had to Google directions so that you could get somewhere. They usually worked out just fine. I mean – not to brag or anything – I got my Mom & I around the entire island of Oahu without a GPS. That is pretty amazing because every single road has some kind of Mele Kala Like something in the name. I bet no lots of kids think that you can’t get across the street without a GPS. Well…you can. :)That being said – I still really love Carla, our GPS. Especially when I set the voice to Mister Midnight & he randomly says things like “There is a full moon out tonight – be on the lookout for werewolves” or “Do you hear that rattling in the trunk?” Priceless.

Who knows what kind of things they will invent in the next 5 years…in just the next year? A lot of kids aren’t going to know what it means to live without an iPad. Technology is mind blowing & makes life (most often) a lot easier but sometimes I think about what it must have been like even before I was born. When people didn’t have a TV in every room, or even a TV in the house…when people didn’t have cell phones that distracted them from talking to the actual person in front of them…when people couldn’t fire off a quick email as a hello. I love my TV – I am far too addicted to about 5 or 6 different shows – I couldn’t live without my cell phone & I love the convenience of sending email. But I sometimes wonder if it might not have been nicer when life was a little more simple. That’s just me though.

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