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You Know You Grew Up Before the Internet Was Invented When ...

Posted by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 10:31 AM
  • 42 Replies

You Know You Grew Up Before the Internet Was Invented When ... (PHOTOS)

Posted by Sheri Reed

kids playing video games nintendo ds portable gamingMy boys have lots of age-appropriate tech devices, can set the DVR by themselves, and know about the latest viral YouTube videos before I do. But sometimes I worry I am ruining them with technology. What are all these "convenience tools" doing to their "sponge-like" kid brains? Squelching their innate talents? Robbing them of the glory that comes from good old-fashioned benign neglect and boredom?

When I think back to my childhood, spent pretending my bike was a horse and making eraser people, I do think my kids are getting a little screwed. We had no technology (unless you count Lite Brite); we had to learn to make do. We were boredom survivors. Some of our best days revolved around playing House (the only one left standing in a nuclear war) and making great duct tape things, which we then sold to strangers from mom's card table. It was a wonderful time. Life's answers weren't a Google search away, and we, no doubt, came out brighter (briter?) because of it. Didn't we?

Let's take a quick look at childhood before and after the Internet was invented, and you decide. Who's screwed the least -- the techy kids of today or us non-techy kids of yesterday?

 

NOW: Caller ID

THEN: Move over "Is your refrigerator running?" As kids, we spent hours concocting seriously witty prank calls on our friends, enemies, and their poor unsuspecting parents. We drove people insane with a telephone. Gotta applaud that kind of creativity

NOW: Cellphones

THEN: My best friend across the street and I made up our very own fake Morse Code to communicate with flashlights from our bedroom windows after bedtime. We never got past clicking H-E-L-L-O but talk about ingenuity!

NOW: Text Messages

THEN: Sending messages to our friends back in the day was a beautiful thing. Dozens of different origami-like note folds, an art form passed down from eighth graders to seventh graders for generations. And note passing without getting caught takes super-stealth precision, a technique I use now when secretly eating cookies in the same room as the kids.

NOW: YouTube

THEN: In the 1978 neighborhood production of Grease, I played an amazing Sandy Olsson (and not a bad Danny Zuko either!) among my neighborhood peers, in front our probably drunk parents. We had serious talent, I tell you. And we didn't need no stinkin' number of YouTube "Likes" to tell us just how good we were.

NOW: 3D Video Games on Handheld Devices

THEN: This seemingly uninspired toy (called the Lemon Twist) was a modern wonder in its day (totally plastic! hell yeah!) and hours and hours of fun. We made up different Lemon Twist games and multi-player competitions, took them to school, and everything! Yes, we did all this with a noisy plastic lemon on a plastic rope! That's how amazing we were.


NOW: iTunes

THEN: When a new music single was released, we always kept a tape recorder next to the (clock) radio in an effort to capture any kind of recording we could (on a heavenly day, the stupid deejay didn't talk over!). It sometimes took days to catch the song playing at the right time and took like 15 tries to get a halfway decent (bad, scratchy) recording. But man, it was so worth it.

by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 10:31 AM
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Replies (1-10):
M4LG5
by Valeri on Oct. 4, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Did anyone have those long ass phone cords that hooked to the receiver and the wall?  I remember we had one that my mom can take to the garage (for the laundry), to the kitchen, to the livingroom.  As kids, we used that as a limbo stick sometimes.  hahaha.

I remember my older sister started talking to boys on the phone so she would take the phone and hide in the closet.  Of course, she can't really hide since we can see the cord.

AleaKat
by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 11:38 AM
Lol I still remember dial up tones and having to wait for someone to get off the phone before you could use the computer. Lol
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TempestRayne
by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 1:42 PM
I remember being excited if my. Page load time was less than a minute. "Forty-nine seconds, yeeeeeeees!"
hriabywx4
by Member on Oct. 4, 2012 at 2:58 PM
1 mom liked this
I remember party lines. That one nosy neighbor that always listened in! Lol
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M4LG5
by Valeri on Oct. 4, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Oh....what about SMASH books.  Is that were they called?  It's where you put your name on one page and then answered question on every page.

steelcrazy
by Silver Member on Oct. 4, 2012 at 4:10 PM

OMG!  My grandma was that nosy neighbor.  LMAO

Quoting hriabywx4:

I remember party lines. That one nosy neighbor that always listened in! Lol


steelcrazy
by Silver Member on Oct. 4, 2012 at 4:12 PM

We had tht long phone cord too.  It was awesome and a pain all at the same time.  I loved being able to go all over the house while talking on the phone, yet hated having to untangle it when the phone call was over. 

Quoting M4LG5:

Did anyone have those long ass phone cords that hooked to the receiver and the wall?  I remember we had one that my mom can take to the garage (for the laundry), to the kitchen, to the livingroom.  As kids, we used that as a limbo stick sometimes.  hahaha.

I remember my older sister started talking to boys on the phone so she would take the phone and hide in the closet.  Of course, she can't really hide since we can see the cord.


steelcrazy
by Silver Member on Oct. 4, 2012 at 4:12 PM

LMAO, I had dial up at my first real full time job after college and only certain people had access to the internet from their computer.

Quoting AleaKat:

Lol I still remember dial up tones and having to wait for someone to get off the phone before you could use the computer. Lol


steelcrazy
by Silver Member on Oct. 4, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Back when I was in HS, we thought we were da bomb because our school saved up enough money to trade in our TRS80 computers from Radio Shack for some cutting edge technology.  We got MacIntosh computers from a small company called Apple.  They were weird and had these odd commands that ivolved the "Open Apple" key.  Who would have guessed that 30 years later that they'd be one of the biggest companies in the world.

wakymom
by Silver Member on Oct. 4, 2012 at 5:27 PM

 I remember thinking being able to write a simple MS-DOS program on our Commodore 64 was the coolest thing. Now I'm lucky I know how to navigate Facebook!

 

 

 

 

 

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