#5 of 6 Things Our Kids Just Plain Won't Get
I remember when my best friend moved away for college, we would plan out our phone calls a week in advance because long-distance fees were charged by the minute -- and those racked up fast. There were no all-encompassing plans or flat fees at the time.
Mostly, we sat alone in the quiet and prayed for a day when the Internet would rescue us from the madness.
Of course, there was always snail mail. Back then, it was just called "mail" ... the term "snail mail" only came about after email was invented. And believe it or not, mail used to be a primary form of communication. That's why the icon associated with your email is a little envelope. It represents the letters we used to send to each other when calling was too expensive.
They were delivered by the Pony Express, if memory serves.
But imagine your instant messenger working the same way as snail mail. Every time you said something to one of your friends, you'd be charged a quarter, and your friend wouldn't be allowed to read what you sent him until next Friday. It's hard to keep a friendship going through that.
For those reasons, having a pen pal was a big deal when I was a kid. It was the only realistic way we could meet and regularly talk to someone from another country. It was mind-boggling, knowing that you were actually talking to someone who lived on the other side of the planet. But if I were to walk up to someone right now and tell them, excitedly, that today I talked to someone from Australia, they'd look at me like I was shit-sculpting crazy.
Australia, Japan. Same thing.
Hell, the vast majority of my friends now are not from the United States. But if I couldn't talk to them instantly and free, that number would be reduced by 100 percent because foreign people are cheap, horrible monstrosities.
They had to be. Otherwise, they couldn't afford to go to college, where people were regularly ...