Our lives are changing so rapidly with all the technology, many of these items will mean absolutely nothing to my younger readers, although I suspect a generation or two removed would be able to create visuals. Our children, the next generation to lead our government and businesses, haven’t a clue about what was, because most are so absorbed in their iPhones, iPads, computers, video games, reality television shows, and most current technological gadgets, the very idea of memories from days long past rarely even gets a good nod!
Compared to appliances and devices available today to those mentioned, most of the older ones would require a certain amount of work. The mimeograph machine which was time intensive has been replaced by the printer that makes copies faster than a mimeograph could ever do! It is estimated the minimum is between 21 and 40 copies per minute, while the high end business printers can print up to 100 copies per minute! The wringer washer, which required filling the tub, moving them to rinse, then hand feeding the clothes through the wringer one at a time, is replaced by a machine that requires only dropping clothes in, adding detergent and pushing buttons. We wait for 40-50 minutes and our clothes are washed, rinsed and spun, until nearly all water is extracted. Our hands never have to touch the water!
Jacks and the Pixie Pic Up Stixs, games requiring a certain amount of dexterity and genuine skill have been replaced by video games and other electronic gadgets that require effort only from fingers, again from pushing buttons.
A shopping trip for the average teenager meant a journey to the “five and dime” store where you bought candy, small toys, hair clips, handkerchiefs or other “must have” small items. Today’s average teenager loathes the very idea of even a “dollar store.” The “must haves” are not small, but pricey and name brand. American Eagle, Aeropostale, or Hollister are the must haves for clothes; Converse, Adidas, or Reeboks for shoes. And instead of hair clips or candy, baseball cards and gum, teenage girls want Kate Spade or LeSportsac bags, pricey accessories and makeup, while the guys choose video games, game consoles, computer software or other technological devices.
What does this say about our culture? Our focus has changed. Granted, I’m sure “back in the day” when I remember, my parents and grandparents had their own memories to choose from making mine look extreme. But “extreme” is getting more and more extreme! Our young people are consumed by everything technological. To do most anything requiring hand skill, or even math skill (we have “extreme” calculators that can figure anything now), or in some cases, good old common sense, the young person is completely dumbfounded!
So I challenge you to “remember when” but with the intent of sharing with our younger generation so they can understand and appreciate the life that was ours and in essence theirs, as well. Our education has become their world. Their education is going to become their children’s world. I’d hate to think no one remembers how we got there!