My kids don’t believe me when I tell them that a Calculator was once State of the Art technology. That a simple calculator that added, subtracted, multiplied and divided cost over $100.00 at one time and was the stuff of wonder. That we used them as sort of video games to entertain ourselves by typing 8-0-0-8-5…because in primitive calculator days that looked like BOOBS (he he)…ahh the way we entertained ourselves.
They cannot imagine a time without IPods, videogames, cable television and cell phones. I found a simulation of Pong on the computer once and showed my son…he laughed at me and called me a Caveman. I showed him Mattel’s old hand held football games, you remember, the one with the little red blips that you maneuvered around other red blips to try to score a touchdown. We entertained ourselves for hours looking at red blips; a red blip now means I better head off to the doctor and get some ointment…damn I got the red blips!
When I tell them that the lunar module that landed on the moon had less computer power then a digital watch, I see that blank stare come across their faces…”A Digital watch isn’t a computer, Dad”. (SIGH)
I have a USB turntable, I bought it to record my old albums digitally so I could listen to them on my iPod…again my kids cannot believe we would listen to music that had Crack, Snapple and Pop singing background on every song we listened to.
The concept of going outside and actually playing Army is a concept that is not understood…why would you go out and play Army when you can load it up right there on your Play station and kill someone on the other side of the Country?
When I tell them that Cable Television once meant we were lucky to get 20 channels and that the cable box on top of the TV consisted of buttons we had to GET UP and push to change channels, they drool as they flip through over 900 channels on crystal clear Fiber Optic Television…Fiber Optics to us? That stupid tree looking thing in the plastic case that the ends changed colors on.
My very first computer, a commodore 64, had 64 BITS of memory…my first computer with a hard drive had a whopping 40 Megabyte Hard Drive and I was told that was all I would ever need…all I’d ever need?, the games my kids play online are Gigabytes big.
I still have my first “cell phone” remember the big giant Bag Phones…reception SUCKED, they didn’t work half the time but we carried them because we thought we looked cool. My kids complained to me until I got them a phone that had the slide out keyboard so they could text…I was cool for 5 minutes after they got them.
We entertained ourselves with things that kids would never be caught dead with today…anyone remember Squirmels? How about Lite-brite?…shrinky dinks?…Incredible Edibles?…doodle art?…Shaker Maker?…GI Joes with the Kung Fu Grip?…Yo Yos?…Frisbees?….Slip and Slides?…HECK a stick that looked like a gun!
We have these things because my generation and the generations before had dreams and ideas and inventions and breakthroughs came from these dreams and ideas. What you have before you today was born out of thousands of years of dreams and ideas. From the abacus to the ipad…from the wheel to the Segway…from balloon to exploring the cosmos. it was dreamed, it was invented and it’s changed our lives for better or worse.
My kids will never truly understand how we kept busy, how we made our own fun and God Help us if we EVER said we were bored; there were plenty of chores to be done. Yes times were simpler and I certainly do miss them, but looking at Boobs on a computer is a hell of a lot more fun than looking at boobs on a calculator!