by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)
So I was yapping with the guys (and gals) in my department the other day about stuff. We have a guy who is nearing mid 40's and he has all these memories of the 'old days' and how things used to be. We have a guy that's like 25 (at most) and we were all simply amazed at his lack of knowledge of stuff that existed on a decade or so ago.
We got started on the subject of RCA Video Discs. Do you remember those? Not many people do. They were these large records with movies on them. No, not Laserdiscs but actual records. They were in a hard case and you inserted the case into the player and the player removed the disc and you pulled the empty case out. Freaky, huh? I still have about 25 movies and a player in my mom's closet. If you still don't remember them watch this entertaining video... it's so cheesy and great.
Naturally the young guy never heard of them (but like I said most haven't). We moved on to Laserdiscs (which he kept confusing with the Video Discs we were talking about earlier). With both the Video Discs and Laserdiscs he was so amused at their size. He never heard of Laserdiscs eitehr and kept laughing anytime he would see a video or picture of them.
We then moved on to Beta and VHS and all the memories we all had of owning one or the other back when they were new. We discussed how movies took a year or so to come out on VHS and how if you didn't catch it in the movie theater you were stuck until came out on video years later. Even this fact just amazed the young one.
We also talked about early cable television (the kind with the key in the box so parents could lock it so kids couldn't see the porn some channels played at night). One of the women mentioned that back before cable was everywhere you could only watch kid's programming on Saturday morning or early weekday mornings. Our young guy was just amazed at how limited choices were while the rest of us looked back fondly on those times.
This all stemmed from the discussion about the instant gratification we all have now. If you want to watch a cartoon you simply have to switch to one of the all-cartoon channels. If there is a movie you want to see you can get on YouTube or Netflix and watch it right away. We are truly in the era of instant gratification. This puts us older (but so older) people in the same league as our grandparents with their 'we walked 5 miles uphill in the snow bare-footed' memories. Sure, we didn't have it that bad but growing up in the 70's and 80's we experienced things in a much more controlled way. It was 'rough' to the kids of today but we look back on it with pride a good memories. We now have our 'uphill in the snow' stories.
I'm sure by the time our young guy is all grown up his kids will see his experiences as ancient and tediously manual. They will have mind-reading machines and robots to do everything for them. They will wonder how in the world they could have gotten by with out transporter technology... driving a car??? are you kidding?!