I realize that kids today think they have things really hard, but that could not be further from the truth. You don’t get to have smartphones and Google and complain about a hard life. Know what’s a hard life? Encyclopedias.
These are some things kids today will never have to experience, and it’s probably for the best.
1. Passing Notes
The folding, the risk taking, and the intricate details you included in your doodles. Passing notes was the coolest thing you could do. And if you didn’t get one, you felt left out. Not to mention, if your teacher caught you, the note would be read in front of the whole class. Yikes. Guess everyone knows you have a crush on Michael S. now.
2. Book Reports
Coles Notes wasn’t a thing, unless you physically went to buy the book of Coles Notes. You had to read the whole book, and actually pay attention. If your book wasn’t filled with 9,000 sticky tabs, it wasn’t going to end well for you.
3. Poster Board
There was no Powerpoint. You didn’t use computers to make your projects. You best believe if you had a project, you were going to the dollar store or Staples to pick out a piece of poster board (two, if you’re prone to mistakes.) You could get pictures online, but that was about it. More often than not, you were photocopying pictures from books at the library to then cut and paste them onto your board. You also did that cool “whomp whomp whomp” thing with the poster board to make it sound like thunder.
4. Practicing Cursive
Did you know they’re taking cursive writing out of schools now? Yep. It’s become so obsolete that it’s not even a useful skill for kids to learn now. Cursive is a beautiful style of writing where Ms look like Ns, and Zs look like a Cyndaquil Pokemon. Having to write all the letters over and over, plus only use cursive writing once you learned it, was something kids today will never have to deal with.
5. Changing the Channel
Depending on how old you are, you had an analog TV, which certainly did not come with a remote control. As the youngest sibling, you were the remote control. None of this “fast forward commercials, I’ll catch it later, let’s just see what else is on” nonsense. You sat. You watched. And if you were in a comfortable position, you hoped to God that something good was coming up next.
6. No Caller ID
If your phone rang, you answered. You had to take that chance. Sometimes you were lucky, and it was your friend from down the street. Other times, it was the telemarketers. Or worse, the person you said “ya, let’s hang out soon!” to and were trying to avoid.
7. Paper Maps
If you were going on a road trip, paper maps were your best friend. You know who wasn’t your best friend? The person in charge of reading a map. You basically needed Christopher Columbus to navigate through all the side roads and major highways. And if you got lost, it was up to the man at the local gas station to give you directions. MapQuest eventually came along, but there was no on-route self-correction like there is now.
8. Disposable Cameras
Disposable cameras were a must for every vacation or school field trip. Remember how picky we had to be? You had 26 pictures to take and that’s it. No redos, no previews, so “let me take a few and then you can pick.” It was one and done. You had to send them in to get developed and PRAY that you remembered to use the flash.
9. The Phonebook
Instead of using it as a paperweight or fire kindling like most people do now, the phone book was a prized possession in every household. You had to pray that there weren’t a lot of people with the same name as your friend, and you also had to hope their full name was used in the book, not just an initial.
10. VHS Tapes
If one of these got stuck in the VCR, it was the end of the world. Don’t yank it, the tape will just get worse. If you were lucky, you could push the tape back into the VCR and try again. However, most of us didn’t have that luxury. Once that tape was unraveled, there was no turning back.