5 Old School Tech Items Your Kids Will Never Understand
There’s no doubt about it: technology is advancing at an astounding rate. If you are a Millennial or older, you know that there was once a time when many of the technological wonders that we use on a daily basis didn’t even exist, and if they did exist, it was in a laughably primitive form. People today, especially if they were born after 2000, have such a wealth of tech at their very fingertips that they may not even consider that we never had the luxury of GPS or literally all of human knowledge in our pocket.
But we know about a few things they don’t, so buckle up as we go down memory lane with a few key items from our own childhoods that kids these days will never really understand.
Nowadays, we carry our phones in our pockets. They’re small enough to hold in our hands and forget they’re even there. Not only that, but they are constantly connected to the world through wi-fi and 3 or 4 or whatever number G we are currently on. Our kids can connect with their friends without asking to use the home phone and don’t even have to hang up when someone wants to check their email.
It’s no surprise that the payphone is a relic of days past. With cell phones more available than toilets around the world, there’s simply no need for these machines any longer. Instead, kids will never understand what it’s like to be stuck at the mall, waiting to be picked up, only to have to call 1-800-COLLECT to leave a “mom-it’s-me-come-pick-me-up-outside-Sears” instead of an actual name. If you’ve never done this, it was to avoid the collect charges that your parents would incur if they accepted the call. Instead, they could hear the plea for help, decline the call, and come and get you.
While it appears that publicly-played music is making a comeback with the unnerving trend of listening to Spotify on the cellphone without any headphones, kids will never be able to fully comprehend the awesomeness of playing the hottest new hip-hop album at high volume on your boombox as you sat at the community pool with your friends. While hefting the thing on your shoulder and walking down the street was a surefire way to get cool-points, kids now are stuck with tiny, portable, Bluetooth speakers with confusingly great sound. Small and discrete, these speakers simply don’t have the “here I come” vibe of the old-school boombox.
Nintendo Game Boy
As mentioned above, the current cell phone is pretty much the only thing you’ll ever need again in your life. It has education, information, socialization, and of course, entertainment. But while today’s kids are playing Fortnite, we were all playing Mario on the Game Boy.
When it first came out, it was an absolute must-have for the cool kids. And once they became more popular, it was fun to trade games with friends…as long as you didn’t save over their game! The only downside, besides being bulky and using real-life batteries that you had to remove and change, was that you couldn’t play them at night without a light. Kids now are just a touch spoiled with their self-lighting devices!
If you gave a floppy disk to a teenager today, they’d probably ask you how you were able to get a physical version of the “Save” icon from the computer. And when you think about it, it is pretty funny that we still use that image to signify the storage of information onto an external device.
But kids nowadays don’t understand the struggle of waiting for hours for a document to save, only for it to be too large for the 160 KB capacity (1.2 MB, if you were lucky). Instead, thumb drives that cost about $20 have a storage capacity of up to 256 GB! That’s enough for all the school documents and selfies a teen can handle. And speaking of photos…
Today, nearly every cellphone is equipped with some sort of camera, and newer phones are coming out with dual- or even triple-lens systems that can rival any professional camera in terms of image quality.
What did we have back in the day? Disposable cameras. Those chunky blocks of plastic with a tiny viewfinder and manual film winder (I bet you can hear that clicking sound now!) that took the most awful photos you’ve ever seen. And you were happy to have them because they were memories of the beach with your family or of prom with your crush. And that fact that you probably still have those fuzzy, too-dark prints in a box of keepsakes says wonders about how much we appreciated the technology that was available.
In today’s world, it’s easy to fault kids for not understanding the technology that came before them, but hey, didn’t we do that with our parents, too? It’s true that they’ll never really get the fun of the boombox or the hassle of payphones because their kids will probably laugh at iPhones and Bluetooth in the future.