Kids are growing up fast these days. And as they grow, they are given newer, more fancy toys to play with. New technologies soon become old technologies, and what was once considered groundbreaking slowly evaporates from human memory. This top 10 list features some the technologies that I remember as a kid, but kids today will look at in curious awe.
10. Car Ash Trays/Lighters You still smoke? You know it’s 2017, right? There was a time that everyone smoked…everywhere. And before cars came with cup holders, they came with ash trays. For the most part, these ash trays became garbage cans or coin holders, but back in the day, they held gross cigarette butts. Modern cars now come with the option to add a ‘smokers package’. Otherwise the car just comes with a charger port for your iPhone.
9. Scrambled Porn There was a day when trying to ogle a girl’s goodies wasn’t as easy as typing dirty words into Google. Before TV was digital, it was possible for the antennae to pick up the adult channels. The picture was often scrambled, and the good stuff covered by white fuzz. Sometimes the sound would come in, and sometimes something would ‘slip’ into view. But not anymore. With digital TV there is no more scrambled porn. I’m so sorry to all the Junior High Schoolers out there.
8. Beepers/Pagers If a kid picks up a beeper, he will be confused what it does. Once you explain to him the purpose, he will be only more confused. The kid will say: Why wouldn’t you just use a phone? I never really understood it either. But if a child ever watches a movie that involves doctors or a hospital, and they see the doctor getting paged, confusion will ensue.
7. Dial Up/AOL Ah, the glory day of the internet. Parents used to limit the amount of time us kids could be online, as using the internet meant tying up the phone line. And dad could not have the phone line tied up or he would miss his business calls. Since we didn’t have cellphones, we had to communicate via AOL buddy list. This turned into AIM, which also quickly fell by the wayside. In the meantime, there is a mountain of AOL free sample discs buried under the streets of Las Vegas.
6. *69 Did you just get crank called? Press *69 to see who called you last! We will get those bastards. Wait, what’s *69, don’t you just have caller ID. Well, believe it or not, before caller ID was standard on every phone, there was only one way to find out who called you. Of course, there was the checkmate of using *67 before you prank called someone. I just reread that paragraph, and it made NO sense. Welcome to the early 90s. *see also 10-10-321/10-10-345/-1800COLLECT
5. Developing Film Can you even buy a kodak insta-camera anymore? Probably not. But way back when, you had to take your film into Walgreen’s and wait a week for them to develop the film. Then, the film was placed nicely into a colorful envelop, and placed in a closet…forgotten. While the same is done with digital photo’s and Facebook, peeps of the future will soon have no idea what to do with a roll of film.
4. Recording Messages for an Answering Machine We still have voicemail, and many probably still utilize answering machines, but there used to be a glorious science to the perfect answering machine message. Answering machine tapes and the device themselves were something of a mechanical marvel. The time it took to record the voices of your family singing “Jingle Bells” or wishing the caller a Happy New Year was quick. These practices just don’t seem practical anymore. Believe it or not, George isn’t at home…
3. Maps It is a well known fact that all dad’s know how to get anywhere while in the car. They had spent countless days studying maps in the lost art of blacktop cartography. It paid off. Now, if you pull out a map, you will be scoffed at. Even worse, if you pull out a map, you won’t know how to read it! Blame GPS for this one if you will, but they just don’t make dads like they used to.
2. The Newspaper/Magazine I think the only thing keeping these two in production is the bathroom. Once we find a better way to relieve ourselves, I think we will see another stark decline in printed production. People have been predicting the end from magazine and newspapers for some time. And as they slowly migrate to online and digital platforms, children will be left wondering what exactly a magazine ‘is’.
1. Phone Booths Pay phones are pulled out of walls every single day. No longer can someone easily stumble into a dark alley and make a call. Even more out of place is the elusive phone booth. These mysterious creatures were once used to privately and easily communicate with others. Now a days, you will be hard pressed to find one. Episodes of Seinfeld have revolved around the entire concept of pay phone etiquette. But even more alarming is what children of the future will think when watching the movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Boy will they be confused.