June is a big month for birthdays in our house! This year I will be 37, and my oldest son will be 5! In the interest of all the fun Buzzfeed quizzes and timelines that show us the fun things we grew up with, I present to you things that were an important part of my childhood that he will never experience.
10. Nine Planets in the Solar System. Pluto was demoted to “dwarf planet” status in 2006.
9. Chicken Pox. I remember having the chicken pox over a holiday break when I was 3 or 4 years old … then I gave it to my younger brother. Trying not to scratch was almost impossible. Today there is a vaccine available (which all three of my boys received), and I’m glad that they will not have to deal with the itchy misery.
8. Mix Tapes. (Or cassette tapes in general.) I was so excited when I got my first cassette player, and spent hours listening to the radio and recording all of my favorite songs. Does WNOK still play the high five at ten? I had hours of that station on cassettes!
7. Phone books. I can’t even remember the last time I saw one. Who needs one anymore in this digital age of Google and Siri?
6. Foldable maps. My family always had a couple of these in the glove compartment of the car to help us navigate on long trips. They’d always rip at the seams – one of the many reasons GPS is one of the best inventions of the 21st century.
5. Music videos. I remember watching the debut of Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” video when it aired for the first time on FOX on November 14, 1991. And how about the controversy that surrounded Madonna when her “Like a Prayer” video was used by Pepsi? Of course videos still exist today (my boys love “What does the fox say?”), but instead of watching them on our favorite station at a set time, we can view them anytime we want on YouTube via the iPad.
4. Film in cameras. My first camera was a Fisher Price model that took 110 speed film. (You know, the kind with the little spools on either end.) I loved taking my own photos and remember what a pain it was to rewind the film all the way back so the roll could be developed properly. These days my iPhone is full of toddler selfies.
3. Memorizing phone numbers. I remember my phone number from when I was in 4 year old preschool at Union United Methodist in Irmo! I learned it in a very sing songy voice and it has stuck with me 30+ years later. Today, our household doesn’t even have a home phone. We were faced with a big dilemma when my oldest son had to learn his phone number in 4 year old preschool. We solved it by teaching him my phone number, since I am always reachable. But who else would be sunk if your smartphone just suddenly crashed?
2. Having a home phone/phones with cords. These days, most everyone has a cell phone. They are no longer a luxury. It’s the easiest way to reach people since they always have their phone with them. No more waiting around at home so you don’t miss that important call. We held on to our home line for awhile, but decided we were paying for convenience that we weren’t using, so we dropped it. And now we barely communicate by talking on the phone, more conversations are held via text and Facebook message.
1. Video rentals. In the very early days of video rentals, I remember going with my family to a locally owned store on the circle in Barnwell, SC, just about every Friday night. Renting a VCR and a couple of videotapes was the highlight of the weekend. The Princess Bride and The Karate Kid were two of our all time favorites. These days my kids operate the television remote and easily browse through Netflix as if it were part of their DNA. We don’t even own a DVD player (much less a VCR) anymore.
As time marches on, technology moves so fast that it seems like we will have to work hard to keep up. What kinds of memories from your childhood will your kids never experience?