Carol, her blog is here, was telling me how it seems impossible to live without our laptops now that we have them. Absolutely! It’s funny, because I was thinking of this the other day when I was talking to an adorable elderly couple.

They were commenting about how tiny my cell was and that they never bought a cell phone or felt a need for one. We were discussing how we have become so reliant on technology and we can’t imagine living without things that they, the elderly, never had.

I was talking to my kids about that, too. How when I was younger (the 70’s and 80’s) we didn’t have most of the things they (and we) do now. And, I can’t imagine not having them – like:

1. Microwave (this one is by far the biggest “can’t live without” thing in my life)

2. Cable – remember our TVs? We had something like 6 channels and VHF (I think) where you had to get up and change the channel to the other frequency to get PBS stations – like Sesame Street, Romper Room, what else was there? – the Electric Company. No remotes – we had to get off our lazy butts every time we wanted to watch something and we had those stupid antennaes that never worked unless you actually stood and held them. I grew up in California where our stations were ABC, NBC, CBS, channel 11 (Fox, I think) and 13 (not sure what that would be).

But we had the cool cartoons then – Bugs Bunny was and still is the best. I hated all the Popeye cartoons and those other weird ones like Yogi Bear and the Moose guy. But, there wasn’t much selection and I was usually too lazy to get up and change the channel, so I would watch it.

3. MTV – we didn’t have music videos until I was a teenager and then it was only those Friday Night Videos – remember those? I used to LOVE watching them.

4. Computers – hard to believe we didn’t have personal computers. They were always those big giant machines we would see on a class field trip somewhere and they would all be kept in a huge stock room that was freezing cold (to protect the machines). So, obviously the internet was not an idea yet.

Which meant – typewriters. We had to do all our reports by “scratch”. No internet to research. We had to go to librarys and get tons of books and footnote everything. I hated the footnote stuff. And we had to write it all out by hand and then typewrite it (mine didn’t have a corrector, so I had to use white-out a million times). If you made a mistake on a sentence, you had to re-do the whole thing because it would never re-align correctly.

5. Pagers – does anyone have pagers anymore? They were really popular when I was in my late teens and early 20s. But, in high school the only people who had pagers were the drug dealers and the doctors (at least it seemed that way).

6. Cell phones – we didn’t have cell phones until my 20s and remember how HUGE they were? They had a cord and came in a big giant bag – it was like carrying your home telephone around with you. And the reception – oh, it was hysterical.

7. Video games – can you believe the video games they have now? Sure have come a long way from Pac Man and that little football atari game we had. And remember the ping-pong thingie. Boing. Boing. Boing.

8. CDs – now I am not as old as 8 tracks – but we did have a LOT of tapes. And records. I remember getting a new record player for Christmas one year and I thought I had won the lottery. I hate tapes – you have to rewind over and over to get to the one song on the tape you loved – because, all the other songs always seemed to suck.

9. DVDs – this is really new, actually. We had, and still have, actually, VCR tapes. But, I remember having to choose between Beta and VHS – what was that about? And now I hate VHS tapes – you have to rewind them and forward them. Yuck.

10. Tivo – this is a really really new one – but, I can’t imagine life without it. It is a luxury item, I know, but it’s just awesome, isn’t it? I never can sit through my shows and endure the commercials anymore. Usually, my husband and I will record a show and wait until it’s about 20 minutes into it and start watching it. That way you still see it the same night, but it’s enough time to skip the commercials.

Well, enough remembering the good old days (the 80’s) for now. My 8 year old son asked me the other day if we had color TV then. Ok – I am not THAT old…quite.

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