Not so long ago
DOROTHY L. HARRISQuick, what time is it? If you are over 35, you've probably glanced at your watch or the clock on the wall. If you are under 30, you're probably reading this online or on your phone, so just check the display.
Published: September 27, 2012
Published: September 27, 2012
Of course, you can still read the face of a traditional clock, right? Recently, I was told some of our teens struggle with this skill as they don't ever see regular clocks anymore. Could this be true? Hopefully not, but it got me thinking how many things have changed since I was a teen.
Growing up as a child and teenager in the '70s and '80s, things were very different than teens experience today. There were no cell phones, Xboxes, I Pads or satellite radio. We used phones that hung on the wall with this super long, twisty cord that would snarl into a nasty mess when you overstretched it, trying to get some privacy across the room. Do you remember those?
If you're older than 50, you might even remember life before push button phones. We called them rotary because the dial rotated. If you ask younger kids, they have never seen, let alone used a rotary phone. Tell them we listened to music on tape recorders and later Walkman radios with head phones. I've seen those making a comeback, so they might know what you're talking about. Anyone see a boom box lately?
We wrote letters over summer break because long distance phone calls were expensive and texting didn't exist yet. I feel like a dinosaur even admitting this, LOL.
My mom used pink toilet paper to match the bathroom décor. Does anyone else remember this? I am beginning to think my mother must have been super crafty because I seem the only one to remember colored toilet paper. Is this some sort of mental fluke from too much baby aspirin as a child? Do you remember those? I loved those little yummy pills that made sore throats go away.
Orange juice had paper cartons, just like milk, that had to be wrestled open and squeezed back shut. No nifty plastic caps back then. I suspect if you are old enough to remember milk in a glass bottle, I seem like a youngster to you!
My mom wrote checks at the grocery store because there were no debit cards. Can your teen write out a check? Do they even need to learn this skill? More importantly, if they get a check, do they know what to do with it? Savvy ones might show you how to scan and deposit checks from your smart phone, if you text them and ask how.
I remember getting my first paycheck and opening a saving account with a pass book. The paper book had to be taken to the bank when I deposited money so the teller could imprint the book.
When I was growing up, credit cards might have existed, but I don't recall my parents ever using one. I do remember going shopping during junior year of high school and my friend whipping out her dad's credit card. I was astounded she was allowed to use it.
I wonder if today's babies will even learn to count paper and coin money. Is it possible this will be a thing of the past within the next generation? Just wave your phone or maybe a chip in your head will automatically pay for purchases as you wander through stores or restaurants. Won't that be groovy? Maybe progress isn't such a great thing after all.