Iím not sure whatís more baffling Ė the way things were a few decades ago, or how clueless some of my peers are about how things were. Iíll give you an example. I have friends that have no idea what a record player is. Iím sure if we wait another ten years, there will be kids who have no idea what a tape player is. If youíre uncertain of either Ė ask your parents, theyíll clue you in.
So whatís more shocking? That your parents and grandparents had to listen to scratchy music played by a little needle on vinyl grooves or that technology moves so fast some of us have no idea what Iím even talking about? By the way, an awesome record movie, should you need a bit of historical education, is High Fidelity Ė make sure youíre old enough for the language and such before watching.
As much as they are now an integral part of our lives, cell phones have only been around about twenty years. Before that they were something out of a science fiction movie. The first cell phones were easily the size of a small brick and outrageously expensive to use. Every minute could cost as much as a dollar or more, so cell phones were reserved for absolute emergencies or were just showy items.
If you were chatting on a cellular phone, you were telling the world you didnít mind carrying five pounds of plastic and throwing money away when a perfectly good payphone was in the corner. Speaking of which, payphones used to be only $0.10 to $0.25 per call. Crazy, eh? Youíre hard-pressed to find a payphone at all anymore, much less one that costs less than a dollar to use. Want to see an old mobile phone? Check out The Wedding Singer. Look for the giant mobile phone used by Adam Sandlerís crazy best friend.
Your grandparents most likely listened to music on records and then eight track tapes. Record players are still used to spin and many music buffs cherish old records because they are vintage and frankly, quite interesting if youíre into underground music and such. Eight track players, however, are very much a thing of the past. They are so outdated, I canít even think of a movie example.
Today we listen to MP3s and CDs. Before that a tape was a novelty. You could use a tape to record your own music off the radio or, when they came out, CDs. The original term ďmix tapeĒ came from literally arranging a mix of music onto a tape. Again, High Fidelity will help you understand.
When your grandparents were in school
, itís very likely the girls were not allowed or discouraged from wearing pants. Girls wore dresses and skirts and only hoodlums or farm workers wore denim pants Ė at least in some parts of the country. Jeans eventually because mainstream in the seventies and now itís hard to find a school kid not wearing jeans.
In school, you also used to take naps in kindergarten, if you even went all day. Kindergarten used to be a preparation for ďrealĒ school so you likely only went in the morning or afternoon. Full-time school didnít start until the first grade. The kindergarten your parents attended is now called preschool. And their first grade was your kindergarten.
A generation or two ago, the most math you had to take in high school was the equivalent of seventh or eight grade math today. Only you took that in high school. Algebra was the top level unless you were planning on being a scientist or engineer. And you took algebra or something similar as a junior or senior in high school. Now you take it in the eighth or ninth grade. So your parents really arenít kidding when they say they have no idea how to help with your math homework. They never learned most of that stuff.