I was listening to Kelly and Michael a few weeks back on LIVE and a subject came up that led them to talking about the way things used to be, “back in the day”. In particular, they were talking about cell phones – like how enormous they used to be, how they first appeared in cars, and my favorite . . . how, when texting, we used to have to hit the number 5 on our key pad 3 times to get to L. That made me laugh and remember the crazy frustration when I’d accidentally pass my letter and have to scroll around again on the digit to get back to the right one. I used to be in awe of teenagers who could navigate the keypads so quickly. I’m still in absolute awe of the young people today when I see them utilize technology with astonishing comfort. It’s all so easy for them.
“Hit the number 5 over and over to reach an L? What?!” Then Kelly and Michael laughed and sighed about the good ol’ days. I chuckled along with them.
Then it occurred to me . . . Holy crap. Early cell phones are considered “back in the day.” I mean, really?! How ‘bout before the internet?! How ‘bout before GPS systems?! What about back in the day when we had to use a Thomas Guide? No Mapquest. And phone books! Remember phone books?
What about the days when you actually reached a real person when you called a business on the phone?
What about before microwaves when we actually warmed stuff up on the stovetop or in the oven? We had to wait. Or we just ate it cold. We all knew leftovers were better cold anyway. Heck, remember when we all actually ate leftovers?!!! None of this whining about wanting something new and different. You ate leftovers because it was frugal. And frankly ‘cause they were good.
And speaking of waiting . . . Remember when Fed Ex was a major luxury? Now people send stuff via Fed Ex or overnight like it’s no big deal.
Remember when you had to go into the bank for money? No ATM’s, only bank tellers. You had to wait in line.
Remember encyclopedias? I remember wondering if I just rephrased the World Book entry into my own words would it pass for a report. Of course, it never did.
I remember no air conditioning in the car. And when every car had manual roll down windows. I remember when gas was $.89/gallon.
I remember when long distance calls were something you really had to consider because it was expensive. Please.
I remember when there were only three channels on TV, ok four, if you count PBS. And you had to get up and walk to the TV to change the station.
I could go on and on, but don’t get me wrong. I like our new conveniences. I was just mostly struck by the brief amount of time that has passed to allow for what is still new to be old already. We are progressing and developing at such a rapid pace that even stuff that’s only 20 years old is considered “back in the day.”
That’s kind of trippy, no?