I snapped this picture during Thanksgiving and none of these phones belonged to anyone over 45 years of age. I’m amazed at the changes I’ve seen in my lifetime and I’ve been thinking a lot about those changes. Can you believe we actually watched the revolution unfold in Egypt in real-time, for example. I sometimes worry that too much access to the news and an obsession with immediate updates on everything from Charlie Sheen’s rants to the release of the iPad 2 isn’t healthy. It blows my mind how much has changed since I was the age of our grandchildren. What happened to the simpler days when we watched the news at 5:00 for 30 minutes? I miss those days. I got an email from a friend that was pretty funny about my generation and I laughed out loud at the points it made as my TweetDeck chirped with updates from the web and Facebook.
1) We didn’t have the Internet when we were growing up. If you wanted to know something, or if you had homework to do, you went to the Encyclopedia Britannica or to the library to do research using the Card Catalog.
2) There was no email. We actually wrote letters. You had to put a stamp on the letter, put it in a mailbox and wait a week for the recipient to get it; then, wait another week for them to write you back! Those were the days of pen pals.
3) Child Protective Services didn’t care if we got our bottoms spanked. In fact, if we were bad, the parents of our friends had permission to spank our bottoms too! We got away with NOTHING!
4) We waited up all night for the DJ to play our favorite songs on the radio and would rush to tape them onto cassette tapes; but usually the DJ talked through the first part of the song and ruined it.
5) There was no “call waiting” — if you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal. And, you were calling on a rotary dial phone. Our upgrade was to a princess-style phone in a pastel color, but it was still a rotary phone.
6) There weren’t cell phones either. If you left the house, you waited to make a call until you got to where you were going or found a pay phone. You actually had to be out of touch with your friends! Unless, you had a CB radio. If so, you talked all night to your friends and random truckers. Breaker breaker one nine…what’s your handle? Mine was Blue Jean Queen.
7) There was no “Caller ID” either. When the phone rang, you answered it. It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your friends…you had no idea. You picked up the receiver and took your chances.
8) To find out what was on television, you looked it up in the TV Guide. To channel surf, you had to get off the couch, walk over to the television set and turn a dial. And, we only got three channels anyway, so there wasn’t much hope of anything better being on! Color television involved placing a plastic sheet of colored lines over the black and white screen.
9) Cartoons were on only on Saturday mornings. Yes, we had to wait all week to see cartoons! After cartoons were over, we had to go outside to play until dark. In fact, our instructions were, “Don’t let me see you again until it’s time for supper.”
10) There were no microwaves. If we wanted something to eat, we got up and fixed it at the stove!
11) Car safety involved your mom throwing her arm over your chest as she slammed on the brakes. And, if your head hit the dashboard, it was your fault for calling shotgun anyway. You hung on, especially if you were riding on the hump between bucket seats. Most of the time, we played in the backseat, and occasionally in the back windshield.
Does every generation feel like the world has completely changed in their lifetime?
And, why is there a smiley face instead of an eight in my post?