Sometimes when their dad and I are being goofy, but trying to make a point, we go all “back in the day” on our kids. You know, “back in the day we had to walk to school, in the snow, up hill, both ways.”
There’s profuse eye rolling and tolerant sighing, patronizing laughs and an occasional, “Yeah, right.” But, I don’t think either of them actually consider that there really was a “back in the day.”
For instance, back in the day, my family had a single, 24-inch black and white TV, with only three VHF stations and a grainy UHF Public Broadcasting Station. There might be an aerial on top of the house, and rabbit ears on the set (wrapped in aluminum foil), to help improve reception. We children were the remote controls.
Back in the day, there were no wireless phones, no cell phones. I remember my grandparents having a party line and that their calls were one short, two long rings. I can even remember when you had to start using area codes when making a call… on a rotary phone.
We were lucky to have oscillating fans to help cool off the hot Tennessee summers. Air conditioning, when we finally got it, sat in the living room window. There was none of this new fangled central A/C.
At one point when they were very little, we did have a stereo turntable, actually listened to vinyl LPs. That was until our toddler son managed to remove the drive belt… still can’t figure out that one.
My children will never remember a time when they didn’t have a large screen, HD color television (in multiple rooms); a cell phone, a car stereo that played CDs (or could sync to their MP3 players), or live in a home that couldn’t be cooled or heated with flick of a switch. They will not remember a time when they didn’t have a personal computer.
The changes that technology have gone through in the 20 years they have been around are astounding. I cannot imagine that changes we’ll see in the next 20.
What changes have you seen during your lifetime, that your children now take for granted?