I live in a technologically advanced world. It blows my mind.
Recently I’ve been comparing my childhood to my parents’. They sure as hell weren’t sitting in their beds at age sixteen, listening to their iPods and typing away on a mini laptop. They were probably playing cards or a board game or something while listening to the newest Barbra Streisand record (in my mom’s case, anyway and fyi I DO have a record player in my room and all of her Barbra records). When my parents were younger, they couldn’t just pop in a movie and watch it appear on the screen. When they wanted a question answered, they actually had to grab a book and look it up. Now, simply type it into Google and whammo! All of your questions, regardless of their appropriateness, are answered in a second or two.
Today, in preparation for Toy Story 3 tomorrow, I dug up our VCR, hooked it up to our 47-inch flat screen HD TV and popped in Toy Stories 1 & 2. When we watched the second one, flashes of bloopers I remembered seeing before of the movie popped up in the appropriate scenes. I had this sudden thought to click “Main Menu” on the remote and go back to the main menu to click on “Extras” and select “Bloopers.” That’s when I mentally smacked myself in the head and suddenly remembered. VHS tapes don’t have a main menu, they simply play and you have no options to select. It wasn’t until DVDs came around (which wasn’t that long ago) that more options were available.
It seriously blows my mind that in the past ten years, so many advancements have been made. Ten years ago, when I was 6 years old and in first grade, my brothers came home from school, impressed that the school’s computer lab had the new Apple desktop computers with the cool translucent and round green mouse. Those didn’t stick around long. Soon, they were outdated and kicked to the curb and replaced by the newer versions. Even now, those are outdated and have been carried down to our school’s basement. I know this; I’ve seen them down there right next to all of the other bulky computers that were once the new thing. Now all they do is collect dust.
I’m willing to bet that 10 years ago, cell phones weren’t that big of an issue during Regents exams. I wonder when they even added that paragraph informing students that cell phones are prohibited in the first place. My dad had the first cell phone in the family. Which, if you know my dad, is very surprising. What isn’t surprising is the type of phone he owned. Remember The Brick? Yeah, he owned that. Then, my brother Jordan got a tracfone when he was in high school and my parents got the same ones to match his. My brother Trevor got a giant phone for his 15th birthday when he was in ninth grade, and this was only six years ago. I remember my friend telling me that on her next phone she wanted there to be a camera. Now I’m pretty sure you can’t buy a phone WITHOUT a camera on it. In fact, I’m pretty sure you can’t buy a phone now that lacks access to the Internet. All of this is complete and utter madness.
Now, I’m typing away on a tiny little computer that has the same capabilities – if not more – as the first computers that filled an entire room some thirty years ago. Our Mac desktop computer doesn’t even have a tower; it’s one of those newer ones that has everything packed into the screen. All it is is a mouse, screen and keyboard. Compare that to the monsters we have downstairs that have yet to be recycled and it’s quite hilarious.
My iPod is a different story. The iPod Classic stayed the same size throughout all of these years. It definitely advanced, though. My brother’s 3rd Generation iPod (back then, the Classic was the only type out in the world) is the same size as mine that is sitting on my baby iHome, but it definitely does a lot more. For example, mine can hold 160GB of pictures, video and music. His can only hold 15 or 30 GB of just music. In my drawer, I have my other brother’s old iPod Mini which they discontinued quite a few years ago. It’s the same size as my iPod nano in terms of storage; it’s just a dinosaur when you put the two next to each other. Apple has changed everything and made it sleeker and smaller in a very short amount of time. Once again, I’m blown away.
My children will have access to plenty of things from my childhood and teenage years. This blog is one and I’m sure my facebook will be another one. Thanks to my own personal camera, I have plenty of pictures of me and of course pictures of me with my friends. It blows me away how much my childhood has differed from the ones my parents experienced. Part of me is glad, but the other part of me is reminiscent of a past I never got to see. A part of me hopes technology hurries up a little more so that we can travel back in time and I can live during a much simpler time. That sounds wonderful.