5 Old School Gadgets of Our Parents’ Day
With tons of social media start-ups to stumble upon and check into, and brand new Apple products popping up left and right, it’s tough to keep up with the technology trends.
What’s even more difficult?
Trying to teach your parents how to use all these new means of communication. It gets exhausting reminding your Dad of all the different acronyms for laughing by text, and it can be embarrassing when your party pictures show up on your Mom’s news feed on Facebook. Really though, it’s not their fault. They’ve had to adjust to a lot of technology throughout their lifetime, “devolved” devices that are kinda – laughable – by today’s gadget standards.
Take a look:
Landline telephones. When was the last time you parked yourself by a landline to await an important call? Have your fingers twirled a phone cord lately while nervously flirting with the cute guy from class? Those faint memories from our childhood were all our parents used to know. And whether your parents work in the medical field or not, they probably had pagers. Sure, they had really annoying beeps and number codes, but they sure came in some flashy colors!
Typewriters. If you find yourself having trouble focusing on the million-page paper you have to write, log out of Facebook by turning off that laptop and pulling out your (grand)parents’ typewriter: no multiple tabs on Google Chrome to flip through, no IMs to respond to, no notifications to check! But this breakthrough piece of technology does have its drawbacks: there is no backspace button, so make sure to find an old eraser too. And there’s only one font option! No tricking your professor with 12.5 font now.
Walkman. Apple may be the leading retailer for music players today, but it was all about Sony back in the day. The Sony Walkman not only played cassettes, but also had the option to switch to the radio. On the same device. Both AM and FM! Sure, it could only let the wearer carry around fifteen songs at a time – divided between two sides, of course – and it was a little bit bigger than the first generation iPod, but hey, it was a step up from the record player and it had a belt clip. So yeah, it was awesome.
Snail mail. The summer internship season is quickly approaching, and the application process always leads back to highly anticipated emails. Imagine looking for an opportunity without the convenience of the Internet: sending out letters, awaiting the mailman…and paying for stamps. This applies to everything – finding a job, paying the bills, and keeping in touch with loved ones across the country. Like everywhere else, presentation is key, so stationery selections were crucial!
News media. Feeling lost without an instant news feed? Your parents never had the option to refresh their morning newspapers. They also had to be watching a television during primetime to catch the latest news or a find radio with reception in order to get “in the know.” With only a few channels to choose from, entertainment media was scarce compared to the way it’s distributed now. But that way, everyone knew the same news, watched the shows, listened to the same music and danced the same dances (like the mashed potato, not the Dougie). Remember, this is when MTV actually played music videos. Not just clips, but entire music videos.
Looking back, it’s clear generations before ours had it rough. Therefore, it’s our moral obligation to put aside any frustrations and help our parents or their parents or anyone’s parents become acquainted with these “newfound” tools. And if/when you get frustrated (“Mom, just CLICK THE ATTACHMENT IN THE EMAILLLLL”), Google will be there to save the day.
What other electronics should blast back to the past, and which ones are your favorite replacements for the archaic? And what do you think about our other list: 5 college norms your parents will never understand?