I grew up in the 70s and 80s. That should say a lot, but here is a list of things that define me as a child of the 70s....
- Going on vacation in a Mini (think Mr. Bean or see right)
- Pay phones
- The Muppet Show
- Bunny ears on my TV
- AM radio
- Disco dancing!
Most of my American pop-culture references of this time are grown-up ones, not kids ones. I remember, for example, watching the Dallas finale on British TV when a sitter came over one evening to sit
And, then there was the 80s...
- Princess Di and "The Royal Wedding"
- DOUBLE-pierced (!) ears (which I actually did. Only on one side. I was such a rebel!)
- Writing ones deepest, most private thoughts in a diary where no one else can see or read them
- FM radio
- Colecovision, Atari 64, PAC-Man fever!
- Legwarmers, clogs, Alligator shirts, Tretorns
- Young Kevin Bacon and Michael J. Fox (before his unfortunate diagnosis)
- ET, Ferris Bueller, Ghostbusters, The Goonies, Back to the Future
- Getting dropped off to meet my friends at "The Mall"
- Station wagons
- Remote controls that connected to your TV by a long wire that the stupid dog would always chew through forcing you to get up out of your seat anyway just like you did
the year beforein the old days
- MTV with MUSIC videos!
- Madonna-the Like A Virgin (but not actually one)/Material Girl version
- Michael Jackson-the PEPSI/Thriller/Beat It version
- Journey, Van Halen, The Police (not the "lights and sirens" kind)
- Recording songs from the radio onto cassette tapes by holding the recording device up to the speakers of the radio device waiting for the song you want to record to play. All the while, hoping that no one coughs, laughs, or otherwise interrupts your split-second judgement for getting the song without the DJ messing it up. In fact, if you were really smart, you'd call the radio station ahead of time a d request the song be played without them talking over it. Sometimes they would comply and you would accomplish the near-impossible comment-free recording of a song. Then, you would put all these perfect copies on one mix-tape to listen at your leisure. So exhausting, but that's how it was in the old days.
- The space shuttle
- Rubix cube and all its derivatives
- VCRs and VHS tapes (We never did get beta)
- Trivial Pursuit
Now the plus-side of all this ignorance was a simpler life. If I wanted to wait for someone to call me, I had to sit by the phone. Doing virtually nothing, except maybe reading an actual book made of actual paper or watching reruns of The Flintstones (which I still love). And wait for the phone which was connected permanently to the wall to ring. If I wanted to play with my next door neighbor, I could go next door and ask. It didn't require looking at a master calendar and setting up a carefully contrived play date.
|Apple IIe c. 1983|
It wasn't long thereafter that the Internet was invented by Al Gore. And suddenly, everyone became experts in everything. And then there was Wikipedia which made it nearly impossible for me to continue my career path as a pathological know-it-all. I had to find some thing else to do and stat!
Now, I can think of any obscure topic and zoom in to outer-computerworld to find an answer from other career know-it-alls. (There is a club.) The answer might not actually be right, but that's inconsequential really. I can look at anything. I can even look at lots of things I didn't mean to look at. For example, I now know that if I want to go to the White House (in DC) web site, I have to go to WhiteHouse dot GOV, not dot COM. (Don't do it. You'll regret it!) The world is a frightening place.
And then there's a whole slew of other deviations from the
Phones. They go with us. Everywhere. It's magical. I can stand outside of some one's house and call them to "see if they're home" when I can see them in their kitchen window making dinner! Then I can bust them on Facebook when they post that they are in China posting Photoshopped photos of themselves on the Great Wall of China by asking if I can stop by for dinner since I'm "in the neighborhood".
Music. Doesn't. Exist. Anymore. It's all just an illusion. You give Apple money. They play the song on a device that is completely unique and incompatible with any other device. "Proprietary," they call it. "Rip off," I call it. You can't even will your music to someone when you die.
Journals or diaries are now blogs (web-logs) which are technically diaries with personal, private ideas out there for public
Social media. Facebook where one hooks-up with everyone with whom one has ever crossed paths. And I'm talking everyone. It is sooo awesome! It helps us visit the uncomfortable worlds of our past and present. Simultaneously! And, Twitter which, frankly, I still (after 7 years) don't get. I need more than 140 characters per thought. But it is perfect for all those kids who can't string more than that together even with a gun to their head.
In the meantime, computers are getting smarter and people are getting stupider. (Sounds wrong, I know, but it's the right word. The internet says so.) We need less people to do the same amount of things; yet the populations abounds. Someone needs to create an effective method of dumbing down the computer population so that the human population will still have options for a paycheck. That master mind will make a bundle!
That's it. Told you I wasn't going anywhere with it. Thanks for stopping by.