Remember last week when your cell phone wasn't obsolete

The nature of things becoming obsolete. Mark DeLap weekly column, IN THE WIND.

IN THE WIND

Have you ever told a joke that just killed 10 years ago, but today nobody laughs and you suddenly realize you are in the midst of a new and very different generation and culture?

There are many times when my friends and I will absolutely crack each other up with a reference to something and all of a sudden realize a stunned silence from our kids who are looking at us like we are from a different planet.

So then, you try to explain the joke or reference by describing “and that’s the way it was.” By that time, you realize you are leaning hard on the control stick and your plane is in a nose dive.

You start to realize that the kids are never going to be as excited as you are when CBS advertises the “I Love Lucy” reruns returning in living color. And, don’t say “living color” because they don’t have a clue as to what that is.

The days of praising Wilt Chamberlain, reminiscing about “The Oregon Trail” in computer lab, and trying to explain the dial up sound for early internet are in the wind and can’t be used for anything other than the statement, “When I was a child, I walked 20 miles to school in a snowstorm that happened every day, even in summer, and I didn’t have socks or shoes.”

Have you ever tried to think of how many “things” that were such a part of your life, but are now either in museums or junk yards or Goodwill stores?

I thought about it the other day as I heard of someone trying to eliminate teaching “cursive.” I can imagine back in Egypt when an indignant father was outraged because they were no longer going to teach hieroglyphics. Mainly because it was easier to draw than spell out that word.

I can remember cars without air conditioning, a mining industry that was prospering, black and white TVs as the only option with only three channels – WITHOUT remotes. Our house did not have a dishwasher. (Actually we had two and my mom named them Mark and Todd.)

Rotary phones with 20 foot cords that you had to uncoil each time you used them. Taking film to the photo mat and waiting 3 to five days for developing. Dimes for payphones. Paper maps in cars. Encyclopedia salesmen. The Yellow Pages delivered to your home. Pagers. Faxes. Typewriters and whiteout. Turntables and huge Mondo speakers with your Harmon Kardon receiver. Children in calipers and polio. Grandmas darning socks with yarn. House air conditioners. TV rabbit ears. VHS recorders and 8-track tapes.

It’s foolishness to consider using some of those things in today’s world. Also consider that the technology of today will be obsolete for the next generation. That is when you will develop a little smile as your children who now look at you as if they were raised by aliens and trying to explain Smartphones to the grandchildren who have the same look as they had while being raised by us. So, you see, technology can’t change everything and some history WILL repeat itself.

We have built and learned and developed and continue to springboard off brand-new concepts. If it is true what they say that a weeks’ worth of discoveries now has exceeded a thousand years of learning and discovery from our past, and a weeks’ worth of discoveries and technology today will equal five minutes in our near future, then where are we heading?

I can just imagine on a future Facebook page which will look nothing like what we see now, pictures of items and the quote, “do you remember these things – and if you do, like and share.” Although I would hope that by that time they would outlaw the “like and share” concept.

Things like flushers on toilets, fossil fuel to propel our vehicles, credit cards, steering wheels in automobiles, pilots in planes, tires for cars that are probably not going to be referred to as cars any longer, certain medicines for obsolete diseases, and old folks homes because people are living virtually forever.

Nostalgia. People longing for last week’s devices, or at best, the memories that accompanied them.

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