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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Oh This Generation

At only 29 years old, I have come to find that I now belong in the category of the "older generation". I don't fit in, mentally, with the millenials. I'm not with "it" anymore. Not that I ever really wanted to be. "It" was usually stupid and fleeting in its existence. No, I don't belong among my age group. 

This past Sunday, and I think part of Saturday, I had heard some interesting things about what this generation will never understand. It followed a tweet about things that you remember that others would not. Like what a pager/beeper was. Remember those? Mostly popular among business people and medical workers, but lots of people used them. Before cell phones were in everyone's hands. And cell phones... Well... My first one was the kind that flipped open. You had the single number keypad that had letters assigned to each number. You had to hit each number a certain amount of times to get to the letter you wanted. Texting was a pain in the butt. Or who recalls  what 411 meant? Remember when we said, "Just give me the 411." It was an information service. That is no longer needed with computers the size of our palm. But when we asked each other for the 411, we simply wanted the straight up information. 

Answering machines. Oh wow... that was when we had phones plugged into the wall. It was called a land line.  And if someone called when you weren't home, they could leave a message. You were expected to call them back eventually.

I recently heard a radio personality talking about when her son saw the phone book on the doorstep. He comes in and tells her, "Someone left a library book at the front door." Her confusion was turned to humor when she saw what he was referring to. She actually had to explain what it was. His response, "But your phone already has everything you need in it!" *Shaking my head* That is probably true for newspapers. This generation might say those are for old folks.

How many of you remember what real music was? I can tell you it was nothing like the run-of-the-mill pop stuff we have today. Beyonce can't hold a candle to what I grew up with. Like MC Hammer sang, "You can't touch this!" Songs actually had deeper meanings. You could follow the words. Voices didn't need synthetic additives to build them up. They just naturally sounded good. And in the 90's, synthesizing was the new "cool" thing in music. And you know what? CD's were just starting to come around.
Yes, we actually listened to cassette tapes at first. In our BOOMBOX! I thought CD's were cool though. And I loved getting my first player. iPods were not invented yet. You had this mini CD player that was only about 2 inches bigger than the CD. It didn't clip to anything though. You had to hold it in your hand. But I thought I was so cool. I could take my music with me! Now, everything is digital. And mostly on YouTube or Pandora.

When I was in school, we actually went to the public library for research. I didn't have reliable computer access. The World Wide Web was barely getting started. As a matter of fact, we had dial up! Remember that awful sound? And better let everyone know you will be online so they don't pick up the phone and you lose connection. 
Gaming. Let me tell you what it was like for me. Board games were what we knew most of. Monopoly, Life, Yahtzee. My cousins were lucky. They played Street Fighter. For a while, my brother and I played Duck Hunt. Anyone else remember that? Stupid dog would laugh when you missed that duck. I wanted to shoot him instead! My husband actually had more gaming in his life. Granted, his mother and siblings were, and still are, all gamers. He has an Atari! And a GameCube! Those were not around long enough. Now, though, kids are getting into more interactive game play. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. 3D games and movies. Did you watch everything on VHS like I did? My husband still has his player and some movies. We were so curious about these new things called DVD's. Now, we have BluRay too. Or you can subscribe and "stream" everything from Netflix. Stream. Had I heard that word as a kid, I thought you were talking about a water source. Maybe had trout in it...

Kids these days... And I don't just mean those under 18. I'm thinking of any of them up to 25 at least. They just won't understand what it was like. I'm sure those who are in their late 40's and up look at my age group with the same thoughts. I talked to a friend who actually learned computers back when you had to type the commands into it to get it to do anything. There was no such thing as an Operating System. Now our phones have them! Heck, computers and phones talk to us now.  And we used floppy disks! There was no USB, Flash Drives, External Hard Drives. No, we carried a floppy to transfer files from one place to another. I had gem colored ones!

What about you? What can you say that you remember from your younger years that anyone under 25 would not have the faintest idea about now? And likewise, what is one thing you are so glad we have now that you never had then, but you think is just awesome? Leave me a comment and let us reminisce about the times gone past. About being that "older generation" together.


  1. First let me settle your mind. You are not a millennial but rather a generation X-er. Now to your remember when...Drinking from a hose. No AC in school. No AC in cars. Cell what? I remember when houses didn't all have phones in them and the ones who did had a dial. Black and white TV. Drive in movies. TV shows weren't allowed nudity or cursing. Oh MY! Kids played outside and parents didn't have to hover over them. Freedom of religion was alive and well (now Christians are silenced). Woman could stay home without being shamed for putting their family first. Cheating was a shameful thing. Men wanted to work and pay their bills.

    1. Sadly, I'm a millenial. That is anyone born after 1980. I remember drinking from a hose. Playing outside for hours without being watched. Better times!