I live in a tech-loving household; there aren’t many gadgets that we don’t have (my mum’s reaction on hearing that the Google Nexus 7 tablet is my husband’s latest purchase: “You’ll never move house!”). I was talking to my friend Nick about this and we meandered on to discussing how technology has changed dramatically in even the past few years, meaning there are so many things that played a huge role in our childhoods that Eliza and babies of her generation will never experience.
It was a very timely conversation in light of the Ofcom report out this week, saying that text messaging is now the most popular form of daily communication between British adults, over phone calls. Nick and I were chatting over iMessage, and thinking about it I don’t even phone my mum any more; we have FaceTime conversations so she can see the baby instead. How long before calls and even texts are consigned to history in favour of something much more instant?
But looking back, my formative years now seem to be a wasteland of 80′s and 90′s technology that’s now obsolete. Here’s some of the things – the good and not so great – that Nick and I could remember from when we were younger:
- Recording music from the radio onto cassettes, and making mix tapes
- The genuine surprise of finding out which song was at the top of the charts at 6.55pm on a Sunday
- Giant, ancient school TVs which we watched in the dedicated TV room
- Four TV channels
- Going to the video shop to rent a film as a weekend treat
- Video tapes with three hours of recording capacity (and spending hours fast-forwarding or rewinding them to get to the right point)
- Always being on the hunt for batteries for your Walkman
- Doing homework pre-Google using research books you took out of the library
- Floppy discs (big) and floppy discs (small)
- The noise that modems made when connecting to dial-up internet, and your mum always trying to use the phone meaning the connection dropped
- Waiting till 6pm to use the phone, plus your parents moaning about the size of the phone bill every month
- Having a static landline phone with a cord that you had to stretch into another room for privacy
- Knowing all your friends phone numbers off by heart
- Not having mobile phones meaning you made a time / date to meet your friends and having to stick to it (seriously, how did we manage?)
- Mobile phones with a tiny memory so you had to constantly delete texts
- Everyone having the same Nokia phone that only had function for calls, texts and Snake 2
It’s enough to make you feel nostalgic! I’m sure there’s loads more, is there anything else I’ve missed off?