i-clickers in my classroom when I was a little girl. My response of, "What the heck is an i-clicker?" should have clued her in, but she was absolutely flabbergasted to find out that no, I did not in fact have such things in my classroom as a child. Imagine her shock when she learned I didn't even have computers at my school until maybe my junior or senior year in high school, and even then, I still had to take a keyboarding class and type on an actual typewriter.
And then I had to explain what a typewriter was.
My kids have no idea how easy they have it. Perish the thought of actually having to find somebody to drive you to the library where you would use the Dewey Decimal System and a bunch of drawers with little cards in them to find the information we now have at the click of a mouse without even getting up from the couch. And heaven forbid that there be only 3 channels available for watching on TV!
Bria asked me the other day when I got my first phone. I assumed she was talking about a cell phone, since the question wouldn't really make sense if she meant when did I get my first phone with a ten foot long, very curly cord (I highly doubt she's ever even seen such a device in her short life), so I answered truthfully.
"When I was 30 years old."
"No, Mom. I mean how old were you when you got your first phone," she repeated, as if I had somehow misunderstood the question. And like her sister before her, she was absolutely stunned at the news that I had only had a cell phone in my possession for about 6 years. And she was sure I was making it up when I told her that I had never even heard of cell phones until I was in college.
I mean, when I was a kid, if you were stranded somewhere and you had to make a phone call, you used this thing called a pay phone. That's why we all wore penny loafers, after all--so we had somewhere to stick our dimes (and later our quarters) for making those phone calls. And if you were truly stuck, you just called your mom collect and let her pick up the bill. Unless you were my brother Dave, who would make a collect call and in the space where you were supposed to say your name to see if the call recipient would accept the charges, he would yell, "Come pick up Dave at the baseball field now!" and then nobody had to pay at all.
Smart kid, my brother.
My children can't fathom that when I was a child there were no i-pods or even CD players. I listened to records and cassette tapes. Forget about e-mail, Facebook and texting, if I wanted to communicate with a friend from college that had gone home for the summer I wrote actual letters on actual paper and put them in an envelope with a stamp on it and dropped it in the mailbox. Or, if I really wanted to talk to that friend, I spent a lot of money on long distance telephone charges (unless, of course, I called collect). When I took pictures, I didn't get to instantly see them on the back of my camera. I had to actually wait until I had the time and the money to take my roll of a mere 24-36 pictures down to the drugstore to have it developed. And then I had to wait a few days for it to come back! I guess I could have used the One Hour developing, but who had enough money for that as a college student? We didn't have Netflix or DVDs or Blu-Ray. We had VCRs, and we taped things off of the TV so we could watch them again and again, since there was no such thing as a DVR. I even had a black and white television as a kid!
What a hard life!
And I thought my parents were the ones that lived in the Stone Ages. Imagine my surprise when my children informed me that I did, too.