Last week I celebrated my 38th birthday. Over dinner we were discussing how different things are now than when we were Kaylin’s age (4).
Wow…we’re talking massive changes that are as transformative as the changes our great grandparents went through, but where theirs were in manufacturing and transportation, ours have been in information and technologies.
We were still going throough the black and white switchover when I was born, and I remember having a black and white tv as a teenager.
Video arcades rose and fell in my lifetime.
Pinball machines were cool.
Home gaming systems were invented, I remember my friend Chris showing me his Pong system. I even remember the ads in the Sears catalogue for the Atari 2600 for $450.00 (in 1979, that was the equivalent of a decent used car!). I remember buying Joust for the 2600 for $54.00, so today’s prices aren’t so outrageous.
When I was Kaylin’s age we had 4 channels, and if you had cable, you got 12 channels! If you had a “brown box”, you could get 24 channels!
Cartoons were ONLY on Saturday mornings from 7am to noon, and if you slept in, you missed cartoons for the week.
Movie theatres were small and kind of gross, and if someone sat in front of you, they blocked your view.
VCR’s appeared 80’s, as did laser disc’s and casette tapes.
Today it’s impossible to find media for any of the three “in the wild”.
You were supposed to be kind, and please rewind when you returned a tape to the video rental store.
The movie industry was initially terrified of VCR’s in homes, why on earth would anyone go out to a crappy movie theatre when they could watch the same movie at home? Then, when legislation didn’t work, the theatre owners built newer, better theatres…and surprise surprise, more people went to the movies than ever before!
In high school, I saw my first home PC, my buddy Ryan had a great system with a mono green screen. My friend Rich’s dad had one with a terrific 256 colour screen!
Of course our benchmark was Death Track 2000, and when we played it on Chris Buck’s brand new computer, we had to turn off the math co-processor because the game was too fast!
My first experience on the Internet was through York University’s conection where we used Lynx to access a text version of the Internet, and we wondered what [image] meant.
There was no global village.
Life was way more dangerous, seat belts were not mandatory, lawn darts were legal, helmets were optional, and drunk driving was a normal way to get home (you took the back roads “just to be safe”).
In a lot of ways it was a simpler time, but I can’t imagine having to go back. I wrote this post on my iPhone, which is the epitome of the changes of my lifetime.
Always on, always connected, totally distracting.