My youngest three kids (ages kindergarten through junior high) have day-to-day conversations about things and technology that I never could have fathomed when I was their age. With this in mind, I’ve put together the following list of things that are the “norm” of this generation, that were obsolete twenty years ago (or–if they WERE in existence, they certainly weren’t part of normal speech like they are today…and they were only known by the geekiest of the tech geeks):
“I don’t have wi-fi here.” Doesn’t that phrase sound like something out of one of those old, goofy, futuristic, B Movies? And, now it’s here! WiFi is everywhere!!! Thankfully, now it’s also generally free everywhere, too. I can remember having to pay $12 an hour at the local Starbucks in order to log onto their WiFi with my laptop. Now, even McDonalds has WiFi…probably so you can sit and eat even more luscious greasiness while you compute.
“How old were you when you got your first cell phone?” When my teens were kindergarteners, they were already asking me this question! The looks on their faces when I told them–honestly– “I was in college when I got my first cell phone and even then I wasn’t allowed to use it except for dire emergencies because it was so expensive!” was quite funny! Now, of course the teens have their own cell phones, and the kindergartener practically has one with her iPod always in tow.
“Will you S-beam that video to me?” My family is a Samsung/Android market/Google family, and we do love to S-beam! Less steps than email or texting a file or image, less time consuming than Bluetooth, S-beam is instant gratification for the file-sharing world!
“What would Siri say?” As a cute spin on the “What would Jesus do?” question, “What would Siri say?” has become a quick-answer answer to the where’s, what’s, when’s and how’s of Apple searching.
“Do you have that movie on BluRay?” Folks, I was raised with VHS and BETA video tapes. Not quite reel-to-reel, but not a huge step up! Now, it’s all on disc and the discs are getting fancier and fancier. And, actually, we don’t even need the discs anymore, as we can download or stream pretty much anything we could possibly want and enjoy at any moment, in real-time!
“I’ve got no bars here.” Remember the bag phones that had cords and antennas? Then, there was the mobile (pronounced “mo-bile”) phone the size of a military boot? I can remember my father having to stop on the side of the freeway in Dallas, Texas (not some rural, back-woods area) at a high-point just to have a conversation on his “mo-bile” phone. We still have the battle of the bars going on, but for the most part even a weak signal now is better than a good signal was with those old originals!
“I’ll just download it on iTunes.” When I was in junior high, I would spend hours filling cassette tapes with radio playtime JUST to get ONE SONG that I’d been wanting! We lived far enough from a city that I couldn’t just run around the corner and pick the cassette up myself. But, now, when my kids (or I) want the latest, greatest song, it’s literally at our fingertips!
“Do they have that book on Kindle?” As much as I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE good, old, paper books, I must admit that the age of the downloadable book option, as well. My oldest daughter keeps the Kindle app on her iPad FULL of good stuff to read; a luxury this house full of ravenous readers enjoys very much!
“Mom’s new car has hands-free & GPS nav” Let’s face it, when we see people with paper maps anymore we stop and stare. When my father gets his beaten and battered Atlas out, I ask him EVERY TIME why he doesn’t just use his phone’s navigation app, which is awesome (not fool-proof, but certainly worth utilizing)! And, as for the hands-free Bluetooth service in the car: Priceless!
“Yay! I made it to the 57th level on Angry Birds!” Angry Birds? What birds and why are they so angry??? In my day it was all about pixelated Wheel of Fortune, Oregon Trail, and Where in the World is Carmen Santiago! I must admit, though…one round of AG and I was hooked!
“Bluetooth…” This just sounds like something that requires an extensive trip to the Dentist’s office! Eeeek!
“Look what Pink just tweeted about Willow.” Pink is a color. Tweeting is something you hear outside. And Willow is a tree…But actually, I adore P!nk’s music, prefer the simplicity of tweeting over posting endless varieties of Facebook status’, and Willow is Pink’s daughter.
“Junk in the trunk.” Buaaahaaahaaaa! My almost 60-year old father referred recently to the junk in my mother’s (still his wife) trunk. I thought my teenage son was going to have a fit determining whether Dad was going to get clobbered or just laughed at 🙂 Of course, Dad had no idea what he was saying when he was quite literally referring to all the junk my mother carries around in her car trunk…but it was hilarious just the same! Momma’s got some junk in her trunk!!!
“Just Google it.” Let’s face it, the noun “Google” has become a verb. AOL of 15 years ago never overwhelmed the culture enough to be a daily part of speech. No one ever said, “just AOL it.” There was no, “just World Wide Web it” when we wanted to know some quick fact. But, in today’s culture, Google is so all-encompassing and all-knowing that it has become the answer to every question in the book!
“Do you have a fantasy football team?” I think that if someone would have talked about fantasy football when I was a kid, it would have been the kids who wished they’d get picked first in the lineup instead of last. They fanaticized about playing on the team…instead, it’s this whole culture of building and recruiting that has now spread into other professional sports, as well.
“I’ll have a grande mocha chip frappuchino with extra whip.” Granted, Starbucks was around and growing rapidly when I was younger, but then it was still seen as more of a ritzy luxury item. Ooooooo, $5 coffee! Now, it’s spurred an entire espresso-chugging phenomenon, complete with copy-cats in every town across the country and around the world. Now, placing an order at Starbucks is like speaking a whole language that my generation never knew before.
“Save it on a zip stick.” I swear by zip sticks, SD and MicroSD cards, and any other sort of miniature storage devices that can really pack on the files! I’m so thankful to have said “Adios!” to the days of those giant 5 1/2″ floppy discs, or even the 3″ hard discs that followed. They hardly held anything, they had to be stored, and filed, and sorted. Now, I can hold 50GB of memory on my key ring and access any number of files any time I want!
“How many pixels is it?” Pixels were around back in the day, but it is my personal opinion that back then the only people who thought about them were computer guru’s or professional photographers. Today, with each of us toting our own fancy camera around with us to kiddo events and other memory-making outings, AND with such impressive smartphone (ANOTHER phrase/word that was unheard of twenty years ago) cameras, we’re a culture obsessed with pixels!
“I need some new earbuds.” This one is particularly funny to me. Remember, back when we were kids, when all head phones were huge, uncomfortable, and imposing? As we got older, the headphones became earphones, as they got smaller and smaller, until they became earbuds which just slip into our ears. NOW, I see kids with ginormous, yet fashionable, head phones plugged into their iPods (instead of the Walkman of yesteryear). Who says history doesn’t repeat itself? 🙂
“You checked my grades online?” Oh yeah! Unlike when my kids were raising me, and waiting 6-9 weeks at a stretch to find out how my grades were, today I can check my kids grades in real-time at any hour of the day or night. VERY handy tool!!!
“Post it on YouTube!” My kindergartener even has her own (private!) YouTube account! She loves to post videos and watch other’s videos (on strict watch, of course). Of course, back when I was their age, I was hauling around this HUGE video recorder, taping (yes, taping…since my machine used the huge, finicky, VHS tapes!) my friends and family members whether they liked it or not! I still have a box of old VHS home videos…not that there’s much I can do with them, but oh the fun I would have had as a teenager if I could have instantly uploaded my videos to YouTube!!!
I’m sure you guys can think of some other gems! Hope you enjoyed this list. Catch you next time.
Make it a great day,