My malware issues (Pit thread) got me and Mr. Neville thinking. He thought we were older than the first computer virus (not actually true, since the first computer virus dates to 1971, he was born in 1973, and I was born in 1975). It certainly is true, though, that computer viruses and malware were not part of most people’s everyday lives when we were born. They are now, when our baby is going to be born.
I did the math a little while back, and realized that 9/11 is going to be for her kind of like JFK’s assassination was for me. It’s about the same number of years before her birth as JFK’s assassination was before mine. To her, it’s going to be something that happened a long time ago and that her parents remember where they were when they heard about it. I remember my mom telling me about hearing about JFK’s assassination. I realize now that it probably didn’t seem that long ago to her then. 9/11 doesn’t seem that long ago to me, now.
I thought about this a little more. Twelve years before my mom was born (1941) was the stock market crash of 1929. I wonder if she thinks about that in the same way I think about JFK’s assassination. I bet people of my grandparents’ generation remember (or remembered, mostly remembered by now) where they were when they heard about that, too.
Well, thinking of my own life, if I had a kid RIGHT NOW, he/she would grow up with tons of stuff I didn’t have as a minor.
There was no facebook. The internet was 56K, and nothing like it is today. There were no mass-produced hybrid or electric cars. Cell phones were new and rare and nothing like the smart phones that exist today. The Tea Party and politics as they are today didn’t exist as much back when I was growing up, back in 1992 and 1996 when I was a kid, a democrat actually won several southern states, and in 1988 when I was 2 years old, a republican won tons of liberal states. My kid would probably never see anything like that.
Any child born after today will always know what CDs and DVDs are. Things like cassette tapes and VHS tapes will be outdated, “old” stuff. Records and record players will be downright ancient items (if they’re known about at all).
ETA: Hell, with the invention of iPods and MP3 Players, they might not even know what CDs are…
Slim is only 8 right now, but I honestly can say that I dread the day he asks me about 9/11. We didn’t live anywhere near NYC, but because we live within an hour or so of Dallas I remember thinking “Oh god…is Dallas next?” at the time because we also have a World Trade Center (had my sr. prom in HS there, s’matter of fact).
We still have a VCR…however at the moment it’s just sitting there collecting dust because apparently, our TV (a Samsung) doesn’t like it. Which didn’t sit well with my kiddo at first because our library still has an extensive collection of aging VHS tapes. Slim was downright pissed because he couldn’t go check out his favorite “Thomas the Tank Engine” tapes anymore.
Video tapes will be for today’s kids what 8-track tapes were for me when I was a kid.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be for them what the Vietnam war was for me
Kids of today will have ubiquitous connectivity that I didn’t have when I was young; computers and smart phones are everywhere. When I was a kid, we had pong, played on a CRT television with no remote control.
There are any number of sci-fi movies in the theaters these days with grand plots and seamless special effects; Star Wars, as groundbreaking as it was back in 1977, will be seen by them as an antique on par with Frankenstein or Dracula - a really old movie with funny hairstyles, stiff-faced aliens, and shoddy special effects.
The space shuttle disasters will be, for them, as Apollo 1 and Apollo 13 were for me: something to be read about in the history books and seen in documentaries. Like my parents did with Apollo, when the space shuttle disasters unfolded I was glued to the TV, watching the news come in in real-time.
The cold war is pretty much over; the spectre of nuclear annihilation is not the bogeyman it once was. There are nuclear annoyances now - Iran, North Korea, etc. - but no one really worries about Mutually Assured Destruction like they did 25+ years ago.
Touch-tone phones are the standard now; we had rotary dial phones when I was a kid.
A couple of years ago I went out with someone that I considered young. Just a kid. And yet she bemoaned “kids today.” She’s a college professor, and she had to routinely explain to her students what 9/11 was. Sure, they were alive, but they didn’t really experience it.
My son’s life is almost completely pausable. If it’s on TV - he can pause it. If he’s listening to it - he can pause it too. That video game he’s playing - he can pause it any time he wants. I think he likes going to the movies just to experience someone else being in control.
I remember how great it was when I first got email. I don’t tend to keep the same schedule as my parents, and this was especially true when I was in college. Email was a godsend- it let me communicate with them without anybody having to deviate from their normal schedule.
She probably won’t have to deal with phone-bill sticker shock in college the way I did. I think long-distance calls from my dorm cost around a quarter a minute. That’s unheard of now.
I was listening to a Vietnam-era song in the car this morning, and thinking about this. (Except the music from the Iraq/Afghanistan era isn’t as good as the music from the Vietnam era)
True. They will be able to easily call someone from pretty much anywhere. I remember wishing I had something like Dick Tracy’s wrist communicator (especially around the time the Dick Tracy movie came out) a few times when I was a kid. My kid will have that.
Yes. Hopefully she won’t grow up with the fear of nuclear war that I had as a kid.
I remember having to call my mom from the school office when I wasn’t feeling well. I must have been in kindergarten or first grade. They had a rotary dial phone, and I didn’t know what to do with it. We had touch-tone phones at home.
Sesame Street was huge in our family when we were kids (and still is), but Elmo didn’t come around until I was a wee bit too old - around 1985 when I was 6. I don’t think he blew up until the 90s.
I think for anyone in their 30s or older who is becoming a parent just now will find it amazing how Elmo-centric the whole Sesame Street thing is. Moreso if they were actually SS watchers as children.
Personally I’ve come to be cool with Elmo. No other character captures my niece’s attention like he does. He really makes her happy, and it started before she was even walking. And while I am a little crabby about his always talking in the first person, I trust the brains at the Sesame Workshop to know what’s best.
I was born in 1975, and my son is three years old.
He has never lived in a world where he couldn’t use Skype to talk to his grandparents overseas. I remember as a kid, my dad would call his parents in Brazil and it was a big deal for him and probably kind of expensive, and the call was maybe 15 minutes. My son can talk to his grandparents on a video call for as long as he wants whenever he wants. We don’t even have a landline. I keep my phone near me as does my wife. I remember having to get up to go get the landline and having to stand there when I talked to someone. My parents had three phones in the house so at least I didn’t have to sit in the kitchen when I wanted to use the phone.
My son has never lived in a world where he couldn’t watch his favorite show whenever he wanted to (provided that Mommy and Daddy allowed him to). I have his favorite shoes on the DVR and I’ve bought a few DVDs of that and his favorite movie. We got our first VCR in 1981 and we used it to tape movies off of the TV and to rent movies. I remember that the purchase price of movies was expensive.
The internet is completely prevalent in his world. If he wants to watch trains on youtube, I can set it up for him.
There are also channels full of programming not just for kids, but even for kids his age*. I remember getting up to watch Saturday morning cartoons when I was a kid. He’ll just be able to set them to record and watch them whenever he feels like it.
I really like that Nick, Jr. doesn’t have commercials, and their shows aren’t violent.
Actually, I think for kids born right now, the whole concept of owning media in physical form, like having a CD or DVD or book collection, will seem very outdated. I remember as a child wondering what the next music format would be after CDs, i.e. what my children would be buying. Turns out they will just be downloading it - or, much more likely, just streaming anything they want to watch, read or listen to, instantly.
Also, regarding historical events… I’ve posted on here before that it occurred to me that the first moon landing, which when I was growing up seemed like ancient ancient history, happened less than eight years before I was born. Seven years and nine months, in fact. My daughter was born last August, so the equivalent time for her would be December 2003. Looking up notable events that month, among them was the capture of Saddam Hussein. That seems like no time at all ago.
We’ve talked about this before, but if you’re in the 40-60 range, think about the past 30 years. Technologiocally things have changed, but culturally it seems like not so much. Yeah, we had a bad hair decade, but big deal.
Now think about the 30 years before that. From 1952 to 1982. How much did things change. Why, the world went from black and white to color! We went from a TV, maybe, if you were rich, to a TV in every room. We went from mono to stereo.
Will your kids think of 1982 the way we thing of 1952?
tdn-To further your point: In 1952, Brown hadn’t been decided, Jackie Robinson was an active player, not every MLB team had integrated. MLK was still in grad school. Stonewall was almost 20 years away. The women’s movement was a generation away. ITA that our culture changed dramatically in those 30 years.
We did have some REALLY bad music though which was, frankly, a historical CRIME. I’m glad I introduced my child to the classics early on. His last two gifts to me were “Symptom of the Universe: The Original Black Sabbath 1970-1978” and the Ozzy box set “Prince of Darkness”.