Popular Inventions Our Kids Won’t Recognize: Part Deux
posted ago by paula
Several weeks ago, I wrote a post about inventions that were once game changers, but are now obsolete. Call it nostalgia, but there are some things from my youth that I yearn for dearly, even if they no longer exist, or are quickly being phased out of the consumer market. I have to admit that I miss playing Oregon Trail on an Apple II. Newer versions of the game for current computers and tablets are not same. Here are a few other departing favorites that our kids may never be exposed to:
Thanks to GPS devices and navigation tools on smart phones, the paper map is becoming obsolete. It’s a shame too, because there was nothing more fun than the guestimation involved in figuring out what route would be the quickest, what time you’d arrive at your destination, etc. Gone also are the days of thumbing through the world atlas to learn about all the foreign lands you hoped to visit.
Over the past few decades, technological advancements have made communicating with faraway friends and family so much more accessible. If you’re strapped for time, why not send someone a quick text or email to let him or her know they’re on your mind? It’s wonderful, no doubt about it, but the handwritten letter is the unfortunate casualty of all this progress. Indeed, the art of letter writing is in danger of disappearing entirely, inspiring whole websites dedicated to this declining form of communication. While email might be more efficient, the rarity of snail mail makes it all the more enticing today. I’m considering going back to sending “Dear John” letters when ending relationships. It seems so much more poetic than the break up text.
Oh, I remember the days of visiting my grandma’s house, which was cable-free at the time, and having to reposition those bunny ears every which way to get a snowy image of Zoobilee Zoo, or whatever Saturday morning shows I was dying to see. Thanks to digital cable, these rabbit antennas might soon be as extinct as the Minorca King.
I don’t care how cool they make keyboards, nothing will ever beat the sensation of a typewriter key bouncing back after you strike it. The evolution of the word process has been an interesting one. Manual typewriters were eventually replaced by electric ones, which allowed you to go back and erase your typos. Of course, they still held you responsible for catching those typos. With modern computers and word processing software, we have the added benefit of grammar checkers, which I blame for my reliance on Google search as an everyday spell-check.
Before Xerox and scanners existed, the only way to make a copy of a document was to use a duplicating machine. There were different variations on this type of machinery, but the best of the best was the Ditto. There’s something about that faint purple ink and that intoxicating ditto smell that harkens me back to grade school tests. Seriously, that smell was better than Mr. Sketch markers and scratch n sniff stickers combined.